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Big Daddy Baseball League

O F F I C I A L   S I T E   O F   T H E   B I G   D A D D Y   B A S E B A L L   L E A G U E
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July 27-29, 2007

BDBL Weekend 2007: St. Louis & Kansas City

The view from our seats in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS/KANSAS CITY -- The eighth annual BDBL Weekend festivities were held in St. Louis and Kansas City this past weekend, with a total of nine BDBL members attending.  The party began in St. Louis, where the group took in a ballgame at the new Busch Stadium after enjoying some great food (thin-crust pizza, barbeque and toasted raviolis) at a local bar outside of the ballpark.

The game began on a balmy, overcast evening, and the visiting Brewers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning when the clouds opened up, unleashing a storm of wind, rain and lightning, and sending most of the 45,000 fans in attendance running for cover.  Although the BDBL group was seated beneath an overhang, that didn't stop them from getting wet, as the rain blew in through the side of the stadium, soaking Jim Doyle's obscenely-complex scorecard.

After a 38-minute delay, play resumed, and the Brewers tacked on two more runs that inning to give themselves a 5-0 lead.  By the fifth inning, Milwaukee was sporting a 9-1 lead, and it was clear that it would be anything but an exciting finish.  Eventually, the Brewers won by a score of 12-2, and the BDBL gang decided to call it an early night.

The St. Louis arch.


From left to right: Jim Doyle, Jeff Paulson, Bobby
Sylvester, Mike Glander, Chris Luhning, Tony Chamra,
Greg Newgard and Matt Clemm.

Jeff again.

The following morning, the group met at a greasy-spoon diner recommended by Jim Doyle, which apparently specialized in extremely dry, cold and flavorless waffles and mind-bogglingly-slow service.  After that, it was off to the Budweiser factory, where Chris Luhning's brother, J.T., organized a private tour.  The tour began with a few interesting facts about Budweiser's origins (interrupted by completely off-topic questions from Doyle about railroading), and a tour of the century-old Clydesdale stables.

Doyle and Chamra in front of the Budweiser brewery.

The BDBL tour group.

Viewing the mashers and brew kettles.

Greg makes a friend.

The tour continued to the enormous vats, where the beer is Beechwood aged, the mashers, where the barley and hops are mashed into a fine powder, and the brew kettles, where the yeast is added.  After the tour, the group was ushered into a private VIP room, where they were given access to a leather sofas and chairs, pretzels and a refrigerator stocked with several different types of Budweiser beer.  While most of the group sampled real, actual beer, Doyle grabbed a concoction made from oranges and grapefruits.

Chris and Matt enjoy the VIP room.

Doyle reaches for his fruity "beer."

Jeff tries his first Budweiser.  (Seriously.)

Tom (Jim's brother), Jim and Greg.

Jeff strikes a Buschian pose.

After the brewery, the group headed west along I-70, en route to Kansas City.  Some time around the first hour of that five-hour drive, Doyle and Glander began negotiating a trade.  Eventually, Newgard was dragged into it as well.  And by the end of the four hours, the three emerged with the first-ever state-wide, three-team, BDBL Weekend trade.

Eventually, the entire group (including Bob Sylvester, Sr.) met at Gates Barbeque in downtown KC, where they enjoyed some authentic Kansas City cuisine, including ribs and brisket.  From there, they drove to the 810 Zone sports bar in Country Club Plaza, where they played pool, watched some ballgames and drank lots and lots of beer.


Feasting on barbeque at Gates.

Matt, attempting to broker a last-minute
deal with Skizm.

Clemm and Newgard negotiating a deal
on the way to the 810 Zone.

Jeff, negotiating a different kind of deal.

Greg, attempting to drink a "car bomb."

Matt shows him how it's done.

After a long night of drinking, Jeff cries, "No mas!"

The billiards crew.

The following day, the gang met at Lot A at Kauffman Stadium for some tailgating.  Chris Luhning set up the entire group with burgers, dogs, soda and beer.  He also provided a washers-tossing game that kept the group occupied for a couple of hours before game time.

The view from our seats in Kansas City.

While Busch Stadium was more of a generic-looking, modern-day cookie-cutter ballpark, Kauffman Stadium had a lot of character, and was much more pleasing aesthetically.  It had a real minor league feel to it that had nothing to do with the quality of play on the field or the number of people in the stands.

The hometown Royals jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning against Rangers starter Kameron Loe and never looked back.  By the sixth inning, KC had increased their lead to 6-0, and by the eighth, it was another double-digit blowout.  But the highlight of the game came in the fourth inning, when several groups were mentioned on the several field scoreboard, including a shout-out to the Big Daddy Baseball League (courtesy of Luhning.)


Bob Sylvester, proudly waving his white flag.

Doyle, attempting to play Washers to
the best of his limited ability.

Paulson, posing with the George Brett statue
(and Doyle, who insisted on inserting himself
in the picture once again.)

Paulson does his best Frank White.

The Kansas City crew, in front of the Frank White statue.

The boys at Kauffman.

With most of the crew leaving after the game, Glander and Newgard joined Doyle and his sister, Sarah, for a delicious meal at Jess & Jim's Steakhouse.  They then closed out the weekend with a few games of pool in a much-quieter 810 Zone.

BDBL Weekend 2007 was a huge success, and a tremendous time was had by all.  Many thanks to Chris Luhning for hosting this year's event and providing the league with a place to stay, several places to eat, and some fun pre-game food and games on Sunday.