Royals Charities donated more than $230,000 to 14 area non-profit organizations during the Spring cycle of its Royals Charities Grant Program.
That amount means the charitable arm of the Royals has donated more than $3 million since 2001…all to local charities! That’s a pretty substantial amount of money and we’re just getting started…
This season, Royals Charities is hosting several new events as well as revamping many of its existing programs – all in an effort to help out our community in as many ways as possible. So, here’s a quick rundown of what the Royals Charities factory is cranking out in 2008:
June 26 – Diamond of Dreams: It’s Royals Charities first on-field event and we aren’t holding anything back! Diamond of Dreams: Taking the Field for The Dream Factory is Thursday, June 26 – a Royals off day – on the field at The K with all proceeds benefiting The Dream Factory. Since our Boys in Blue will be in town, several of the players as well as GM Dayton Moore and Manager Trey Hillman will be in attendance to mingle with guests, who are encouraged to dress in their most creative Royals attire. Local 80s band favorite The Zeros will entertain from second base, while guests enjoy a Kansas City-inspired food and drink menu. Individual tickets for this event are going fast, so purchase your Diamond of Dreams tickets now…
May 17 and August 16 – T.A.K.E. Defense: We are inviting all our female fans out to The K to participate in one (or both!) of our T.A.K.E. Defense self-defense classes. The classes are FREE, open only to females and are taking place on the field! The T.A.K.E. Defense program represents a living legacy in honor of Ali Kemp, a 19-year-old Leawood, Kan., resident who was murdered while working as a lifeguard at a neighborhood pool in Johnson County. The goal of the program is to raise awareness and to give women ages 12 and older the self-protection skills they need to avoid becoming the victims of violent crime. All you have to do is register for a class and meet us at The K!
More with T.A.K.E. Defense – Royals Calendars: Sure, April is over, but you can still buy an April-March Royals Players calendar (only $10) to benefit The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation. We are selling them at The K when the guys are in town, but you can also buy them online here. Something we noticed at the last Autograph Afternoon at The K (next one: Sunday, May 11) is that the calendars are great for signing!
Royals Legacy Brick Program: Have you bought your Legacy Brick yet? If not, here’s your chance. The Royals Legacy Brick Program, which benefits Royals Charities (which benefits our community), is giving fans the opportunity to be a part of the tradition of our franchise and leave their marks on Kauffman Stadium. You can order your personalized bricks here.
Royalty Fields: If your baseball/softball fields are in need of repair or revamping, keep sending in those applications for grants through the Royalty Fields Grant Program, which just rewarded these three programs with $5,000 grants:
- Southern Youth Sports, Nebraska
- Lone Jack Athletic Club, Missouri
- Kearney County Community Foundation, Nebraska
Find the Royalty Fields Grant Application here.
Thursday, Aug. 7 – Kansas City Royals Celebrity Golf Tournament: Okay, the details haven’t been officially released on this one, so we’ll keep it to “save this date on the calendar.” Basically, Royals Charities is hosting its first Royals Celebrity Golf Tournament at The National. We all know how baseball players love to golf, so expect the event to involve hitting the links with current and former Royals all raising money for charity. Again, details haven’t been released, but you can call (816) 921-8000 to reserve your spot…
Will it be you this Saturday?
The Royals are hosting their second “610 Saturdays” event presented by Miller Lite prior to the 6:10 p.m. contest with the Toronto Blue Jays. This time, 610 Sports has invited 96.5 The Buzz out to the ballpark to host the event. On-air personality Jason of the “Middays with Jason” show will take over the mic for the event, which also feature a live performance by the band The Away Team.
But, let’s get back to Dave, our Baby Ruth “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” contest winner…
For the first pre-game “610 Saturdays” party, we had 15 to 20 Royals fans who braved the cold to sing along to the traditional Seventh-Inning Stretch song. But, in the end, it was Dave who took home the title for his rendition of the classic. Now, Dave, along with all the other finalists from the Royals “610 Saturdays” this season, will be featured on royals.com. At the end of the season, fans will vote for their favorite Royals singer and the winner will lead the crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the Saturday, September 20 Fan Appreciation Night game, plus win two (2) Royals Season Tickets for 2009!
So…do you think you can beat Dave? If so, then we hope to see you at “610 Saturdays”…
The rain never let up Wednesday evening…leading to a rainout and a doubleheader for Thursday. The first game of the doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians begins at 5:10 p.m. Thursday with the second game starting 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first.
The pitching matchups for the DH:
GAME 1: Carmona vs. Tomko
GAME 2: Lee vs. Bannister
Any fans holding a ticket for Wednesday’s rainout game can redeem their tickets for any Royals regular season game, including Thursday’s DH.
Those of you who were already planning on atttending Thursday’s game are getting a treat: your ticket is good for both games!
Monday afternoon we officially launched losroyals.com – the club’s Spanish-language website - entering into a new era in Royals baseball!
You might not realize this, but on the 25-man roster, we have nine Hispanic players – Alberto Callaspo, Esteban German, Jose Guillen, Leo Nunez, Miguel Olivo, Tony Pena, Jr., Joel Peralta, Ramon Ramirez and Joakim Soria – as well as one Hispanic coach (third base coach Luis Silverio). That’s more than a third of our roster who consider English to be their second language. So, it’s only natural that we want to highlight these players as well as recognize our fast-growing Hispanic-fan base…thus, losroyals.com!
The site, which is updated daily, features MLB.com editorial including game stories, recaps, features, photo galleries and more. There’ll be special ticket programs offered and details on upcoming promotions and events (Viva Los Royals on Sept. 6!) at Kauffman Stadium. In addition, exclusive content on the site will include a recurring series of video profiles provided by Univision Kansas City featuring our Hispanic players. Just like royals.com and the Royals Report, you can also sign up for the site’s official online newsletter, the Royals Boletin. The Royals are among 16 MLB clubs offering Spanish-language websites and the second to do so from the American League Central (joining the Chicago White Sox).
Right as we announced the website launch at the Guadalupe Centers, Inc., Monday afternoon, the first part of a two-part series on Coach Silverio launched on both the Spanish and English sites – a great example of the kind of in-depth pieces you can expect to see on losroyals.com.
And…along with a press release this morning…we also used the afternoon presser to announce the upcoming Royals Baseball Equipment Drive, which is scheduled for Friday, April 25 prior to the Royals-Blue Jays game at The K. The annual drive is collecting new and gently used baseball equipment to benefit the Guadalupe Center Youth Baseball program. As the drive recipients, the Guadalupe Centers, Inc., will also receive a $5,000 grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, which will be presented to them on Wednesday, April 23 prior to the game. For more details on the drive, click here.
So, check out the new site because, as Royals President Dan Glass said during the press conference, “Losroyals.com is a new vehicle the Royals can provide to fans to eliminate another barrier and bring a new culture closer to the team.” Enjoy!
We announced the event schedule for the next homestand and, coupled with the great start the team is having, we are pretty sure you will want to be at the ballpark for every game…
T-SHIRT TUESDAY: Don’t worry about doing your laundry just yet because we are adding to your T-shirt collection with the first T-Shirt Tuesday of the season! Sticking with the 2008 theme, the first 20,000 fans entering the stadium on Tuesday will receive a “New. Blue. Tradition.” T-shirt. It’s the first of six T-Shirt Tuesdays at The K this season!
INK COLLEGE NIGHT: Ink, the area’s new young professional publication, is making its presence known at Kauffman Stadium by sponsoring our Wednesday College Nights. By showing a student I.D., college and/or high school students can get an Outfield Plaza or View Level Box ticket for just $7 on Wednesdays. Just remember: you can only buy College Night tickets at the stadium on the day of the game and ticket windows open 90 minutes prior to game time.
A “DANDI” DAY AT THE K: Trying to right an historical wrong…we are going to make Dandi “Dan” Mackall’s dream of being a batgirl come true! You might not know the story, but in 1961, Dandi won a batboy essay contest for the Kansas City A’s. When it came time to cash in on her prize and hit the field, team officials found out “Dan” was a girl and disqualified her from the contest. Well, fast forward to Wednesday night when Dandi will serve as an honorary batgirl during Royals BP! She’ll also sit in the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat for the game, which – by the way – have you nominated any one yet to receive that honor?
DREAM FACTORY: It’s another season of hosting Dream Factory at The K and we couldn’t be happier to partner up once again and help grant the wish of a Dream Factory child for Wednesday home game! Don’t forget to check out each child’s Royals experience on the KMBC-TV (Channel 9) 10 p.m. newscast in the “Dream Factory” segment.
FRIDAYS AT KAUFFMAN: Is it really a Friday home game without hot dogs for a $1 and fireworks? We didn’t think so either, so we bring you: a Dodge Buck Night-Fireworks Friday double play on April 25!
BASEBALL EQUIPMENT DRIVE: The first of four big drives this season…on Friday, we are collecting new and gently used baseball equipment for Guadalupe Center Youth Baseball Programs prior to the game. The Royals Wives – as well as some volunteers – will be collecting items from 5:30-7 p.m. at Gates A and B of Kauffman Stadium. The Wives will be at Gate B if you want to drop by and say hi!
610 SATURDAYS: The first one was a hit (did you see the photo gallery?) and already it looks as if No. 2 on the 610 Saturdays play list will be just as successful! The Saturday promotion is the Royals Fleece Stadium Blanket (first 20,000 fans, presented by Sprint Wireless) and the fans checking out the 610 Saturdays party will enjoy a live remote from 96.5 The Buzz featuring on-air personality Jason of the “Middays with Jason” show. The event will also feature a special Main Stage performance by the band The Away Team. Don’t forget to listen to 610 Sports on Monday to hear the password for the “610 Pen.”
AUTOGRAPH AFTERNOONS: It’s your first Sunday to score autographs with the Royals Autograph Afternoon event. In case you don’t know, Autograph Afternoons is when select Royals players take time out of their pregame routine to meet fans and sign autographs in the lower seating bowl of Kauffman Stadium from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Get there early because the lines fill up quick!
Diamond of Dreams: Taking the field for The Dream Factory will be Thursday, June 26 on the field at Kauffman Stadium. The fundraiser, which is presented by the Kansas City Zone Dodge Dealers, will benefit the local chapter of The Dream Factory and will feature appearances from General Manager Dayton Moore, Manager Trey Hillman and all your favorite Royals players. In addition, the great local 80s band The Zeros will be in attendance and rockin’ it out on second base. Guests, who are encouraged to don creative Royals attire for the event, will be treated to Kansas City-inspired food and drink menus as well as a silent auction with one-of-a-kind memorabilia.
Like all good things, there are only a limited number of tickets available and you can purchase yours starting today by calling 816.504.4430 or online here at royals.com/diamondofdreams. For those corporations out there, sponsorship opportunities and corporate packages are available (again, call 816.504.4430) and include a private party tent, event tickets and recognition throughout the festivities, as well as a private meet and greet with a member of the team.
All in all, expect a fun, unique night of dreaming on the diamond with the Royals at Diamond of Dreams: Taking the Field for The Dream Factory!
On Monday morning, our email inboxes were full of photos from team photographer Chris Vleisides…all from Opening Week at Kauffman Stadium! Of course, there are lots of good photos. However, probably the best shot of the week, which welcomed more than 139,000 fans and two sell-out crowds to The K, was this one of pitcher Brian Bannister.
Bannister tossed a complete game Sunday afternoon to lead the Royals to a 5-1 victory over the Twins and a 3-3 mark for the homestand. The Royals are now 7-5 to start the season and are on their way to the West Coast for a seven-game road trip against Seattle (two games), the Los Angeles Angels (two) and the Oakland A’s (three). We are working on several photo galleries highlighting Opening Week at The K that should be posted this afternoon on royals.com. Until then, enjoy a couple of these highlights and feel free to share your thoughts from the Royals first homestand of the season!
WHY SHOULD THE ADULTS HAVE ALL THE “WIENIE” FUN?: For the first time in Kauffman Stadium history, we hosted the “Teenie Wienie” Hot Dog Derby. Soon to be a Kauffman Stadium tradition, the Sunday junior version of the popular in-stadium Hot Dog Derby featured three kids – Adam “Ketchup” Cook (age 10), Molly “Relish” Cook (9) and Logan “Mustard” Darr (8) – who donned mini versions of the costumes and raced down the first base line. The end result: a little win for Ketchup!
FUN RUN FUN FOR ALL: The Royals welcomed back the Sprint Fun Run to Sundays at Kauffman Stadium. For the first one of the season, the fans toughed it out through the cold weather – luckily the game lasted just more than two hours – to run the bases. Although actual numbers have not officially been reported, observers of the Sprint Fun Run noticed several adult Royals fans taking advantage of the opportunity to head down to the field following a Royals win!
AUTISM AWARENESS: The Royals hosted Autism Awareness Night at The K on Friday and, in honor of the evening, had Jason McElwin, a former high school basketball student manager with autism spectrum disorder, throw out the ceremonial first pitch. McElwin obtained national attention in 2006 after scoring 20 points in the final four minutes of a high school basketball game - a story that we found out Royals pitcher Brian Bannister knew pretty well. In fact, as soon as Banny heard that ”J-Mac” was throwing out the first pitch he asked to be his catcher…and then asked Jason to send him a copy of his book!
POWDER BLUE MADNESS: The Billy Butler Powder Blue Replica Jerseys – which went to the first 20,000 fans and were presented by FSN Kansas City - were a huge “hit” Saturday. Reports are that fans began lining up - in practically freezing weather – around 11 a.m., and when the gates opened at 4 p.m., the first-time jersey promotion went quick…within 40 minutes, at least 20,000 fans had entered the stadium and many were already sporting the powder blue top. To all those who came out Saturday, did you take the time to notice who might have been handing you your jersey? That’s right, Billy Butler, along with six of his teammates and Manager Hillman, took a break from their pregame routines to greet fans (and thank them for waiting in the cold!) at the entrance gates into The K.
SPEAKING OF COLD…: If you came out to The K at all this past week, we really don’t need to remind you of the cold temperatures, right? Pretty sure most of us here in the front office haven’t warmed up completely yet! Regardless, we made it through and – as we all cross our fingers and toes – hopefully that’s the last frigid homestand of the 2008 season!
CLOSING SHOT: And, as a final note, here is the classic overview shot from the Royals 2008 home opener – enjoy!
As one of several “green” changes at Kauffman Stadium this season, we just announced a new partnership with Rock and Wrap it Up! – a nationally known program that works with sports teams to help fight hunger in the community. The Royals, with help from the club’s food service providers Aramark and Centerplate, will distribute all the extra food items from the concession stands and clubhouses to Harvesters – the Community Food Network.
The Rock and Wrap it Up! program was launched in 2003 with help from Mike Maroth, who is currently pitching for the Omaha Royals, and his wife, Brooke. Now, just five years later, several MLB teams – including Detroit (Maroth’s former team), Atlanta, Boston, St. Louis and both New York teams – have launched the program at their stadiums.
For more information on Rock and Wrap it Up! check out their website at http://www.rockandwrapitup.org/index/.
Yup, we have taken the first two against the Yankees to maintain first place in the standings and will try for the sweep – our second of the young season – Thursday evening when lefty John Bale takes the mound against New York’s Andy Pettitte, first pitch at 7:10 p.m.
Forecast calls for continued rain…but thanks to our amazing grounds crew, maybe we won’t have to worry about the weather holding up the game.
Before the Royals take the field, though, some off-field news and opening homestand highlights for you…
BREAKFAST WITH BANNY: Brian Bannister had a quick night on Wednesday in order to appear at the 33rd Annual Overland Park Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Thursday. More than 500 people were in attendance for the 6:45 a.m. breakfast in order to hear from the Royals right-hander. After being introduced, Banny stated that the last speech he gave was in eighth grade English class, however, by the talk he shared you would have never guessed he wasn’t more accustomed to talking in front of large crowds. Discussing his life growing up as a child of a Major League Baseball player (former Royals pitcher Floyd Bannister), walking onto the USC baseball team and battling through life in the Minor Leagues, it is clear Brian was determined to make it as a big leaguer. Even with the early (and we mean, early!) wakeup, Brian delighted the guests, which included local mayors, supporters and others whose goal is to encourage spirituality and morality in the lives of every day citizens.
FRIDAY CONCOURSE AUCTION: During Friday’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins, we will host the first of several Silent Concourse Auctions at Kauffman Stadium this season. Each month, we plan to partner with a different local cause and hold a silent auction featuring Royals memorabilia.
As part of Autism Awareness Month, we are holding the concourse auction for Autism Alliance of Greater Kansas City as well as hosting ”Autism Awareness Night at The K.” You can start bidding on the auction items (listed below!) as soon as the gates open for the 7:10 p.m. contest.
- Billy Butler Autographed Baseball
- Gil Meche Autographed Baseball
- Brian Bannister Autographed Baseball
- Luke Hochevar Autographed Baseball
- Joey Gathright Game Used Bat
- Alex Gordon Autographed Bat
- John Buck Autographed Bat
- Mark Teahen Autographed Black Jersey
- Jimmy Gobble Autographed Blue Jersey
- Joakim Soria Autographed Photo
- Jose Guillen Autographed Photo
- Zack Greinke Autographed Photo
MORE ON “AUTISM AWARENESS NIGHT AT THE K”: The night will also feature several opportunities throughout the evening to raise awareness and support for autism spectrum disorder as well as a ceremonial first pitch thrown by Jason McElwin. McElwin, a former high school basketball student manager with autism spectrum disorder, obtained national attention in 2006 after scoring 20 points in the final four minutes of a high school basketball game. Check out the ESPN story:
Opening Day at Kauffman Stadium is always an exciting and special day for us here at the Royals, but this year, we had even more than a 5-2 victory over the Yankees to cheer about!
Bridget Lynn Burgess!
Kim Burgess, Royals Sr. Director of Marketing, and her husband, Gary, welcomed Baby Bridget at 11:08 a.m. on Tuesday, four hours and two minutes before first pitch! Baby Bridget weighed in at 7 pounds and 1 ounce and 17 1/2 inches long and baby, Mom and Dad are all doing well!
On behalf of the entire Royals Family…congrats to Kim and Gary for their big “hit” on Opening Day – we can’t wait to see Baby Bridget out at The K!