Results tagged ‘ 2009 Royals Caravan ’

Royals Caravan heads west

Right-handed pitchers Brian Bannister and Kyle Davies, broadcaster Steve Stewart, and Royals Hall of Famers Frank White and John Mayberry are touring western Kansas this week. Senior Director of Community Relations Ben Aken and Senior Director of Publicity Lora Grosshans (a Minneapolis, Kan. native) are traveling with the group. They sent us these photos.

IMG_5158.JPGDay one featured stops in Emporia, Topeka, and Lawrence. A family in Emporia wanted to have their baby signed. Here, Big John Mayberry places his autograph on the little one.






IMG_5178 smaller 2.jpgThe day ended with a special visit to the KU-Texas A&M game at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence. Brian Bannister caught up with a familiar face, Bob Davis, the voice of the Jayhawks and Royals baseball on the Royals Radio Network. Brian attended USC and loves his cardinal and gold, but he proudly sported KU blue as the Jayhawks cruised to a 20-point victory.

D20_9607.jpgOn Tuesday, the caravan rolled into Fort Riley, home of the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division, also known as the Big Red One. Our crew demonstrated a tough guy pose as they stepped off the bus.

D20_9635.jpgInside the Post Exchange, it was all smiles as the Fort Riley FRG (Family Readiness Group) was presented a $25,000 check from Royals Charities. The donation to the Fort Riley Family Readiness Group will support the families of the 4,000 men and women from Fort Riley that were deployed to Iraq in October. Family Readiness Groups are organized to serve as an important source of inspiration, training and support for a unit’s family members during deployment.

Then, our group met with the troops and their families. RSS Feed (Subscribe to this blog)


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On the left: Back row:  Spc. Hernandez, Spc. Knox, Frank White, Cpt. Fultcher, Master Sgt. Sellers, John Mayberry, Sgt. Lee, Staff Sgt.
Schieble, Pvt. Doss, Sgt. Chisholm, Staff Sgt. Brooks, Kyle Davies.

Front Row:  Maj. Hogan, Sgt. Castro, 1st Lt. Roshak, Spc. Henneberque, Spc. Nelson, Brian Bannister

Royals Caravan visits Operation Breakthrough

The first week of caravan tours wrapped up today as current Royals Mike Aviles, Billy Butler and Mike Jacobs joined Royals Hall of Famer Willie Wilson and Fox Sports Kansas City commentator Ryan Lefebvre at Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City. The mission of Operation Breakthrough is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment.  The organization will be the recipient of proceeds from the 2009 Diamond of Dreams, set for July 23 at Kauffman Stadium. Team photographer Chris Vleisides was on hand today and sent us these pictures:

D20_5262.JPGThe guys signed autographs, played catch, and read books with the kids. Here’s a group shot with some happy young Royals fans.

D20_5265.JPGMike Aviles was all smiles today…the 2008 Royals Player of the Year missed a connecting flight yesterday, which prevented him from attending caravan events in Omaha and Des Moines.

D20_5396.JPGBilly Butler is really getting the hang of reading with kids…which is good, because Billy and his wife Katie recently became parents themselves.

D20_5435.JPGHere’s Royals Hall of Famer Willie Wilson reading with a new friend. Anyone think Willie reads like he runs…fast?

D20_5459.JPGLater, one of the kids started giving everyone stickers. Now here’s a picture that worth a thousand words…Willie Wilson is rolling with laughter as he holds Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh books. Notice the sticker on Willie’s forehead.

D20_5429.JPGWe close with a great sight…one of our first pictures with new Royal Mike Jacobs in powder blue.


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Caravan stops in Warrensburg, Jefferson City, and Columbia

On Wednesday, Joakim Soria and Billy Butler joined Royals Hall of Famer Willie Wilson, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, broadcaster Denny Matthews, and your favorite mascot, Sluggerrr, on a caravan to Central Missouri. Tina Short of the Royals Radio Network snapped pictures along the way. Here’s a sampling:

The first stop was Martin-Warren Elementary in Warrensburg. The Royals will donate a pair of seats from Royals Central Caravan Warrensburg 2009 017.jpgKauffman Stadium to each school that is visited during the caravan. Each school will also receive two copies of “H is for Home Run”, a baseball-themed book that teaches the alphabet. The seats, after being autographed by the players/alums on the caravan, will be placed in the school’s library as a reading area for students.

Here, Martin-Warren principal Jim Helmig and Willie Wilson smile for the camera as they sit in the stadium seats.

Royals Central Caravan Warrensburg 2009 013.jpgSluggerrr was a popular photo-op in Warrensburg. Here he is with a few of his fans.


Royals Central Caravan Warrensburg 2009 018.jpgBilly Butler, the other slugger on the trip, reads “H is for Home Run” to the kids while the “Voice of the Royals” looks on.


Royals Central Caravan Jeff City Hy-Vee 2009 030.jpgStop number two was Hy-Vee in Jefferson City. Baseball loyalties in the state capital are split with Missouri’s NL team, but the Royals Caravan is always welcomed by a nice contingent of fans. The line stretched all the way to the back of the store when the caravan arrived.


Royals Central Caravan Columbia Hy-Vee 2009 039.jpgThe final stop of the day was Hy-Vee in Columbia. In the picture, Willie Wilson signs a 1980 World Series program for a fan. This begs the question…did this Royals fan buy the program on eBay or has he been waiting 28 years for this moment?


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Caravan pictures from Nebraska

Current Royals Luke Hochevar and Mitch Maier, Royals Hall of Famer Dennis Leonard, and Fox Sports Kansas City reporter Joel Goldberg are touring Nebraska and Iowa this week (2008 Player of the Year Mike Aviles is scheduled to join the group today in Omaha). Senior Director of Community Relations and Nebraska native Ben Aken is on the trip as well. Ben sent along a few pictures from the first two days, so we’d like to share them with you.

North Caravan 2009 063.jpgHere’s our group getting ready to board the bus. Hopefully Leo has a jacket on the bus, as the current temps in Omaha and Des Moines are -9 and -12!







North Caravan 2009 070.jpgThis year, the caravan is focusing on reading and education. At this assembly, Mitch answers questions from Joel about the importance of doing well in school. 






North Caravan 2009 048.jpg2009 is the 40th anniversary of Royals baseball. These young fans (notice that they are all decked out in Royals gear!) give Luke and Mitch an assist by holding the Royals Caravan sign.






North Caravan 2009 056.jpgAutographs are always are a big hit…hopefully Luke doesn’t wear out his arm!








North Caravan 2009 080.jpgThe Royals are helping the next generation of baseball players through the Royalty Fields program. Our group presented the Kearney County Legion Baseball program with a $5,000 check.

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Carry me, Caravan, take me away…

The Royals Caravan is a tradition that predates the team on the field…the first caravan was in 1968. This year’s caravan will travel to 34 communities in six states. Today, the Royals released the dates and participants for upcoming caravans in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. Caravans to Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma will take place the week after FanFest, which is scheduled for Jan. 17-18. Preliminary information for those caravans is now available on Here is the information for next week’s stops:

North Caravan (Iowa and Nebraska):

Tuesday, Jan. 13 (Blue Springs, York and Kearney, Neb.)

Caravan 2007_Sluggerrr at St. Joe Hyvee.jpgParticipants:      Luke Hochevar, Mitch Maier, Frank White, Joel Goldberg and Sluggerrr

11 a.m.-Noon     School Visit and Royalty Fields Presentation at Southern Elementary – 315 West 2nd in Blue Springs (Hosted by KGMT) ***Private event

2:30-3:20 p.m.   School Visit at York Elementary – 1501 Washington Ave. (Hosted by KAWL) ***Private event

6-7 p.m.            Meet and Greet at Skeeter Barnes – 516 S. 2nd Ave. in Kearney (Hosted by KXPN)

Wednesday, Jan. 14 (Minden, Lincoln and Omaha, Neb.)

2008_Caravan_Arkansas_Frank White.JPGParticipants:      Luke Hochevar, Mitch Maier, Frank White, Joel Goldberg and Sluggerrr

12:30-1:30 p.m. School Visit and Royalty Fields Presentation at C.L. Jones Middle School – 520 W. 3rd Street in Minden ***Private event

4-5:15 p.m.        Meet and Greet at Sportscasters Bar & Grill – 3048 N. 70th St. in Lincoln (Hosted by KLMS)

7-8 p.m.            Meet and Greet at Hy-Vee – 10808 Fort St. in Omaha (Hosted by KXSP)

Thursday, Jan. 15 (Omaha, Neb., and Des Moines, Iowa)

Participants:      Mike Aviles, Luke Hochevar, Frank White, Joel Goldberg and Sluggerrr

10:30-11:15 a.m.            School Visit at Castelar Elementary School – 2316 S. 18th St. in Omaha  ***Private event  

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.      Luncheon with Omaha Royals – Livestock Exchange Building, 4920 S. 30th in Omaha

            ** Ticket Required. Call Omaha Royals for more information: (402) 738-5100

4-5 p.m.            Meet and Greet at Hy-Vee – 1725 Jordan Creek Pkwy. in West Des Moines

Central Caravan (Missouri and Kansas City)

Wednesday, Jan. 14 (Warrensburg, Jefferson City and Columbia, Mo.)

2008_Caravan_Kansas_Butler2.jpgParticipants:      Joakim Soria, Billy Butler, Willie Wilson, Kevin Seitzer, Denny Matthews and Sluggerrr

Noon-1 p.m.      School Visit at Martin-Warren Elementary – 105 S. Maguire St. in Warrensburg (Hosted by KOKO) ***Private event

3:30-4:30 p.m.   Meet and Greet at Hy-Vee – 3721 West Truman Boulevard in Jefferson City (Hosted by KLIK)

5:30-6:30 p.m.   Meet and Greet at Hy-Vee – 3100 West Broadway in Columbia                

Thursday, Jan. 15 (Trenton, Maryville and St. Joseph, Mo.)

Participants:      Joakim Soria, Billy Butler, Mike Jacobs, Willie Wilson, Kevin Seitzer, Mike Arbuckle, Denny Matthews and Sluggerrr

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.          Meet and Greet at First Christian Church – 1700 Princeton Rd. in Trenton (Hosted by KTTN)

3:30-4:30 p.m.   Meet and Greet at Hy-Vee – 1217 S. Main St. in Maryville (Hosted by KNIM)

6-7 p.m.            Meet and Greet at Hy-Vee – 201 N. Belt Hwy. in St. Joseph (Hosted by KFEQ)

Friday, Jan. 16 (Kansas City)

Participants:      Joakim Soria, Billy Butler, Mike Jacobs, Willie Wilson and Sluggerrr

10:30-11:30 a.m.            Visit to Operation Breakthrough – 3039 Troost in Kansas City ***Private event

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