KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More than 2,500 fans will line the streets for miles helping to deliver the baseball for the "First Pitch" on opening day to Kauffman Stadium.
Organizers spent the last six weeks planning the Relay the Way event, which starts at Union Station at 9 a.m. Sunday. They had to figure out how far it was, how far people could comfortably throw a baseball, and divide to see how many people could take part.
It’s more than nine miles as the relay will take the ball past 18th and Vine, down Brooklyn and eventually across Stadium Drive over to the "K". There will be rolling road blocks by police to help protect fans and the ball. Fans will be throwing the ball about 20 feet. That originally yielded 2,500 spots along the relay line. But now they are adding people and have extended the deadline to register to Tuesday at 5 p.m.
“The original number we had set on filled up rather quickly," Kansas City Sports Commission National Events Manager Mallory Cage said.
"When there was so much excitement and energy around the event, we worked it out so we could fit quite a bit more people. We’re doing a crown at Parade Park, that adds some spots in there, just so more people who are excited about this event can participate.”
Each $30 registration donation goes to benefit the Urban Youth Baseball Academy.
They hope to get the ball to the stadium by 3 p.m., in plenty of time for the first pitch that night. The person who will deliver the "final" first pitch on the mound has not been announced. Organizers say that gives fans exactly eight seconds to catch the ball and pass it on. So participants are told to bring their glove, and not plan on taking selfies with the ball. Event photographers will be on hand.
Participants will receive instructions on where and when to report on Wednesday.