Fan host finds fun, fodder for romance series at ballpark

By Cindy M. Amos | May 1, 2023

Cindy Amos and a ballpark full of fans enjoyed the Wichita Wind Surge’s opening night win.

When the Wichita Wind Surge announced a hiring fair in the spring of 2021, I interviewed and landed a job as a fan host at Riverfront Stadium. In the blink of an eye, I became a part of the city’s sports community.
It was something new and at the same time familiar. Having played three sports in high school, plus being a walk-on third baseman at East Carolina University, I already possessed a strong working knowledge of sports. My first paying job was with the parks and recreation department in my hometown, prepping the ballfield, umpiring girls’ softball games and keeping the scorebook for the baseball league.
I relished the nightly pulse of the ballpark in Wichita, but I had no idea that baseball would permeate my writing endeavors, too. After the opening season, I penned “Home Run Hunter,” a romance novella about a sports management intern from Wichita State University working for a minor league baseball team.
Nothing seemed to run smoothly as the Wind Surge’s second season got underway, which led to my second ballpark-based romance, “Season Two Snafu.” The book’s theme was doing your best despite circumstances, and that’s what ballpark employees were doing. My post was at the gate of the Dillon’s Picnic Patio, frequently used for company parties. Some of my fellow employees include a retired athletic director, a retired corporate pilot and a retired aircraft designer. Rest assured we’re not in it for the monetary compensation. Most of the staff return each year because of the satisfaction felt by achieving a common goal. Plus, there’s a great game going on down on the diamond!
Occasionally, our routine is shaken up. Take rain delays. Although we only had to tarp the infield once during our first season, the 2022 season experienced several torrential spring downpours. When the umpire suspends play, fans crowd into the covered concourse in good-spirited mayhem. People take photos with the team mascot, and bursts of impromptu entertainment help pass the time.
On another night, I discovered a woman lying prone on a food buffet cart and had to get her immediate assistance, which entailed rolling her out of our location along the right field foul line and into a driving rain with her draped in my poncho. By the time her friends drove around to pick her up at the Maple Street gate, a significant chain of Good Samaritans had produced a medical escort, an umbrella rescued from lost and found and a gathering of well-wishers who cheered as she departed the stadium safely. I often refer to the goings-on up in the stands as the game-within-the-game, and that night we lived out a real drama with tremendous success.
What’s in store for season three? The team got off to a good start in the win-loss column, so a league championship isn’t out of the question. And an attendance record was set on the night of the home opener, so maybe more Wichita area residents will discover how much fun it is to spend a night at the ballpark rooting for the home team.
And I guarantee that a certain fan host at Dillon’s Picnic Patio will be formulating the plot of Book 3 of her Romance at Riverfront Park series, in which a baseball museum will serve as the setting for a budding romance. Because at the ballpark, anything is possible.
Cindy M. Amos lives in west Wichita with her engineer husband and cat, Clover, who thinks he’s a guard dog. Her backlist of 47 books can be found on, or by visiting her website at Amos currently teaches two writing classes for the Maize Recreation Department.