The K ready for College Baseball Hall of Fame Classic
KANSAS CITY -- Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey left Kauffman Stadium on Sunday evening following a weekend series against the Royals. Aware that his alma mater -- Wichita State -- was next up to play at The K, Pelfrey wouldn't have minded sticking around a couple of more days to see his beloved Shockers perform on the big stage.
Billed as "The National College Baseball Hall of Fame Classic at The K," Missouri and Wichita State will converge at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday to represent the Southeastern Conference and Missouri Valley Conference, respectively. Farmland Foods is the presenting sponsor of the 7 p.m. CT game, which benefits the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas.
"It's a really cool thing for these kids to play in a Major League stadium," Pelfrey said. "I never got that opportunity until I actually made it to the big leagues. This will give them a little taste of it, and I'm sure both teams are excited about this opportunity. For a lot of these guys, the ultimate dream is to play in the Major Leagues. It's going to be a really fun experience for them."
While the Tigers and Shockers will battle for bragging rights in a special venue, the biggest winner on Tuesday will be the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.
"We are so honored that David and Dan Glass and the Royals organization have chosen to host this game," said National College Baseball Hall of Fame executive vice president of development Jana Howser, daughter of the late Royals Hall of Fame manager Dick Howser. "We look forward to a wonderful night of college baseball."
Wichita State and Missouri haven't met on the diamond in 10 years. Wichita State leads the all-time series, 6-4, and it grabbed a 3-0 victory when the teams last played in 2004. The game will provide a contrast of the old and new regarding head coaches. Missouri's Tim Jamieson has been guiding the Tigers program since 1995, while WSU's Todd Butler is in his first season after replacing the legendary Gene Stephenson.
Tickets in the BATS Crown Club, which will include a special menu offered at a reduced price, will be available for $25 for adults and $14 for youth ages 14 and under. Fans may also purchase tickets in the KIA Diamond Club for $15 for adults and $10 for youth. In addition, general-admission seating in the lower seating bowl will be available for purchase at $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
Fans may purchase tickets online at www.royals.com/hofgame, by visiting the Kauffman Stadium box office or by calling 1-800-6ROYALS.
Pelfrey expects the hitters to have a lot of fun trying to go deep in batting practice. But once the game begins, Pelfrey knows from experience that the idea is to pitch to contact at spacious Kauffman Stadium and let the defense do the work.
"It's a big park and really tough to hit home runs here," Pelfrey said. "The pitchers will love it as long as their outfielders can go get the ball."