With the Crown Scoreboard coming down this past weekend, the view of Kauffman Stadium from I-70 is definitely different.
No word on when the new scoreboard will be arriving at The K, but we’ll keep you posted.
Just found out from our friends over at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum that tickets are still available for the Thursday (tonight!) roundtable discussion: ******* Yankees: A Royal Rivalry Revisited.” The event, which a handful of us here at the Royals are attending, will focus on the 30th anniversary of the 1977 American League Championship Series that pitted the Royals against the New York Yankees. Scheduled guests include Frank White, Fred Patek, Dennis Leonard, Amos Otis, Dock Ellis, Jimmy “The Toy Cannon” Wynn, Mickey Rivers and Bucky Dent. Willie Wilson and KC Star columnist Joe Posnanski are the special guest moderators.
The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo. General Admission tickets are $25 ($20 for NLBM active members) and can be purchased by calling the NLBM at (816) 221-1920.
And…speaking of the Negro Leagues, hopefully everyone heard the Hall of Fame’s big announcement about Buck O’Neil. If you haven’t, read all about it here. Also, we will have the nomination form for the 2008 Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat program up soon, so keep checking royals.com for that.
Meetings for the Royals FanFest are now a weekly thing as we nail down the details for the Jan. 19, all-day event at the Overland Park Convention Center. The “fan extravaganza” is less than three months away and – like a lot things around Kauffman Stadium lately (i.e. a new manager, new coaches, new scoreboard, big construction craziness, etc…) – the excitement is building.
In addition to what we have already announced on royals.com/fanfest, we also know:
- The event will include BOTH live and silent auctions to benefit Royals Charities.
- Ticket information will be available soon.
- All ticket proceeds will benefit Royals Charities.
- Season ticket holders will get an exclusive offer.
- Oh, and we have a logo!
Of course, keep checking royals.com/fanfest and this blog for more details and information as we get closer to the event. We are positive it’s something you won’t want to miss!
In Monday’s press conference, Manager Trey Hillman did say he and General Manager Dayton Moore were "very close" when it came to choosing the coaching staff…
Just released from Media Relations:
The Kansas City Royals today announced their coaching staff for the 2008 season. Manager Trey Hillman will be joined by returning coaches Mike Barnett (Hitting Coach), Bob McClure (Pitching Coach) and Luis Silverio (Third Base Coach), while Dave Owen (Bench Coach), Rusty Kuntz (First Base Coach) and John Mizerock (Bullpen Coach) are new for 2008.
Barnett, 48, returns for his third season as the Royals hitting coach. He previously served as the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays from 2002-2005. McClure, 54, enters his third season as the Royals pitching coach. His 2007 pitching staff finished seventh in the American League in ERA after finishing 14th in 2006. Silverio, 51, enters his 33rd year in the Royals organization and his sixth as a coach with the Major League club. He returns to third base in 2008 after coaching at first in 2007. Silverio coached first base from 2003-2004 and third base from 2005-2006.
Owen, 49, joins the Royals after spending this past summer on the bench next to Trey Hillman with the Nippon Ham Fighters. Prior to that, Owen served in the Philadelphia organization, most recently as the Phils’ Minor League Infield Coordinator. He joined the Phillies in 2000 as a scout after serving in the same capacity with the Tigers and White Sox. Owen played for the Chicago Cubs from 1983-1985 and had a brief stint with the Royals in 1988.
Kuntz, 52, who will also work with outfielders and baserunners, joins the Royals after spending the last five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kuntz worked with the Major League club and the Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis in 2006-2007. He was the first base coach for the Pirates from 2003-2005. He has been a first base coach for the Florida Marlins (1995-1996 and 1999-2000) and the Seattle Mariners (1989-1992). Kuntz, drafted by the White Sox in 1977, played in the Major Leagues for Chicago (1979-83), Minnesota (1983), and Detroit (1984-85). He delivered the game-winning RBI in the fifth and deciding game of the 1984 World Series.
Mizerock, 47, enters his 16th season in the Kansas City organization. He returns to the Major League club, where he worked as the bullpen coach and interim manager in 2002 and as the third base coach in 2003-2004. Mizerock led the Class-A Wilmington Blue Rocks to the Carolina League playoffs in 2007 and earned Manager of the Year honors from Baseball America in 1999 for his work with the Wichita Wranglers.
No, he wasn’t referencing a desire for some Kansas City BBQ…yet…but rather the deep hunger he has for winning. And, for all of us with the Royals, we couldn’t have heard anything more direct and perfect from our new manager.
In a 2 p.m. press conference Monday, General Manager Dayton Moore officially introduced Hillman as the Royals manager. With players Mark Teahen and John Buck standing in support off to the side, Hillman slipped on a Royals jersey and got his first taste of the Kansas City media, which flooded into Kauffman Stadium’s interview room.
Prior to fielding questions from the media, Hillman first met one of his new families – the Royals front office – in a brief welcome reception that had the Texas-born manager pledging a slogan we can all get on board with: Total Commitment. It’s a pretty simple message from a guy who considers himself pretty simple, but effective in delivering success.
The packed press conference lasted just under an hour and Hillman accepted the Royals welcome by addressing everyone in Japanese – a skill he’s picked up as manager of the Nippon Ham Fighters for the past five years. He then made it clear that he’ll be happy to answer any and all questions in English. And, from there, the ball rolled smoothly for the new skipper.
Hillman – in Kansas City for just three days – heads back to Japan now to manage the Fighters in the Japan Series. The team is going for back-to-back championship titles – something we are all looking forward to doing in Kansas City soon. Welcome (aka: Konichiwa) to The K, Manager Hillman!
As far as the weather goes, it’s a dreary morning at The K. However, with everything going on around here on this gray Monday, we still can’t help but be excited.
First: press conference at 2 p.m. today to introduce new Manager Trey Hillman. Hillman is in town for just a short trip before heading back to Japan to manage the Nippon Ham Fighters in the 2007 Japan Series later this week. More on Hillman and the press conference this afternoon.
Now…some big construction took place over the weekend. The biggest, of course, the Crown Scoreboard coming down. This weekend, Royals associate Ben Mertens snapped these great shots of the dismantling.
From the Royals Media Relations Department:
Kansas City, MO (October 19, 2007) – The Kansas City Royals today announced they have reached an agreement on a multi-year contract with Trey Hillman as manager. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Hillman, 44, is currently managing the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan’s Pacific League and will be introduced to the Kansas City media in a 2 p.m. press conference on Monday in the interview room at Kauffman Stadium.
“I am delighted to announce that we have hired Trey Hillman as our manager,” said Dayton Moore, Senior Vice President and General Manager. “He is an exceptional person with a great passion to lead. He is the perfect choice for our organization.
“Trey has spent the last five seasons turning the Nippon Ham Fighters into one of the top success stories in Japanese baseball, including three trips to the post-season,” Moore added. “In fact, the reason we are unable to introduce Trey today is because his club has just advanced to the finals of the Japan Series, where they will resume play on October 27. We also want to respect the fact that the Indians and Red Sox are in a battle for the American League title and we don’t want to do anything to detract from the excitement of that series.”
Hillman, a native of Arlington, Texas, will be traveling from Japan over the next couple of days, but provided a comment regarding his new role as the manager of the Royals.
“This is a wonderful blessing and a great opportunity to build a winner in Kansas City,” said Hillman. “I’ll be joining an organization with tradition and pride while working with individuals that share my vision for success.”
Hillman attended the University of Texas-Arlington, earning All-Southland Conference honors as a shortstop for three seasons. He was inducted into the UTA Athletic Hall of Honor in 1992. He signed as a free agent with the Indians in 1985 and played in their system for three seasons. After spending the 1987-88 seasons as a scout for Cleveland, Hillman’s coaching career took off. His first role was as a coach for a Prince William club that won the Carolina League Championship crown in 1989.
He followed with his first of 11 consecutive years as a manager in the New York Yankees’ chain, starting as a 27-year-old skipper and recording a first-place finish with Oneonta (A) in 1990 and running through the 2001 campaign with Columbus (AAA). His three years at Columbus featured a 225-203 record, including an International League best 85-58 mark in 1999 and league Manager of the Year honors in 2000. He also earned the honor in 1996 in the Florida State League, and was voted Baseball America’s Class A Manager of the Year.
Hillman then became a very popular figure in Japan, leading the Ham Fighters from a stretch of dismal campaigns to a composite 351-324 mark (.520 winning percentage) over five seasons, going to the post-season on three occasions, including a Japan Series title in 2006. His efforts were rewarded when he was named the 2006 Japan “Sportsman of the Year” by the 2006 Foreign Sportswriters of Japan.
On Thursday night in Japan, Hillman’s club defeated Bobby Valentine’s Chiba Lotte Marines to take the Pacific League championship and advance to the 2007 Japan Series final that will begin next week.
“We would be remiss if the Kansas City Royals didn’t thank the Nippon Ham Fighters for graciously allowing this process to take place during a very exciting and busy time in their season,” added Moore. “We wish them the very best as they continue their march to what all of us hope is a second consecutive Japan League title.”
Hillman and his wife, Marie, have two children, T.J. and Brianna, and make their home in Arlington.
Our chairs and desks are only slightly shaking despite the massive construction taking place at the stadium Thursday. There are several sets of crews working all around Kauffman and most of them have the jack hammers going at full speed. Here’s a brief rundown and some photos of what’s happening out here. Keeping safety in mind – which we always are doing – we could only get so close to snap our photos.
One of the spiral ramps along the third base side is coming down. There hasn’t been a big blast as of lunchtime on Thursday, but it is scheduled to be completely demolished soon. Right now, construction workers are removing the concrete that connects the ramp to the concourse.
They have demolished the left field concession stands and are “jack hammering” through some concrete in the Dugout Plaza level along the first base side.
We should have a photo gallery of the renovation progress on royals.com shortly. Sounds like the web cameras will be installed by the end of the month.
We just had this picture of Buck O’Neil created for our website and Community Newsletter. The picture is a mosaic composed of individual photos of the 2007 Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat recipients. We honored a member of the community for each of the Royals 81 home games this year. Learn more about the "Buck Seat" program or about the 2007 recipients here.