May 2011

Royals announce additional tornado relief efforts: Fans can donate cash and items at Kauffman Stadium, beginning this evening

 The Royals and Royals Charities, the charitable arm of the club, have announced additional plans to support local relief efforts for Joplin, Mo., and Reading, Kan. – two area communities hit by devastating tornadoes over the weekend.  Royals Charities announced earlier this week a donation of $35,000 to Heart to Heart to support its relief efforts.

Kauffman Stadium to Serve as Drop-Off Location:  Heart to Heart International, an emergency response organization based in Olathe, Kan., will be stationed at Kauffman Stadium beginning tonight, accepting cash donations and supplies to be used for hygiene care kits.  Fans may drop off items in Lot M outside of Kauffman Stadium’s Gate C (Home Plate entrance) during the following times:

                        Wednesday, May 25        5-8 p.m.

                        Thursday, May 26            9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

                        Friday, May 27                  9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Cash donations are encouraged as Heart to Heart can use funds to purchase exactly what is needed at the disaster sites.  However, fans wanting to donate items are encouraged to bring items for hygiene care kits such as washcloths, hand towels, bar soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and adhesive bandages.  More details on items needed can be found at www.royals.com/relief or www.hearttoheart.org.

Text to Donate:  Fans may also help immediately by texting “HHI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Heart to Heart International or by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief. 

American Red Cross In-Stadium Collections:  When the Royals return to Kauffman Stadium next week, fans will have an opportunity to donate cash to the American Red Cross.  Volunteers will be stationed around the ballpark during the series with the Los Angeles Angels, May 30-June 1.  Fans who make a cash donation of at least $5 will receive a voucher that may be redeemed for a complimentary Hy-Vee View ticket to their choice of select games through July 24 (while supplies last). 

Tornado Relief Online Auction:  The club is hosting a silent auction featuring unique baseball memorabilia, including game-used items from Eric Hosmer’s first Major League game on May 6, with all proceeds going toward tornado relief efforts in Joplin, Reading and the southern United States that was hit by a series of destructive tornadoes in late April.  The auction is now open, and fans will have an opportunity to bid on these unique items by visiting www.royals.com/relief until Friday, June 3.

In addition to these efforts, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the club’s Double-A affiliate located just 77 miles from Joplin in Springdale, Ark., is also planning a collection of cash and supplies throughout its next homestand, June 1-6.  The Naturals will also be hosting additional fundraisers for the Ozarks Red Cross, highlighted by a memorabilia auction on Saturday, June 6.  In addition, the Naturals will be providing free tickets to those from Joplin for the entire homestand (valid ID required).

Pitcher Kanekoa Texeira claimed on Outright Waivers by the Yankees

The Royals announced today that right-handed relief pitcher Kanekoa Texeira, who was designated for assignment on May 18, was claimed on Outright Waivers by the New York Yankees.  The Royals’ Major League roster remains at 40 players.  Texeira, 25, posted a 2.84 ERA and no record in six relief appearances for Kansas City in 2011, allowing two runs on 13 hits and three walks in 6.1 innings.

Royals Hall of Fame pitcher Paul Splittorff passes away at age 64; team to wear memorial patch

 The Kansas City Royals are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Royals’ Hall of Fame pitcher and broadcaster Paul Splittorff, 64, due to complications from melanoma.  The all-time winningest pitcher in franchise history passed away this morning at the family home in Blue Springs, Mo.

“This is a very difficult day for our organization due to the passing of Paul Splittorff,” said Royals Owner and CEO David Glass.  “My prayers go out to Lynn, Jennifer and Jamie, who like all of us will miss him terribly.  Paul was a lifer as a Kansas City Royal, first as a stalwart on the field who became the winningest pitcher in franchise history and then transforming himself into an outstanding broadcaster.  We will not only miss the insight and humor that he injected into every telecast, but most importantly we will miss his friendship.  He epitomized class and was always a great ambassador for the Kansas City Royals.”

 Splittorff’s entire big league career was spent in a Royals uniform from 1970-1984, where he compiled a record of 166-143 with a 3.81 ERA in 429 appearances, including 392 starts.  The club’s 25th-round pick in the 1968 amateur draft is the Royals’ all-time leader in wins, starts and innings pitched (2,554.2) and was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1987.  Splittorff, who became the club’s first 20-game winner in 1973, averaged nearly 15 wins and 220 innings per season from 1972-1980.  He made seven postseason appearances, including four starts, going 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA.  He started the 1980 ALCS Game 3 clincher at Yankee Stadium, allowing just one run in 5.1 innings.

Upon retiring from baseball in 1984, Splittorff worked in broadcasting as both an analyst and in play-by-play.  2011 was his 24th season as a Royals television broadcaster and he also worked basketball games for the Big 8 and Big 12 conferences as well as local high school events.

Splittorff was born in Evansville, Ind., and was raised in Arlington Heights, Ill., where he graduated from Arlington High School.  He starred in both baseball and basketball at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, before being selected by the Royals.  Splittorff is survived by his wife, Lynn, daughter, Jennifer, and son, Jamie.

To honor Splittorff’s memory, the Royals will wear a memorial patch that says “Splitt” on the sleeve of their jerseys the remainder of the season.  Funeral arrangements and other plans to honor Splittorff will be announced at a later date.

Remembering Paul Splittorff

We were deeply saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Royals’ Hall of Fame pitcher and broadcaster Paul Splittorff due to complications from melanoma.  The all-time winningest pitcher in franchise history passed away at the family home in Blue Springs, MO. 

“Splitt” was a member of the franchise from the beginning – he was a 25th round pick in 1968 out of Morningside College in Iowa.  He debuted with Kansas City in 1970 and went on to win 166 games before retiring in 1984.  Here are some photos of Paul:

 

Ballpark Blueprint: Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat

Today we continue our Ballpark Blueprint series with the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat.

Baseball ambassador Buck O’Neil never knew a stranger.  Those of us lucky enough to have met him during his 94 years can attest to that.  O’Neil, a former batting champion in the Negro Leagues before becoming the first black coach in Major League Baseball, called Kansas City home and was a fixture around Kauffman Stadium.  In addition to championing the works of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, he spent several years sitting behind home plate at Kauffman Stadium as both a Kansas City Royals scout and fan.

He is truly missed at the ballpark, but the Royals continue to pay tribute to this inspirational pioneer through the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat program.  After his passing in October 2006, the Royals introduced the program in 2007 to recognize those who – on a large or small scale – embody Buck’s vibrant and generous spirit. 

Visitors to Kauffman Stadium will notice a single red seat behind home plate that stands out from the sea of Royal blue.  That was – and always will be – Buck’s seat.  Now in its fifth year, the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat program selects deserving individuals to fill that seat for each home game.  Honorees are recognized during the game and on Fox Sports Kansas City telecasts for their contributions to the community.

The Royals encourage fans to nominate worthy individuals for the honor and help us keep Buck’s spirit alive.  Please visit www.royals.com/legacyseat for more information.

Royals Charities partners with Heart to Heart for tornado relief effort

Royals Charities, the charitable arm of the Kansas City Royals, has announced its support of local relief efforts for two area communities – Joplin, Mo., and Reading, Kan. – that were hit by devastating tornadoes over the weekend with a $35,000 donation to Heart to Heart International, an emergency response organization based in Olathe, Kan.

Royals Charities is contributing $25,000 to the Heart to Heart relief effort in Joplin after a massive tornado tore a six-mile path through the heart of the city yesterday.  Early estimates suggest 25 to 30 percent of Joplin was destroyed, and the tornado left many dead, injured or displaced. 

Heart to Heart, which has already deployed volunteer medical professionals, supplies and a mobile medical clinic to Joplin, expects to be in the area for several days to offer medical supplies and services to rescue workers and residents.

In addition, Royals Charities will also be donating $10,000 to the relief efforts in Reading, a small community of 250 people located approximately 50 miles south of Topeka, Kan.  Reading was hit by an EF3 tornado on Saturday evening. 

The Royals will also announce how fans can assist with additional relief efforts both this week and when the club returns to Kauffman Stadium on Monday, May 30 when details are finalized.

Photos: First pitch by Eric Berry of the Chiefs

Safety Eric Berry of the Chiefs threw a first pitch strike today!  He was congratulated by his catcher, outfielder Jeff Francoeur.  Let’s take a look:

Ned Yost media session: May 22

Before Sunday’s rubber match against the St. Louis Cardinals, Royals manager Ned Yost spoke about the benefit of giving veteran centerfielder Melky Cabrera a day off before a travel day and also reflected on the impression rookie Eric Hosmer has made over his first two weeks in the big leagues.

Yost pointed out that he likes to be able to give an experienced player like Cabrera a day off when the Royals do not play the next day in an effort to gain two days of rest.

When asked about Hosmer, Yost said that his young first basemen looks comfortable hitting in the No. 3 spot in the batting order and noted that few players have the ingredients Hosmer possesses, which can allow him to be a special player for many years.

The skipper said Hosmer comes from a great family and is very mature, which has helped him become an everyday player at just 21 years of age. Yost also commended the veteran leadership that Jeff Francoeur, Jason Kendall and Cabrera bring to the roster, saying they have played a big part in helping out the younger players.

Sunday lineup: 1:10 vs. Cards

The series is on the line today – come on out to Kauffman Stadium for the 1:10 start!  Here’s the Kansas City lineup:

(Gordon – LF), (Aviles – 2B), (Hosmer – 1B), (Francoeur – RF), (Butler – DH), (Betemit – 3B), (Treanor – C), (Maier – CF), (Escobar – SS), (O’Sullivan – P)

Ned Yost media session: May 21

Heading into Saturday’s 1:10 game vs. the Cardinals, Royals manager Ned Yost spoke with the media about starting right-hander Nate Adcock. Adcock will be making his first career start with the Royals today and has recorded eight relief appearances with 1-0 record so far this season. Yost commented that he is confident in Adcock who will face the Cardinals starting right-hander Jake Westbrook.

“He [Adcock] is working to develop his changeup and a curveball, he’s made some real good progress since Spring Training started… developing those secondary pitches are going to be key for any young man but his have developed quite nicely,” Yost said.

Yost complimented Cardinals manager, Tony La Russa, for his dedication and several characteristics such as leadership, La Russa’s competitive fire, and strong convictions on how to play the game. Yost also complimented Cardinals first baseman, Albert Pujols.

“There are a lot of things that every player can watch from him [Pujols]. On the way he focuses during the game, his competitiveness, his ability to take advantage of every situation… as good and as talented as he is, he doesn’t let any part of his game suffer,” Yost comments.

The Royal skipper also shared with the media his admiration for Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar and remarked about Escobar’s impressive defensive plays this season. Yost went on to share that it’s good to see young guys adjusting to their surroundings and that Escobar shows great maturity and ingredients of a special defender.

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