Royals Bowl for Charity, Compete in Home Run Derby during busy weekend
The Royals have been extremely active in their Arizona spring home the last few days. Yesterday, in addition to going through physicals and a typical three-hour workout, catcher John Buck, first baseman Ryan Shealy and do-everything man Mark Teahen drove across the Valley of the Sun to Mark Grace’s Super Bowl Classic. The former Cub and D’Back hosts a celebrity bowling tournament each year in Scottsdale to benefit a specific charity. This season, the proceeds from the event went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Buck, Shealy and Teahen were joined by more than 50 other celebrities and athletes such as Bob Uecker, Greg Maddux, and actor Bill Murray, who displayed his bowling talents as Ernie ‘Big Ern’ McCracken in Kingpin. Shealy rolled the highest score of the night among the three, putting a 173 on the board with the help of Buck, who bowled a strike while Ryan was away for a minute. All three bowled in the straight variety, electing not to put spin on the ball. Buck and Shealy shared a 16-pound ball simply because their fingers wouldn’t fit into any others. Apparently, Buck’s strategy was just to throw the ball as hard as possible at the pins while Shealy and Teahen were a bit more aware of aiming. All three said they were able to make their bowling shoes look good, so we guess that’s something. While none of the three won the tournament, they contributed in other ways, including Mark Teahen’s purchase in the silent auction of an NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals football helmet signed by the entire team. ATH is positive that will become one of Teahen’s prized possessions since he is a die-hard Cardinals fan, season ticket holder, and even made the trip across the country to the Super Bowl a few weeks ago.
Sunday was no less eventful here in Surprise.
The players and coaches arrived early to the complex for photo day. This is the day where all the photo agencies, including MLB Photos, Getty Images, Associated Press and Topps, visit the complex to take photos of the players for 2009. The images you will see all season on Kauffman’s giant CrownVision were created today.
In addition to photo day, today was FanFest day at Surprise Stadium. After the complex-mate Rangers worked out on the field for about an hour, the Boys in Blue took the field at 10 a.m. for a one hour and 15 minute workout complete with batting practice, relay throws and infield practice. Following the on-field workout, the team retired to the back fields for an intrasquad game. Famed bowler Ryan Shealy was one of three Royals to go deep in the intrasquad game.
Manager Trey Hillman was joined by pitchers Joakim Soria, Gil Meche and Ron Mahay for an autograph session and first baseman Kila Ka’aihue, third baseman Corey Smith and catcher J.R. House participated in a home run derby on the Surprise Stadium main field. House and University of Kansas product Travis Metcalf, a Rangers player, tied setting up a swing-off. The former Jayhawk prevailed, but it was a great effort by the Royals catcher and non-roster invite. ATH thinks if they settled it by who could throw a football the longest, House would have prevailed considering he was a big-time quarterback recruit coming out of West Virginia.
Stay tuned for more behind the scenes updates from Surprise, Arizona. Remember, games are just three days away as the Royals kick off the spring slate on Wednesday against the Rangers. Horacio Ramirez is scheduled to get the ball to start the opener.