As a Kansas City fan, I am curiously tempted to purchase a ticket to Saturday’s Royals-Mets game.
It is not for a rematch of the 2015 World Series, though I look back on that time with a smile.
It is not to witness a Jacob deGrom outing in real time, though that may be worth the price of admission.
And, unfortunately, it is not to see a competitive home team. Beaten twice by the St. Louis Cardinals this week, the Royals are 43-78 and just about 30 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central.
As a fan, I am most interested in the free concert after the game, featuring Ms. Lauryn Hill.
In tandem with the show, a portion of ticket sales Saturday are donated to Strike Out Slavery, a campaign established by Diedre and Albert Pujols to raise awareness about human trafficking.
It’s a free concert on a summer night after the ballgame — for a good cause. Yet charity is not what compels me to drive to Kauffman Stadium this weekend.
To me, Lauryn Hill already owns a small piece of Royals lore.
Hanging in my washroom wall is a framed copy of the Wednesday, Jan. 6, 1999 edition of the Kansas City Star — a day after it was announced George Brett would be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
My dad received the framed newsprint from his father and, after more than 20 years, it is still difficult to tell how commonplace and appreciated this gesture was.
I remember grandpa also framed and gifted a larger, sentimental tribute to Marty Schottenheimer after his tenure with the Chiefs. That a piece hardly survived a move and did not last as long as Brett’s washroom feature.
However thrifty, it is a delicious time capsule. I have studied it with a regular, healthy frequency.
It is priced at 50 cents, which is a steal given that readers could dial a phone number that, once connected, would play sound clips of Brett’s news conference the day of the announcement.
Surrounding Jeffrey Flanagan’s story, “Brett to enter the Hall of Fame - A grand slam for Royals legend,” is a tease for a story about “Sesame Street” turning 30 years old.
To the left of a cut-out photo of Elmo, Grover and the rest of the gang, and just under a line for the metropolitan section, “Big tax cut likely in Missouri,” is a note about the upcoming Grammy awards: “Lauryn Hill leads the race for Grammys with 10 Nominations.”
Her 1998 album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” would win five awards, including Album of the Year. Five Grammys in one night was a record for a woman recording artist until the likes of Beyoncé (2010) and Adele (2012).
A complex legacy follows Hill, who once stopped performing, to her free concert at Kauffman Stadium. That legacy, plus my strange, personal association of Hill with George Brett’s Hall of Fame story in the Kansas City Star — an esoteric homecoming more than 20 years in the making — is what draws me to the Royals game on Saturday.
As a Kansas City fan, it will almost certainly be more inspiring than the action on the field.