Kansas City, MO

The trip to Kansas City was the final stop to complete the baseball part of the trip. There, we went to the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame and Museum. As we approached Kansas City, I also remembered that barbecue (real barbecue) was a bit of specialty in Kansas City, and we decided to put it to the ‘Pepsi challenge’ with Texas barbecue.

It just so happened that Arthur Bryant’s, a world famous barbecue joint, was four blocks from the museum, so I said bring it on … and they brought it. Not only did they give us a ridiculous amount of food – the sandwich I got had enough brisket for three meals -but the food was delicious. Put simply, it was spectacular and melted in our mouths.  We also had cole slaw, baked beans, and French fries. Also in insane quantities. The one point of displeasure was with the sauce. I have long believed that truly good barbecue, doesn’t require sauce, and they put a lot of sauce on their meat. However, I did have some that escaped the deluge of sauce and it held its own against Texas barbecue. Since I get barbecue of that quality so infrequently, it was heavenly.


The Negro Leagues Hall of Fame and Museum was incredible. It had examples of how professional baseball has flourished outside of Major League Baseball. It also showed how the Negro League was just as much of a cultural icon of the black community as the MLB had been for the white community. In addition, the Negro Leagues had some of the best players to ever play the game. The main room was an incredible site. It had life-size bronze statues of the most renowned players at their position and art by Kadir Nelson. Unfortunately, we had the camera settings all wrong for the lighting, so not many pictures came out.

In addition, we happened to visit during an event with several former Negro League players there to tell stories and sign autographs. I managed to get all of their autographs across two Negro League Museum baseballs. A bulk of the former players were from the Kansas City Monarchs. I will update this post when I get the names straightened out. A great visit, and I only wish we had more time to go through all the information on display.


‘Tis the season

No not that season, we already talked about Christmas time. It’s winter sports season! I know that isn’t something we’ve ever really cared about, but since moving up here and really not knowing what to do for the rest of the 9 months than aren’t seasons like Houston, we had to learn to get into winter sports/activities. we’ve tried our hands (or feet?) at snowshoeing, tubing, snowboarding and making snowmen, but haven’t really done any of them with any regularity. We made a resolution to get out more in the winter this year 1) because it’s good for you 2) it’s exercise which we can’t seem to motivate ourselves to get otherwise and 3) where else in the country is it so accessible and affordable?

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You get to see the sun much more when hiking and snowsporting (new word, honest) than in Seattle in the winter, which helps stave off the winter blues so common in our household. So we broke the seal on this winter and went on a short hike near Snoqualmie this past weekend short enough to make it back for nap time and to watch the Seahawks make it to the Super Bowl. It was Harlan’s first trip to the mountains and in the snow. He missed most of it though -he took a nap and I wanted to keep his face covered due to a cold our entire family was suffering with. Cora also managed to pass out after a very excited walk from the car to the trailhead. Not sure what happened there!



Take me out to the ball game!

It’s kind of crazy to think this is Cora’s first trip to a professional baseball game. For as much baseball love as goes around the Beard household, she hasn’t graced the concourse of a professional baseball game in her near two years on the planet. Not the majors, but still a fun affair. Turns out minor league is a hotbed of family outings (literally too, as it was a warm day for the Seattle area). We were invited to a Tacoma Rainiers home game at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wa with Sean’s colleague and friend Jay and his family.


They were seasoned attendees and showed Cora the ropes. She got her first mascot photo op too, with Rhubarb. She didn’t seem to think he looked too much like a dinosaur, so she wasn’t scared at all. Good thing there aren’t any dinosaur based mascots in our area.

Cora and Rhubarb

Good family fun all around. Thanks for getting us down to Tacoma, Jay!



Welcome to the American League :(

Most people who know me, know that I have very strong feelings about the differences between the National League and American League baseball. I like to say I was born and raised in the National League, and one thing I can say is that I will always root for the National League. The current changes to baseball involve the Houston Astros moving to the American League West Division. (It makes absolutely no sense that they would be moved to the same division as the Texas Rangers, but it would be a long post at some other time to talk about Bud Selig as the commissioner). The Astros move presents a big dillema for me. I have been a fan of the Astros for over 30 years, and in that entire time, they have been a National League team, no problem. As of 2013, they will be an American League team and I have found myself at the crossroads of maintaining loyalty for a team I have been a fan of for so long, and the strong, almost religious, beliefs I have about National League baseball.

In the end, I found a compromise which works for me. I cannot simply stop supporting the Astros – period. I will continue to cheer for them as they rebuild in to an American League team. When it comes to the World Series, I will root for the American League, and I can’t reiterate this enough, IF AND ONLY IF the Astros are the American league representative. Otherwise, the National League will still be my favorite, and I will still crack jokes about how American league baseball is akin to little league.

To show my support for the Astros, I have already started wearing the new logo ( an on-field fitted hat of course), which I think is awesome. It is reminiscent of the 80’s logo. In fact. I think the whole new look will be like throw back every night, except for the rainbow, which I will not miss.

For those who understand or feel strongly about baseball, you will understand the level of debate I had with myself and how hard this decision really was. At the end of the day baseball is baseball, and it’s a great sport to play and watch from the little leagues to the major leagues.