KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The excitement of a Kansas City Royals game: hot dogs, popcorn and a beautiful summer evening. But it was fathers and their kids who made this game all the more special on Tuesday.
An essay competition saw thousands of entries from kids about what their dad means to them.
The contest featured some pint-size fans like 9-year-old Dawson Gamber.
"When I first met my dad, I was excited. The first thing I got when I got to meet him is to hug my dad. My dad is also special because he lets me go hunting with him."
Gamber is the winner of the third grade essays because of this letter he submitted about his father, Brian.
"I didn't ever know it was fun to have a dad until he came into my life," he wrote. "I love my dad and I'm sure he loves me, too."
Brian stepped up to the plate and into the role -- adopting Dawson just four years ago.
It's a role Brian says is bigger than anything else.
"I think as good as his mom is for him and every mom who tries to do it by themselves. They are great for their kids, but there's always something missing from that young man's life -- and that's something that only a father can put into his life."
For this group, and the hundreds of others enjoying Father's Day at the K, winning was the relationship, celebrated by the game.
"It's fabulous. I can't imagine being anywhere else. There's nowhere else I'd rather be," Gamber said.
The essay contest was created by the National Center for Fathering more than 20 years ago to raise awareness about the importance of father figures.
The winning father at Tuesday's game got to sit in the Buck O'Neil legacy seat.