The Kansas City Star has a great feature on the 97-year-old Gould, who has been around baseball at all levels and ballparks in Kansas City — Muehlebach Field, Kansas City Blues, Municipal Stadium, Kansas City Athletics, Royals Stadium, Kansas City Royals. His life story runs parallel to the history of baseball in the city: modest roots, glory days and lean years, but always a passion for the sport. From the article:
Sam sold newspapers at the stadium, worked as a bat boy, cleaned up, sold popcorn and peanuts and fetched sandwiches for players. He remembers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the rest of the New York Yankees coming to play an exhibition game after a World Series.
He used to “watch” cars for a dime. He advanced to operating Sam’s Stadium Parking for 22 years. He knew Blues players Phil Rizutto and Mickey Mantle. Then came the Athletics and the early Royals.
He became a fixture for generations of Kansas City baseball fans. A businessman, yes, but always a fan. And always listening to games on a radio.
On a radio. Amazing: even with large high-def TVs and game broadcasts, Gould listens to games on the radio — as do many of us. We tend to forget the pleasures of baseball on the radio, the proper place for catching the cadence of the games, the rhythm of the action.
And sometimes we forget about the many fans who, for one reason for another, can’t make it to the ballpark, but for whom baseball is a big part of their lives. This feature on Sam Gould is a nostalgic reminder of how important baseball is for many, many fans — something that tends to be forgotten in the age of $500 suite tickets and multimillion player contracts.