A year ago today my partner in crime, Mike Pettis, and I made our first trek to The K in 2021 to catch some Royals baseball. Opening day last year was a huge deal. Fans were back in the stands, and we were ready for a full season of Major League Baseball. It was an emotional experience. But then, isn't the promise of baseball every spring a magical, emotional time?

Last season was emotional because the 2020 season was played without fans and was long-delayed, and then truncated because of the coronavirus pandemic. So yeah it was a huge deal. And Major League Baseball made sure to take care of the fans, make them feel welcome, and celebrate them. I may have almost shed a tear as I waved the American flag placed in front of my seat as we celebrated America with The Anthem and got the 2021 season started.

But I've had plenty of emotional times and great memories watching baseball over the years. There was my first time going to a ball game in Chicago. A late August contest at the Baseball Palace of the World, old Comiskey Park. My Aunt Grace had gotten my father and me great box seats. And they were the closest to the field I had ever sat. Walking up the stairs, emerging at field level, and seeing the lush grass of the field laid out before us was amazing.

There were several Mother's Day games I wound up at Wrigley Field with my Mom and Grandma watching the Cubs on a nice sunny spring afternoon. And I can't forget our Creighton Labor Day tradition for several years in the '80s of going to see whichever team was in town on Labor Day. Or the bus trips my family would take to old Comiskey Park with the Hibernians on Irish Night.

Royals games were also a tradition as part of our family's late summer getaways to Kansas City. In fact, it was probably one of the main reasons we visited Kansas City.

While over the years I've held a rooting interest for the White Sox, Cubs, Phillies, and Rangers, there's been one team I've consistently been a fan of, the Royals. I was born in Kansas City in 1972, so being a Royals fan has been my birthright, or maybe birth curse, depending on the season.

And who couldn't love the Royals in the late '70s and '80s? The playoff runs. The great baseball. George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, Boom Boom Balboni, Bret Saberhagen, Dan Quisenberry, and more. They were teams that left a mark. And the team that I always tried to follow, while 500 miles away in Chicago, or one town over in Warrensburg.

For someone who has only lived near Kauffman Stadium for three years, I've certainly made many memories at The K over the decades. I had the opportunity to walk on the field, check out the clubhouse, and sit in the dugout in the 1980s during a tour. Rudy Law threw me a ball during batting practice one night when my father and I had great seats close to the field. I saw Bo Jackson launch ball after ball out of the park during batting practice after being signed by the team. Not to mention, experience the Royals winning both the 1985 and 2015 World Series, albeit from afar on television.

I've also had the sun in my eyes sitting in the right-field seats. Battled the moths attracted to the lights while sitting in the nose bleed seats up top. Sat through a ridiculously long rain delay where the game didn't start until 10:00 PM and ended sometime around 2:00 AM. And got one of my worst sunburns ever sitting out in those left-field seats on a Saturday afternoon.

So keep scrolling and check out some familiar friendly faces of the Kansas City Royals over the years. And think about the memories you've made at The K over the years. If these pictures don't want to make you go see a game, I don't know what will.

Royals Photos To Get You In the Mood for Baseball

Here are some photos of the Kansas City Royals and Kauffman Stadium through the years to get you in the mood for the baseball season! How do you think the Royals will do this year?

Opening Day at "The K" April 1, 2021

Townsquare Media's Rob Creighton and Mike Pettis got to experience opening day at Kauffman Stadium. Here's a little bit of what Rob and Mike experienced at Opening Day at "The K".