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  • SportsKansas City Royals Kansas City, Kansas
    The Kansas City Royals are the major league baseball team that calls this city its home, and they are part of the Central Division of the American League. They have been playing in Kauffman Stadium since 1973, and have played in two World Series, winning in 1985. The Royals name came from the American Royal, livestock show, horse show and rodeo that is held in Kansas City every year and has been since 1899. Some believe that it is respectful recognition of the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League, that played here for decades until 1960. The similarity is seen in the logos that seem to almost match each other. It came into the American league in 1969, as an expansion team, and started by Ewing Kauffman, a local businessman. The franchise was started by the actions of Senator Stuart Symington, who said that the city should have another baseball team after the Athletics left and moved to Oakland, California.  The Royals went through some difficult times during their history, like winning three division titles in a row, only to lose each season to the New York Yankees; in 1976-1978. During the decade of the 1980s, there was the pine tar incident that had George Brett being called out after hitting a two run homer, but the ump found pine tar on his bat. It would take a while to get it all straightened out, but Brett got his homer and the team got the win. In 1985, however, the team seemed to be on a roll, although it was always coming from behind to win, which they did, beating the St. Louis Cardinals, 4 games to 3, but they had to come from behind a 3-1 lead by the Cards. In 1993, the teams original owner, Ewing Kauffman died, and Wal-mart executive, David Glass would buy the team, but then mess it all up by trying to cut the budget, lowering the salaries of all players and not being able to get any top shelf players. In the new millennia, the team hit bottom in 2002, losing 100 games in a season, the first time in their franchise history. Of course manager Tony Muser was fired and Tony Pena was the next manager to try to turn the club around. He had a winning year, but still couldn't get past third place. In 2004, they seemed to be headed for the title, but fell apart and lost 104 games. As if that wasn't bad enough, they would get even worse, losing 106 games, and Tony Pena finally quit and was replaced by Buddy Bell. The next season, 2006, the club was looking for a turnaround, but again lost 100 games and became the 11th team in baseball history to lose three 100 loss seasons in a row. Baird, the GM was fired and Dayton Moore brought in to pump some new blood into the team. They didn't lose a 100 games that year, but still managed to be in last place when it was all done. In 2008, they would do better, but finishing in fourth isn't much good when you want the stands filled. In 2009, the team just couldn't get rolling, although they did have a great starter in Zack Greinke, who pitched a great year, with just a 2.16 ERA and won the Cy Young Award. Zack set a club record in a single game against the Cleveland Indians by striking out 15 batters. The team is looking for some retribution this year, and they could do it. We'll have to keep an eye on them because they are due for a big breakout. A well seasoned team with good management may be the ticket they have been looking for.

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Avis Car Rentals Kansas City Intl. Apt.
 1 Nassau Circle

Kansas City Downtown Avis Rental Cars
 3412 Main St.

  • Gangster Tour
    The Gangster Tour in Kansas City, Missouri is a fantastic trip to yesteryear when the gangsters ruled the streets and speakeasies of the city. This tour will showcase the Pendergast period from 1920 to 1945 with many gangster TV spots shown to highlight the lives these people had and the lives that they affected during their tight reign. There are historical film footage and photographs that show how these criminals looked and the outrageous lifestyles that they had. Guest will learn about the Pendergast Machine that controlled the politics of the city that kept them out of jail and the aloof posturing that they enjoyed for so long. The tour will feature infamous crimes like the Union Station massacre; the places where speakeasies were hidden as well as the gambling halls and how it was possible to have liquor flowing just like it did before and after the prohibition days. You'll see where these gangsters lived and where their crime bosses did their business, the places where the worst turf wars were committed and the messages that were spoken then and now are just historical rhetoric; like an "offer you can't refuse". The Pendergast Machine was a combination of Irishmen that went back to the late 19th century, when Tom's older brother, Jim, was the alderman of the first ward; that included Little Italy. In Jim Pendergast's era, the city's Little Italy was crowded with all kinds of Italians, but mostly Sicilians, and it was an extremely insulated ghetto where the Black Hand ruled with impunity; owed mostly to the area's strict adherence to the Omerta, or code of silence. The Kansas City Star had discovered a small hole in the code and first printed the frightening word "mafia" in an article from 1897. During the early 20th century, there were numerous murders that caused the KC police department to create a special position for agent Joseph Raimo, who went into Little Italy to see what he could find out about this undercover group. Joe was there only a little while before he was shot to death walking his beat; and then was replaced by another Italian officer named Louis Olivero. His house would be bombed and the violent acts continued on without any signs of abating. In 1919, Paul Catanzaro killed a young boy named Frank Carramusa, whose father, a fruit peddler, wasn't able to scrap enough money to pay the Black Hand what they said was owed them. Catanzaro was caught and almost beat to death by the neighbors, and was saved only by the arrival of officer Olivero. He went to trial but because of omerta, he would go free. Something strange happened later on that may or may not have involved fate, as Carramusa joined the mafia and then became brothers in blood with Catanzaro. Years later, Carramusa testified against his fellow gangsters about a case that involved heroin and an international conspiracy between St. Louis, Kansas City and Tampa families. It would become a historic case as Harry Anslinger, chief of the Bureau of Narcotics, gave hard evidence that a highly organized national network of crime was going on and it was headed by Sicilian Americans. As Carramusa testified in the trial, Catanzaro, the man that murdered his son a quarter of a century before, gave him the evil eye and the devil's horn death sign. Sometime later, killers would find Carramusa in Chicago and blow his head off with a shotgun.

February 11, 2011