Reminder: Royals Caravan to Warrensburg, Jefferson City and Springfield on Sunday, Springdale and Pittsburg on Monday!
Billy Butler, Kila Ka’aihue and Jeff Montgomery will visit fans in Warrensburg, Jefferson City and Springfield, Mo.; Springdale, Ark.; and Pittsburg, Kan., on the annual Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Kansas City. The group will also participate in a school visit to Fayetteville, Ark.
A schedule of Caravan events is listed below and at royals.com/caravan.
South Caravan Trip, Day #1: Sunday, January 23 (Warrensburg, Jefferson City, Springfield, Mo.)
11:30-12:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Fitters Pizza and Pub – 131 W Pine St. in Warrensburg (Hosted by KOKO Radio)
3-4 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Hy-Vee – 3721 W Truman Blvd in Jefferson City (Hosted by KLIK Radio)
7-8 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Coyote’s Adobe Café – 1742 South Glenstone in Springfield
South Caravan Trip, Day #2: Monday, January 24 (Fayetteville, Springdale, Ark., Pittsburg, Kan.)
11:30-1:30 p.m.: Luncheon at Holiday Inn – 1500 South 48th St. in Springdale (Hosted by NW Arkansas Naturals and Springdale Rotary Club)
Luncheon tickets are $15, which includes a buffet lunch.
For tickets, contact the NWA Naturals at 479-927-4900.
4-5 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Meadowbrook Mall – 202 E Centennial Dr. in Pittsburg (Hosted by KKOW Radio and Cox Communications)
The Royals have agreed to terms with first baseman Billy Butler on a four-year contract through the 2014 season with a club option for 2015. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Butler, 24, has won back-to-back Les Milgram Player of the Year awards in 2009 and 2010, joining George Brett as the only two players in franchise history to win the award in the back-to-back seasons. He hit a career-high .318 last year with 45 doubles, 15 home runs and 78 RBI, ranking in the top 10 in the American League in batting (sixth), hits (tied for third, 189), doubles (tied for fourth), multi-hit games (fourth, 54) and on-base percentage (seventh, .388). Butler’s 96 doubles are the most in the Major Leagues since the beginning of the 2009 season.
Selected by the Royals in the first round (14th overall) in the 2004 Draft, Butler is a career .299 hitter with 141 doubles, 55 home runs and 278 RBI in 533 Major League games since making his debut in 2007. Born in Orange Park, Fla., he and his wife, Katie, have a daughter, Kenley, and reside in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Billy will be participating in the Royals Caravan that will visit Warrensburg, Jefferson City and Springfield, Mo. on Sunday. The group will visit Springdale, Ark. and Pittsburg, Kan. on Monday. We’ll bring you a recap of Billy’s press conference, which will take place on Tuesday in Kansas City.
We had a great time at FanFest on Friday! Join us today – the doors opened at 9:00 and the event runs until 7:00! Let’s take a look at a few pictures from yesterday:
Bruce Chen and Kyle Davies made new friends through the Sprint Phone-a-Friend. Chen was asking people what they had for dinner…Billy Butler met one of his young fans…and kids of all ages took their swings on the Royals Diamond.
New teammates Jeff Francoeur and Joakim Soria showed up at FanFest today wearing matching plaid shirts…take a look!
FanFest continues on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the Royals Awards show taking place on the main stage from 1:30 to 2:30. Be there to see Billy Butler and Joakim Soria receive their player and pitcher of the year awards! Bruce Chen will be presented with the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award and several top prospects will be honored, including Mike Moustakas and John Lamb.
The Royals Caravan headed to St. Joseph, Mo., and Omaha, Neb., on Thursday. Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar, Frank White and John Mayberry traveled on the Caravan Bus to meet 200 fans near the salad bar at Hy-Vee in St. Joe. They went room-to-room talking with kids at the Omaha Children’s Hospital and then visited with 350 Royals fans at the Omaha Storm Chasers event.
Mitch Maier was to join the crew, but his flight was canceled during the big snow storm that blanketed Kansas City on Wednesday Night. Mitch will have to join Gordon’s homecoming to the Cornhusker state next year!
The Royals and 610 Sports Radio (KCSP) today announced the first 14 broadcasts of the 2011 Royals Spring Training Radio schedule that will air on 610 AM, the flagship station of the Royals. All Spring Training contests will be webcast on royals.com, including the games not on 610 Sports Radio. The Royals and 610 Sports Radio will add six more broadcasts once the NCAA Tournament schedule is released due to 610’s commitment to University of Kansas men’s basketball.
The 2011 spring radio broadcast schedule is as follows:
Sunday, February 27 @ Texas
Wednesday, March 2 @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Thursday, March 3 @ Los Angeles Angels
Friday, March 4 Chicago Cubs
Sunday, March 6 @ Chicago White Sox
Monday, March 7 @ San Diego
Wednesday, March 9 @ Chicago Cubs
Tuesday, March 15 Oakland
Wednesday, March 16 @ Cincinnati
Monday, March 21 Cleveland
Tuesday, March 22 Los Angeles Angels
Wednesday, March 23 @ Cleveland
Monday, March 28 Milwaukee
Tuesday, March 29 Chicago White Sox
*All Times Central – Game Times Subject to Change
Royals Hall of Famer Denny Matthews will share Spring Training play-by-play duties with Bob Davis, Steve Stewart, and Ryan Lefebvre. Stewart will anchor the exhibition webcasts and will be joined periodically throughout the spring by his fellow Royals broadcast partners as well as members of the Royals baseball operations department and various media in attendance on a given day.
Royals Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Wilson met the new #6 tonight as Lorenzo Cain joined his teammates at the Season Ticket Holder event. We overheard Willie telling the story of how he got #6. He wore #19 when he arrived with the Royals in 1976. Wilson then switched to #32 in 1977. Larry Gura.decided to take #32 for the 1978 season. John Schuerholz, who was the scouting director at the time, told Wilson that “he looked like a number 6″. That’s the number he received and kept for the rest of his time with the Royals!
The Royals have announced that left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis, who agreed to terms on January 14, was officially added to the 40-man Major League roster after passing a physical examination. To clear a spot on the Major League 40-man roster, the Royals designated left-handed pitcher Dusty Hughes for assignment.
Hughes, 28, was 1-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 57 relief appearances in 2010. His 57 appearances were the second-most in the American League among rookies.
FOX Sports Kansas City will take fans inside the 2011 Royals FanFest with two TV specials and highlights on FOXSportsKansasCity.com. The first 30-minute Royals FanFest show will premiere Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Kansas City.
The TV specials will consist of one-on-one interviews with Royals players and highlights from the FanFest’s main stage, including a Q&A with general manager Dayton Moore.
Royals FanFest TV specials on FOX Sports Kansas City:
Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. CT (episode 1)
Saturday, Jan. 29 at 8:30 p.m. (episode 1)
Monday, Jan. 31 at 10 p.m. (episode 1)
Thursday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. (episode 2)
Saturday, Feb. 5 at 11:30 a.m. (episode 2)
Sunday, Feb. 6 at 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. (episodes 1 and 2)
Sunday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. (episodes 1 and 2)
FOX Sports Kansas City is entering its fourth season as the exclusive TV home of the Royals. The 2011 Royals TV schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, the Royals and The University of Kansas Hospital announced the hospital would become the official medical provider for the team.
Under the agreement, The University of Kansas Hospital and its partner, The University of Kansas Physicians, have already begun to provide medical services to the team beginning with player examinations and will be with the team at spring training beginning in February. Vincent Key, MD, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, will serve as primary team physician, leading a team of physicians providing care ranging from physical assessments at spring training to on-site attendance at every home game.
The hospital and the Royals will conduct three Health Awareness Days at Kauffman Stadium as well as VIP Patient Days and provide first aid for fans at every home game along with other events scheduled at Kauffman Stadium. In addition, the hospital will have marketing opportunities at the stadium. The Royals will conduct several on-site visits to The University of Kansas Hospital featuring players, alumni, Sluggerrr and front office personnel.
Both organizations also will join together in future charitable events.
At left (L to R): Bob Page, President and CEO of The University of Kansas Hospital, GM Dayton Moore, Dr. Key and Assistant GM Dean Taylor discuss the partnership. Below, Moore and Page presented jerseys to one another. Also below, staff members at The University of Kansas Hospital cheer on the announcement of the new partnership.