Our Royals Caravan made an unplanned stop on Thursday afternoon in Lincoln. We had extra time before our Omaha meet and greet, so we stopped to see the Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball team. The Huskers’ baseball practice facility is named after Royals outfielder and alum Alex Gordon.
FSKC’s Rex Hudler and Nebraska coach Darin Erstad were teammates with the Angels in 1996. Hudler later returned to Anaheim as a broadcaster. Erstad was a mainstay in the Angels outfield during most of that time.
We caught up with a former Royal as Ken Harvey is an assistant coach on Erstad’s staff!
Royals front office staffers Ben Aken, Bre Edgley and Keith Kowalski plan the hours of each Caravan day in a meticulous fashion. Workouts for the players are arranged, as are time periods for some meals, though we usually eat on the bus in order to move on to our next destination. Many miles are covered and the days can be quite long. For example, ATH is on the Caravan to Nebraska and plans were made for Terrance Gore and Erik Kratz to work out at 6:45 on Friday morning. We’ll arrive home in KC late on Friday evening!
Below, we see Lane Adams participating in a workout opportunity at Wichita State University. And you never know who you might see in line at Hy-Vee! Terrance and Erik picked up lunch for the road.
Here’s a cool story of a baseball, a Royal (Christian Colon), two baseball fans and a baseball family (the Coleman family) coming full circle: Lorraine Hawkins of Joplin, Mo., is 92 years young and a loyal Royals fan. You may recognize her from local news reports during the 2014 Postseason. She attended SIX of the seven World Series Games last fall, though she was unable to attend Game 7.
A young man named Jonathan saw Lorraine’s picture on Kauffman Stadium’s CrownVision and decided to give her a baseball. While we don’t know Jonathan’s last name, this first picture shows him with Lorraine.
The baseball that he gave to Lorraine last fall was thrown to him by Royals infielder Christian Colon, who also happened to be on Thursday’s Caravan visit to Joplin. Here are Christian presenting Lorraine with the signed baseball on Thursday:
Reliever Louis Coleman was on the Caravan with Colon and by coincidence, Lorraine had her picture taken last fall with Louis’ mother and two of his three sisters!
We thank Lorraine for her dedication and for visiting Royals Caravan! GO ROYALS!
The Caravan contingent of Coleman, Colon and Co. headed south and east today, stopping in Jefferson City. Reliever Louis Coleman and infielder Christian Colon are on the trip, along with Royals Hall of Famer John Mayberry, broadcaster Steve Physioc, KayCee – The W Guy and a very important piece of hardware. This is KayCee’s first Caravan, and he’s proving to be a popular photo!
Our Gold Caravan stopped in Emporia, Kan., this afternoon. Emporia is the birthplace of Veterans Day. Yes, our national holiday, first known as Armistice Day as it commemorated the end of World War One, was first celebrated in Emporia in 1953 and across the country a year later. We mention this because supporting military members is a key part of Royals Caravan. The Royals and USO chapters of Fort Riley and Missouri will accept washcloth, individually-wrapped toothbrushes, beef jerky, drink packets and pudding cups to be distributed to military members serving overseas and returning from duty. Fans can also bring or make hand-written “Thank You” cards for troops at the Caravan stops. Royals Charities will donate $1 to the USO for every card, up to $10,000!