Notes from Spring Training

Hillman_lineup_3020a As many of you know, Spring Training got underway for the Royals Wednesday when Kansas City faced the Texas Rangers to open Cactus League play. The Royals fell in the opener, 6-1, but it was nice to officially get a game under the belt. Check out the box score and game summary here. We thought you might enjoy some notes from the game as well as some other club-related news…

Six Up, Six Down: Right-hander Luke Hochevar tossed a pair of perfect innings in Wednesday’s exhibition contest. The Royals 2006 first-round draft selection pitched the third and fourth innings for Kansas City, retiring all six of the batters he saw as well as not letting a ball leave the infield. Hochevar_3325aHe then returned to the dugout where he ended up getting a little sick…you can read all about those details from **** Kaegel at royals.com. If Hochevar breaks camp with the Major League team, would you rather see him in the rotation or the bullpen?

Remembering NIU: Along with the Cactus League opener, the city of Surprise also hosted another special event Wednesday when they welcomed the men’s baseball team from Northern Illinois University to participate in the Sixth Annual Coca-Cola Baseball Classic at Surprise Stadium. The Royals teamed up with the Texas Rangers and the tournament sponsors to extend the invitation to NIU – the university that was the site of a tragic-shooting incident earlier this month. D2h_7953_1Prior to Wednesday’s game, the Royals and Rangers recognized the team the field and after the exhibition, manager Trey Hillman and Royals Hall of Famer Frank White met with the team. NIU also stepped onto a Surprise Complex field for practice Wednesday afternoon to prepare for the tournament that begins Thursday. D2h_7904_1 We’ll put a complete photo gallery from the NIU visit up on royals.com soon.

Webcasts a Global Hit: The Royals first venture into webcasting proved pretty successful. During the webcast Wednesday, new broadcaster Steve Stewart received more than 100 emails – 106 to be exact – to the radiobooth@royals.com email address. We heard from fans all over the Kansas City area along with some Royals faithful around the world in places such as South Africa, Brazil, United Kingdom and Australia. All the Royals 2008 games – Spring Training, regular season and post season – will be available via webcasts. If you haven’t set up a subscription yet, you can do so here.

Bannister_brianPremium Tables = Sold Out: Ticket sales for the annual Welcome Home Luncheon – scheduled for April 9 at The Westin – we are sold out of the Premium tables (the ones with the players/coaches/alumni). Tables of 10 and individual seats are still available for the event. Thanks to all those who were quick to buy – this event is one of our favorite each year, so thanks for your support! If you haven’t bought a ticket or a regular table yet, you can purchase it here on royals.com. We hope to see you there!

Banny Chats: We know you have been wanting to pick Brian Bannister’s brain since he joined the team, so here is your chance! Banny is scheduled to be the next participant in the Royals Relay Chat Series on Tuesday, March 4 at 4 p.m (CST) from Spring Training camp. Olivo_3965aTo join in on the chat, you have to register, which you can take care of right here, right now…if you haven’t already!

Images from Spring Training: And…we’ll wrap up this notes blog with some pictures from the Royals Spring opener. On Thursday, we have an intrasquad game and then Friday the team heads to Peoria, Ariz., to play the Padres, 2:05 p.m. (CST). Enjoy!

Miguel Olivo suited up to man the plate…

Butler_3128a …Billy Butler at first base… 

Dejesus_3033a_1…David DeJesus up to bat… 

Bale_3097a

…and starter John Bale – who struck out the side in the first inning -tossing from the mound.

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