Blog Note – The Royals headed south for their final Winter Caravan trip of the month. Public Relations Senior Director Lora Grosshans offers these comments from the road on the first day’s activities. You can read about the Royals Caravan on the home page of royals.com. MLB.com writer **** Kaegel will also continue to report on caravan activities throughout the month.
Three states in one day. That is a travel schedule that would make even the fiercest road warriors proud!
That is exactly what we accomplished Thursday in the first day of our latest caravan trip. We rounded up the trailblazing group of David DeJesus, Joey Gathright, “Big John” Mayberry, J.J. Picollo, and, of course, Sluggerrr, at Kauffman Stadium for a whirlwind trip that will continue to visit cities in southern Missouri and northwest Arkansas before returning to Kansas City on Saturday night.
Our day began with a great stop at the local Wal-Mart in Pittsburg, Kan. We saw a long line of Royals fans, including several youngsters waiting for Sluggerrr, when we arrived and more kept showing up throughout our hour-long appearance. The kind folks at KKOW Radio in Pittsburg, who helped coordinate our stops in their neck of the woods, then guided us across the state line to Joplin, Mo. After grabbing some barbeque at Red, Hot & Blue, our guys kept signing autographs at the Mid-Missouri Bank. Our players have put their John Hancock on a variety of items through the years, but this stop featured a new request – autographing a truck! A Joplin woman and her son asked Big John to come outside and sign the dashboard of their royal blue (what other color is there?) vehicle! That is what is great about caravan…you never know what you are going to get!
After a few questions from the gang as to exactly where we were, we arrived in Bentonville, Ark. Our hour-long appearance at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter turned into closer to 90 minutes because of the great crowd that turned out. Seeing Royals fans in droves energizes even the weariest travelers!
We capped the day by visiting the home of Royals board member Dayna Martz and her family. We had a wonderful time talking baseball, shooting pool and sharing a lot of laughs. A big thank you to the Martz family for their wonderful hospitality!
We’re spending the second day of the trip in Springdale, Ark., the future home of our Double-A affiliate. I can only begin to imagine what the guys will be asked to sign there!