Royals Feel the Love in Kansas City

Blog Note – The Royals wrapped up their Kansas City Area Caravan this past weekend with a busy schedule in Kansas City on Friday before heading north to St. Joseph and Cameron, Mo., on Saturday. Royals associate Megan Stock had these comments about Friday’s Forecast Luncheon, while Royals Vice President of Public Relations Toby Cook chimed in with a description of Saturday. You can read more about the Royals Caravan on the home page of royals.com. MLB.com writer **** Kaegel will also continue to report on caravan 2007_forecast_luncheon_dayton_and_danactivities throughout the month.

“Hey, Frank White. Look at this!”

While biting into my coffee-toffee-cheesecake-dessert thing, I heard the tiny voice resonate from across the table. The owner of the comment was 4-year-old Robert Moore, the son of Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, and he was seated across from me while Royals Hall of Fame second baseman Frank White sat to my left at the 15th Annual Baseball Forecast Luncheon last Friday. The luncheon was the first of two Royals Caravan events in Kansas City with the second sponsored by Sports Radio 810 WHB and taking place at a packed 810 Zone in Leawood, Kan., that evening. At the luncheon, Robert, who, it turned out, had many things to show Frank White throughout the course of the meal, easily became the center of attention at our table – a definite family trait he picked up from his dad, who has become the talk of the town here in Kansas City.

This was Robert’s first Forecast Luncheon in Kansas City, and he couldn’t have picked a better one to make his debut. With an estimated 600 fans in attendance, the room was bursting with enthusiasm for the season, most of it thanks to his dad. While the younger Moore spent the event decorating the pages of his Royals baseball notebook, the older Moore joined Royals President Dan Glass and players John Buck and Luke Hudson on stage for a Q & A that had fans asking about minor league development, additions to the pitching staff, the direction Moore is taking the team and why Buck insists on keeping bag pipes as his walk-up music. Just about every question came with praise for the team’s off-season aggressiveness and excitement for better things to come. There was no denying from that tone of the crowd that Kansas City is ready to house a championship team once again! 2007_forecast_luncheon_luke_signingBut, in the end, I think it was a quiet comment made off stage by Dayton’s wife, Marianne, that summed up what all of us in Royals Nation are really thinking.

It all happened when Frank White decided he had something for young Robert Moore to “look at.” As the rest of the table watched in silence, Frank slipped the 1985 World Series ring off his finger and gently passed it around the table. Robert (with the help of mom – it’s a pretty heavy ring, after all) held the ring in his small hands, his eyes growing wide. As Robert examined the ring, we all listened in as his mom whispered to him, “You’ll have one of these soon enough.”

Blog Note Part Two – Here’s Toby’s take on the third and final day of the KC-area caravan.  The trip started out early Saturday morning from Kauffman Stadium and ended back at the same spot with four inches of snow on the ground.

A big thanks to Royals assistant director of player development, Scott Sharp, and “no thanks” to a weather website we won’t mention. Scott fired up his computer from his Kauffman Stadium office to check on the forecast for us Saturday morning. We knew another winter storm planned to start dumping snow later in the day. Scott checked out the hour-by-hour forecast and said it looked like we might get back home before trouble hit. We almost made it.

Dry roads paved the way to a one-and-a-half hour stop at the Hy-Vee in St. Joseph, Mo., and a great crowd. Eagle Communications hosted the event. One of its radio stations in town, 680 AM KFEQ, carries our games on the Royals Radio Network and broadcast live during our entire stay. General Manager Gary Exline then took us to a local hotel, where John Buck and Luke Hudson ate pizza with a select group of Special Olympians. Royals broadcaster Denny Matthews and Royals Hall of Famer Dennis Leonard also dug in. We then drove the short distance to Cameron, Mo., for, well, dessert. Royals radio affiliate KKWK arranged for a 90-minute signing at the Dairy Queen, where the franchise owners offered half-priced Royal Treats. DQ might sound like a funny place to hold a caravan stop, especially in mid-January. But the idea was nothing short of brilliant. The whole town, it seemed, packed into that small restaurant and made us feel as welcomed as any stop on this 30-city tour. 

Some of us called home to find the snow had already started falling in KC.  We jumped on the bus a bit early and made it 20 minutes out of Cameron before running into snow and slick roads. Driver Phil took it slow and got everyone home safely…another caravan in the books. We unpacked and checked the weather site again. Not surprisingly, the 40 percent chance of a “wintry mix” by 5 p.m. had turned to “snow now falling.” Yeah, we knew that. We also knew that our fourth caravan of the month had turned out thousands of Royals fans excited about 2007. And, while there are no guarantees in forecasting, there’s a better than 60 percent chance, we figure, of no snow by Opening Day. Let’s hope the same can be said for rain.

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