Results tagged ‘ Art Stewart ’

Art Stewart’s book: The Art of Scouting

Royals vs OaklandArt Stewart has been part of the Kansas City Royals organization since late 1969, just after the club’s inaugural season. Anyone that has ever met Art has heard at least one of his stories. He recalls them with such accuracy that he often remembers not just the date of the story but the day of the week it occurred. For years, the only way to hear those stories was from the man himself. Now, those stories of Stewart’s life as a scout can be found in a book, The Art of Scouting. With the help of Sam Mellinger of The Kansas City Star, the stories come to life as Art details the behind the scenes life of a professional baseball scout.

“I dedicated the book to the scouts, past and present,” Stewart said at a press conference at Kauffman Stadium on July 10. “I really wanted to convey what a scouts life was like, the ups and downs and tell their story not just my own.”

Art 1“When [people] go out to a game, a lot of people don’t realize that every player on that field has been found by a scout,” said Stewart, who went on to note that players are discovered in small Nebraska towns, the inner-cities and developing nations like the Dominican Republic.

Stewart recalls conversations with Branch Rickey, who gave Art plenty of advice and words he still carries with him today, including that scouts are the “faceless men of baseball.” Behind the scenes, the game wouldn’t happen without them. To the public, most go unrecognized.

Whether it’s a story about being shot at in a foreign country, sneaking into a home so he could listen in on an opposing team’s offer to player, or the detailed description of the time and effort it took for the Royals to sign Bo Jackson, there’s a story for every baseball fan.

You may purchase a copy of The Art of Scouting at the Royals Majestic Team Store or online from Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-art-of-scouting-art-stewart/1119450133?ean=9780991275618

There will be a book signing this Saturday, July 26, at the Rally House in Independence, Mo., from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  All-Star catcher Salvador Perez will make a special appearance during the signing.  Please note that fans must purchase a copy of the book to receive one additional autographed item (signed by either Stewart or Perez) at the publisher’s request.

By Nate Rowan

 

Spring Training Photos: Monday’s intrasquad game

Intrasquad games bring out a little friendly competition in Spring Training.  Let’s take a look:

Alex Gordon steps up to the plate.  It's an intrasquad game, so Gordo flashed a smile.

Alex Gordon steps up to the plate. It’s an intrasquad game, so Gordo flashed a smile.

Evaluations do take place in intrasquad games.  Royals Hall of Fame scout Art Stewart charts the pitches.

Evaluations do take place in intrasquad games. Royals Hall of Fame scout Art Stewart tracked the game closely.

New Royal Omar Infante raced down the line to first.

New Royal Omar Infante raced down the line to first.

Non-roster invitee Paulo Orlando showcased his power with a home run.

Non-roster invitee Paulo Orlando showcased his power with a home run.

Newcomer Carlos Peguero circles the bases after an opposite field home run.

Newcomer Carlos Peguero circles the bases after an opposite field home run.

The moment of impact as bat meets ball:  Catcher Juan Graterol

The moment of impact as bat meets ball: Catcher Juan Graterol

Double Gold:  Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer chat at first base.  They'll be back on the same team when Cactus League play starts on Thursday.

Double Gold: Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer chat at first base. They’ll be back on the same team when Cactus League play starts on Thursday.

Around the Horn perspective: “You Don’t Know Bo”

Bo marquee 2
The newest ESPN “30 for 30” airs tonight (December 8, 8 C.T. on ESPN) after the Heisman Trophy announcement and features a winner of the Heisman – one Bo Jackson. Bo’s story is one that always has sports fans saying…what if? What if his football injury had not happened?

While the injury was devastating, the film has a lot of humor as it traces Bo’s story from Bessemer, Alabama to the current day. We’ll leave most of the details a surprise and just say that this is a MUST SEE for any Royals fan (or sports fan or…anyone, for that matter).

You’ll see interview clips with: George Brett, Mark Gubicza, Royals beat writer Dick Kaegel, Royals Hall of Fame Director Curt Nelson and Royals Senior Advisor Art Stewart.

Below are details on my perspective as to how the “30 for 30” unfolded.

In May, I received a call from Kelsey Field, associate producer of “You Don’t Know Bo” for Radical Media. I helped her with background information and photos. She wanted to get in contact with people who knew Bo during his time in Kansas City. Jackson signed with the Royals in 1986 and many of the people who knew him have moved on. He was signed by Ken Gonzales, who sadly passed away in 1994. I checked with former scouting director and current senior advisor Art Stewart, who is a great baseball storyteller. He knows Bo well and was more than happy to speak with Kelsey by phone.

Fellow media relations staffer Dina Blevins arranged a time for Hall of Famer George Brett to talk with the production staff by phone (so they could get more information for the eventual on-site interview). Kelsey worked with our media relations boss, Mike Swanson, to arrange a date for production in Kansas City. Radical’s staff had several other stops to make – including Jackson’s hometown in Alabama, Auburn, L.A., Chicago and Nike’s headquarters in Oregon. Radical had to match up their schedule with interviewee availability of George Brett, Art Stewart and Dick Kaegel. And don’t forget…we had to work around our own busy schedule with the All-Star Game on July 10!

Radical’s team visited Kansas City on July 17 and 18. They took exterior shots of The K on July 17. The next morning, they interviewed George Brett and spent time with him on the field. Members of the staff had a few minutes between interview segments with Art Stewart and Dick Kaegel. I suggested a trip to the Royals Hall of Fame to get b-roll of Bo Jackson items that were in storage. They met with Royals Hall of Fame director Curt Nelson. Film director Michael Bonfiglio was so impressed with Curt that he asked him to interview for the piece!

When you wake up each day, you never know what may happen. Curt knew that the “30 for 30” crew was coming to Kansas City, but he had no idea that he was going to be interviewed. As you watch the story unfold, you’ll see Curt’s comments were in several parts of the film. Curt hired me in the marketing department nearly seven years ago. He is a good friend and I am happy that he got the opportunity to share his views of Bo’s story.

Enjoy the show!

Royals announce 2010 organizational award winners

The Royals are pleased to announce the remaining organizational award winners for the 2010 season.  The honorees will be recognized at the 2011 Royals Awards Show, scheduled for Saturday, January 22 in conjunction with Royals FanFest presented by Sprint and Teva Neuroscience at the Overland Park Convention Center.

During the event, the Royals will recognize 12 honorees for their contributions both on and off the field in 2010.  Former Royals greats such as George Brett and Willie Wilson will be among the presenters in attendance.

Previously, the club announced the following award recipients as voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).  Royals’ closer Joakim Soria  was the selection for the 2010 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year while Billy Butler was the 2010 Les Milgram Player of the Year for the second straight season.  Starter Bruce Chen was named the 2010 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.

The remaining award recipients to be recognized at the event include:

Mike Moustakas, recipient of the George Brett Hitter of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top hitter. The 22-year-old third baseman combined to hit .322 with NW Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA), tying for the minor league lead with 36 home runs.  The Royals’ first-round selection (2nd overall) in 2007 also posted 41 doubles and drove in 124 in being named the Sporting News Minor League Hitter of the Year, the Texas League Player of the Year, and a Baseball America 2010 first-team Minor League All-Star.

John Lamb, recipient of the Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year - recognizing the organization’s top pitcher. The 20-year-old pitched at three levels of the Royals system in 2010, wrapping up at NW Arkansas.  The six-foot-three lefty from Laguna Hills, Calif., was a combined 10-7 with a 2.38 ERA in 28 starts, allowing 122 hits in 147.2 innings, striking out 159 and walking just 45.  Lamb was a fifth-round pick of the Royals in 2008.

Derrick Robinson, recipient of the Willie Wilson Base Runner of the Year - recognizing the organization’s top base runner.  The 23-year-old patrolled center field for the Texas League-champion Northwest Arkansas Naturals in 2010, hitting .286 with a league-leading 50 stolen bases in 67 attempts.  The speedster, drafted by the Royals in the fourth round in 2006, has swiped 236 bases in his professional career, including 181 in his last three campaigns, and is a two-time winner of the Willie Wilson Award, also earning the honor in 2008.

Eric Hosmer, recipient of the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year – recognizing the organization’s top defensive player.  Hosmer, 21, is an athletic first baseman who posted a .988 fielding percentage in 80 games at Wilmington (A Advanced) before upping that mark to .994 in 43 games at first for NW Arkansas.  At the plate, the Royals’ first-round pick (3rd overall) in 2008 batted a combined .338 with 43 doubles, nine triples, 20 home runs, 86 RBI and 87 runs, also stealing 14 bases in 16 attempts.

Buddy Baumann, recipient of the Mike Sweeney Award - recognizing a player who best represents the organization on and off the field.  The 23-year-old left-handed pitcher tirelessly volunteered for numerous community events throughout the 2010 season, visiting Wilmington-area schools and hospitals and conducting several baseball clinics.  Kansas City’s seventh-round selection in 2009 was 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three relief appearances for Burlington (A) to begin 2010 before going 4-2 with four saves and posting a 2.24 ERA in 31 games (14 starts) for Wilmington.

Brian Poldberg, recipient of the Dick Howser Player Development Person of the Year – recognizing an outstanding member of player development.  The only manager the NW Arkansas Naturals have ever known, Poldberg led the club to the Texas League Championship in 2010.  The team was also recently recognized as the Baseball America Minor League Club of the Year.  After ending a seven-year playing career, the Carter Lake, Iowa resident has been a coach and instructor in the Royals organization since 1987.

Sean Gibbs, recipient of the Art Stewart Scout of the Year – recognizing an outstanding scout.  Gibbs has served the Royals organization as an area scout since 2007.  He has scouted and signed several players including 2010 Burlington (R) Pitcher of the Year Crawford Simmons.

Andrew Layman, assistant general manager of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, is the recipient of the Matt Minker Award – recognizing an outstanding minor league affiliate employee.  Layman has directed the merchandise, ticket and stadium operations departments during his 19-year Blue Rocks tenure.  In 1998, he received the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award for best exemplifying the spirit of volunteerism in recognition of his time invested with a local teen.  The Malvern, Pa. native is a 1992 graduate of Lynchburg College where he played lacrosse.  He currently makes his home in Wilmington with fiance, Jordan, and their son, Mason.

In addition, the Royals will honor Chuck Sailors with the Dan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award –  recognizing an outstanding member of the community.  In 2004, Sailors founded the KC Urban Youth Center at 28th and Troost in Kansas City, Mo.  Today, the center is part of three low-income housing communities in urban Kansas City serving more than 300 students and their families each year.  Sailors and his staff work daily with a holistic approach in order to offer hope, community and wholeness to children and youth living in traditionally underserved communities.

 

Photos: Fans and scouts get a close view at Spring Training

Fans who have attended Spring Training in Surprise know that opportunities are abound to watch games and practices.  The Royals play several ‘B’ games against their complex counterparts, the Texas Rangers.  These games are not held at the stadium – instead they are on one of the practice fields at the complex.  The ‘B’ games and practices are free to attend and fans can usually stake claim to a location that is just off of the field. 

Today’s ‘B’ game featured Luke Hochevar, who was pushed back after yesterday’s regular game against the Giants was postponed.  Let’s take at a few of the things that happen at a ‘B’ game.

Art Stewart 3-8-10.JPGScouts and baseball operations personnel are continuously tracking the progress of the players.  On the left, Senior Advisor to the General Manager and 2008 Royals Hall of Fame inductee Art Stewart surveys the action.  Rene Francisco, Kansas City’s Special Assistant to the General Manager/International Operations, is standing behind Stewart (to his right, our left).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dayton J.J. Jon Daniels.jpgThe next photo shows General Manager Dayton Moore and Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development J.J. Picollo.  The pair are speaking with Jon Daniels (center), the General Manager of the Rangers.

Greinke Davies 3-8-10.jpgWhen the team goes to another complex for a game, a ‘travel roster’ is assembled.  For example, some of the pitchers are not going to throw in the regular game that day.  They stay behind in Surprise and spend time on other training activities, including strength and conditioning.  Here, Zack Greinke and Kyle Davies are taking in Hochevar’s outing.

Trey at 3B fans 3-8-10.jpg

 

 

 

 

‘B’ games also require coaches to take on different roles.  Trey Hillman served as the third base coach during today’s ‘B’ game.  This picture shows the close proximity of the bleachers for a ‘B’ game.

Wathan Randa 3-8-10.jpg
Moustakas Randa.jpgFormer third baseman Joe Randa is in camp working with players.  Here he talks to John ‘Duke’ Wathan.  On the right, Randa lends his advice to Mike Moustakas.  Randa has mentored ‘Moose’ on multiple occasions since the Royals drafted Moustakas in 2007. 


Gordon running 3-8-10.jpgAlex Gordon
was busy with conditioning drills on a field near the ‘B’ game.  Alex broke his thumb on Saturday, however, he is working hard to stay in game shape.

Now you know about some of the other happenings at Spring Training besides the game that is on the schedule at royals.com.  We hope that you can make a trip to Spring Training in the near future!

 

The Hillman-Gibbons connection and the return of Kevin Seitzer

The game of baseball revolves around relationships. Today, the Royals completed their 2009 coaching staff by adding John Gibbons as bench coach and Kevin Seitzer as hitting coach. The men have taken different journeys to today’s announcement, but both additions can be tracked to relationships that started years ago.

 John Gibbons

Gibbons.jpgGibbons and Trey Hillman have managed against one another at every level from Class-A to the Major Leagues. Gibbons started his coaching career as a minor league roving instructor with the Mets from 1991 to 1993. As he moved up in the Mets system, he squared off with Hillman, then a manager in the Yankees farm system. In 1996, Hillman was the Florida State League Manager of the Year. His Tampa Yankees finished first in the regular season with a 84-50 mark. Gibbons’ club, the St. Lucie Mets, went 71-62 and won the Florida State League Championship with playoff wins over Clearwater and Vero Beach.

In 1998, Gibbons and Hillman were reunited in the Eastern League. Hillman was in his second season with the Norwich Navigators while Gibbons managed the Binghamton Mets. Both were promoted to the Triple-A level for the 1999 season. Over the next three seasons, Hillman skippered the Columbus Clippers while Gibbons led the Norfolk Tides.

Managing eventually took the pair out of the country. For Gibbons, that was just across the border in Toronto, where he led the Blue Jays from 2004 to 2008. Hillman’s odyssey continued in Japan, as he skippered the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters from 2003 to 2007. Gibbons and Hillman squared off in April and May of 2008, with Gibbons and the Jays taking 5 of the 7 contests. Now in 2009, the two will work side by side.

Kevin Seitzer



Seitzer,Kevin2.JPGKevin Seitzer’s relationship with the Royals goes back nearly three decades. Seitzer, a prep standout in Lincoln, Illinois, was scouted out of high school by 2008 Royals Hall of Fame inductee Art Stewart. Seitzer’s batting skills impressed Stewart to the point that Stewart knew that the young player would someday play in the Major Leagues. Seitzer decided to attend college at Eastern Illinois in the fall of 1980. Stewart continued to track Seitzer’s progress at Eastern, and in 1983, the Royals selected the right-handed hitter in the 11th round.

Late in 1986, Seitzer arrived in Kansas City. A year later, the story at the beginning of the season was that Seitzer would play third base, which had been manned by George Brett since his arrival in late 1973. Brett moved to first, and Seitzer fit in right away with an offensive year for the record books. Seitzer tied Minnesota’s Kirby Puckett for the league-lead with 207 hits. The total was the most by a Major League rookie since Tony Oliva’s 217 in 1964. He was the fourth Royal to collect 200 hits in a season, and is still the only rookie to accomplish the feat. Seitzer tied a franchise record with 6 hits on August 2, 1987. He is the only player, home or visiting, with 6 hits in a single game at Kauffman Stadium. No other player has had more than 4.

Seitzer played for the Royals through the 1991 season before going on to Milwaukee, Oakland, and Cleveland. He coached for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007 and currently runs a successful baseball training facility along with his former teammate, Mike Macfarlane.

ATH welcomes both John Gibbons and Kevin Seitzer to the Royals coaching staff. We look forward to watching them build relationships with the players in 2009.

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Touch 'em All: Jerry Krause on the drive for a ninth ring, catching batting practice as an intern for the Cubs and signing a one-eyed pitcher

8-18 Krause.JPGKauffman Stadium sees its fair share of celebrities – both sports related and a few non-sports stars – throughout the season. But you’d be a little surprised to see a guy with so much bling sitting out in the heat of an early August game against the White Sox.

Jerry Krause is a scout for the New York Mets and has been involved with baseball for most of the 47 years since he interned with the Cubs in 1961. But you probably recognize his name from his work in basketball. Krause was the mastermind behind the 1990s Chicago Bulls and their six championships. But since his retirement as General Manager of the Bulls in 2003, he’s back in baseball.

Around the Horn caught up with Krause and sat down with him for a Touch ‘em All interview before one of the Boston games. We figured today’s off day was as good a time as any to post our interview with Krause, since he’s a current Mets’ scout and the Royals just finished their final series of the season in New York yesterday, plus we made our last trip to Chicago (he’s worked for three of the five franchises in the Windy City) last week and tomorrow we start a three game set with Cleveland (you guessed it, he spent time with the Indians too).

Around the Horn: Everybody knew who you were for so long and now you’re under the radar. So the first question is, what are you doing these days?

Jerry Krause: What am I doing? Scouting for the New York Mets. Got Major League Clubs, our farm system and whatever Omar Minaya wants me to do.

ATH: You did basketball for so long. What’s your baseball connection?

JK: Oh, I started baseball long before. I started baseball actually at the same time I started basketball. I started baseball in 1961, started in the NBA in 1963. Before I took the Bulls job, I had 16 years as a full-time Major League Baseball scout and 18 as a basketball scout.

8-18 Krause 5.jpgATH: So once you got started with the Bulls, you kind of stepped back from baseball a bit?

JK: Well, I took a sabbatical. Yea, I obviously – I went to games, but I had a full-time situation for 18 years running a club.

ATH: So which one is better…

JK: I like to scout. I enjoy scouting. I scouted both sports for such a long time. I enjoyed running a club. I enjoyed building a club. That was fun. I like them both.

ATH: …actually the question was about which sport.


 JK:
It’s easier to scout basketball than it is to scout baseball because in baseball, you’re in a much different scenario. In basketball, everybody is running up and down in front of you all the time. You see offense, defense and everything that guy has to be able to do quite a bit during a game.

In baseball, you may go see a guy hit and he gets walked three or four times. Or you go see a pitcher and he may have an off day. There’s less time to judge in baseball than in basketball. In basketball, you’re going to see a guy all the time.

I like the challenge of both of them though, sure. That’s why I do it.

ATH: I read a bio that I found on you and it doesn’t give much information on your baseball career. Can you just talk about your baseball career.

JK: Was it in one of those wookie-uh, things on the net.

ATH: (slightly embarrassed) Yea.

JK: Oh geez. Some of those – I read a couple of those things. There’s so much wrong about those things its unreal. Nobody with any brains could have written any of that stuff.
I saw a couple of them that had me doing things that I’ve never did before and some of them with things I’m not doing that I did. You couldn’t get much from that.

ATH: (in defense) I just try to get a little background any way I can before an interview. (the New York Mets have Krause’s picture in their media guide, but no bio)

JK: No problem. Baseball. I started with the Cubs in ’61 as what would now be called an intern. I played at Bradley University.

What would now be called an intern, it was a flunkie. I did everything around the office. I ran for coffee, wound up catching batting practice, doing all kinds of stuff.

8-18 Krause 4.jpgMy first full-time job in baseball scouting-wise was with the Cleveland Indians in 1967. I had run the Portland club in 1966 for Cleveland. I was General Manager of the Portland club in ’66 in the Pacific Coast League for Cleveland. My first full-time scouting job was in ’67 with the Indians. I spent five years with Cleveland. Then Hank left and I left, Hank Peters. Then I went two years with Oakland, two years with Seattle. Then I had six years with the White Sox.

ATH: So you bounced around a lot?

JK: Not really. (editor’s note: apparently five – technically four because Portland was affiliated with Cleveland – clubs in the span of 11 years is not “bouncing around a lot” to Jerry) During that time I also worked basketball. Twelve of those years I did both sports back-to-back, so I worked year round. (pondering the question again) Uh… Bounced around? Cleveland, when somebody else left, I left for personal reasons. Went to Oakland for a couple of years and was fortunate enough to win a couple of championships. Took a couple of years off that I knew I needed. Seattle started up as an expansion team, joined them. I stayed there a couple of years and then Bill Veeck asked me to come to the White Sox. It was like my father calling me home, I couldn’t turn it down. So I went with Bill and was with him two years and then Jerry Reinsdorf bought the White Sox from Bill. I was with Jerry for the next four until he asked me to run the Bulls.

But during that time, I had scouted in basketball for Baltimore for five years and I was with the Bulls for four or five. And then with Phoenix, five I think, Jerry Colangelo. And then I was with the Lakers for two. When I joined Bill and I joined the White Sox, I was the head scout for the Lakers and the Midwestern Supervisor for Seattle. When I joined Bill, I gave up the basketball and stayed with him. I couldn’t go back to basketball until Jerry asked me to run the club. (editor’s note: if this isn’t “bouncing around a lot” ATH isn’t sure what would constitute bouncing around a lot to Jerry)

ATH: During your time in professional sports, both basketball and baseball, what would you say is your crowning achievement?

JK: (laughs) There’s an old saying about perseverance. I think when you scout, if you scout very long, you’ve made mistakes. To stick around you’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to make positive things. You’ve got to persevere.

I’m proud of the individual players that I’ve been associated with and drafted. I’m proud of the time with the Bulls. We were able to win six world championships and took a team that was Michael (Jordan) and – at the end of Michael’s rookie year – 11 other guys that we didn’t want. And had to get rid of all those 11 other guys. And five years later, we were fortunate enough to win the first championship.

I’ve had a lot of fun through the years. To pinpoint me on individuals, certainly Earl Monroe, Jerry Sloan, Wes Unseld, guys like that, that you take personal satisfaction drafting those guys. Earl and Wes are in the Hall of Fame, Jerry should be and I think will be.

Baseball-wise, some of the deals we were able to help make, some of the guys you sign. I was able to help bring Ozzie Guillen to Chicago, was able to help bring (A.J.) Pierzynski there. Signing Eddie Farmer for what we signed him for was a lot of fun. Jackie Heidemann was another player that played in the big leagues for a while. The thing I think I’ve enjoyed the most is the individual players in the sense of kids, yo8-18 Krause 7.jpgu see them as kids and in the end they become men. Some of them you have friendships with, some of them you don’t. Dealing with them is much different that it used to be.

I don’t think I can pinpoint one thing. I haven’t worked yet. I haven’t worked nine to five yet. I haven’t had to do the things that the average guy does in life. It’s life’s toy store in a lot of ways. I’ve been very, very fortunate. I’ve worked under great people. If I could pinpoint one thing, it’s probably the people I’ve been associated with. The Veecks, certainly Jerry and some of the great scouts I’ve been associated with.

ATH: So the people make the job?

JK: My wife tells a story on me. I once signed a little left-handed pitcher with one eye out of a small town in Southern Illinois. He never got past Double-A. He’s given me so much satisfaction. I signed him for $500. Today he tells me, “No, you gave me $750.” He’s a friend after 35-40 years now. He’s very successful in business. He’s been really successful. He’s grown up; he’s done just a heck of a job. I signed him off a farm and he never got past Double-A. But he’s given me great personal satisfaction.

My wife and I were sitting a few years ago at a game and he’s a Bulls’ season ticket holder. He drives 150 miles up and 150 miles back to see every game. He came in the room where we were sitting and eating and he left and I said “He’s a great kid.” She looked at me and said, “He’s a 40-year old man now. He’s not a kid. You still think he’s 17.” And I probably do.

But people like that, who you sign or have something to do with; they are special in your life. Billy Cartwright is another one. He’s very special in my life. We acquired Billy in a trade. Billy’s a friend, he’s a special human being. They don’t make people like Bill Cartwright. And many, many others like that.


 ATH:
How do you go about signing a one-eyed pitcher?

JK: At that time, there was one other scout that knew about him. And a friend of mine who was coaching the legion team in central Illinois, who I played with, called me. He said the Cubs were in on this guy – it was a scout who I knew very well. So I went and saw him. The other scout went and saw him. We set a date up at the house where we went in and made bids. I think he bid $250 and I bid $500.

Thumbnail image for 8-18 Krause Box.jpgThe funny part of it was, I signed him twice. He got to High-A and I want to say Baltimore drafted him in the Minor League draft. We were about to release him. And Baltimore drafted him. They released him in spring training and I think the scout that drafted him got fired. I went to Hank Peters and said, “Hank, my boy is out there again.” And “He said, go sign him Jerry, what the hell.” And so I did.

But you do what you have to do. I’ve signed guys for $500 or $30 million a year or more than that. It’s part of what you do. The thing about it is that $30 million a year guy is just as human as the guy who you signed for $500. It’s good to keep that in mind. Professional sports are a people business. It’s just like General Motors or any other business in the world because if you can’t judge people, you’ll be a lousy scout and you won’t last very long. I’ve given motivational talks on that and I learn just as much from them as I hope they’ve learned from me.

ATH: How does your wife put up with you being on the road so often?

JK: That’s why we’ve stayed married so long (jokingly). I’ve been home about half the time. She’s raised the kids and done a heck of a job with it. We kid, we’ve been married 30, I’ve probably been home 15. But she’s special. When we got married, I was making nothing and she was making nothing. We were scrapping. I don’t think she ever thought that we’d be able to do what we’ve done in life.

8-18 Krause 6.jpgCertainly I hoped I would, but who knew. I had some goals in life. I think there’s a certain part of me that was driven. People who know me say I was driven. I don’t know if I’m as driven now as I was then. I’m driven now in the sense that I’m still a perfectionist in scouting. I think there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.

Both games, life has been good to me. I grew up in a tough neighborhood that you wouldn’t want to go back into right now. If you went into the neighborhood where I grew up – spent most of my childhood – you wouldn’t want to go in there at night. It’s a tough neighborhood. It’s in the middle of Chicago and it’s a tough neighborhood. I came out of there with very little natural ability and I’ve been very fortunate to the people that took a liking to me.

If it ended tomorrow, I’m fine with it.


ATH:
You are in a much different place in your career now than you were 10 years ago. How has that transition been?

8-18 Krause 2.jpgJK: Well, it’s been very easy. I don’t have to deal with the media. I don’t have the pressure. My health got a lot better when I quit general managing. I don’t have that stress. That pounding – that only general managers can understand. I don’t think you can understand it unless you do it. And when young guys get general managers positions, I don’t think they understand it until one day it hits them and they’re like “Oh, God.”

I’m more at ease with myself than I was. I’m a grandfather now. That’s a big difference. I wasn’t a grandfather 10 years ago. I have two grandchildren who are the light of my life, both of them. I’ve had a long marriage. That woman has put up with me for over 30 years now, that’s pretty good.

10 years ago, we probably won our last championship 10 years ago. The rebuilding of that club was a tough thing to do. I’m probably a little more content in life. I’m older. I’m 10 years older. I’m not the crazy kid I used to be. And when I say crazy kid, I mean I never asked anyone to do anything I never did, so I did it all myself. The guys who worked for me, hopefully learned something. I learned at the feet of the great scouts and the older people in the game. And the game – both of them, when I say “the game” – you have to treat the game with reverence. I still get a tremendous kick out of talking with the old-timers. I sit here with Art Stewart here in Kansas City, and really enjoy Art. I’ve know Art since I was 14-years old. I got to Pittsburgh and spent time with Chuck Tanner. You go places around the country and see old friends. That’s a fun part of my life right now.

ATH: Is that part of what keeps you going? The other day for one of the White Sox-Royals games, it was 114 outside at first pitch and you were still sitting out there, working.

JK: I think the competitiveness of it probably keeps me going. I enjoy the competition. I really enjoy working with Omar Minaya and John Ricco and the Mets’ staff. It’s my fourth year over there. I like the people I work with, I enjoy the atmosphere. I work with some young kids over there and I enjoy being able to teach them the things which were taught to me.

The competitor in me, there’s still a drive. I want to get another ring. I’ve got eight and I’m not satisfied with them. I want another one.

Yea, I want this one bad with the Mets because I know what Omar’s gone through and what he’s had to battle. I really want it for him and for our younger guys so they can understand that.

I want it for myself, selfishly, I want another one. And it isn’t the ring itself. It’s the fun in winning it. Every fall now, since I’ve been with the Mets, I’ve had the opportunity to advance scout – prepare for the World Series. That’s fun. That really gets down to the nitty-gritty of scouting. That’s where you can help a team win a championship. The good ones have that effect and you like to put yourself in a position where you’re one of the good ones and you can have an effect. So that’s fun. Every year you’re competing to win a championship, that’s important.

8-18 Krause 1.jpgSomebody asked me the other day what I did and I said I was a private in Omar’s army. The lady looked at me like I was nuts. I said “I’m a private in Omar Minaya’s Army.” I like being a private now. I enjoy it. My days of being a general are over.

ATH: As a general you can do a lot. But in your current role, you’re on the front lines. If a guy tips a pitch or something like that, you can catch it and help the team in a very specific way.

JK: Well those things, I like the scouting part of it. Omar’s sent me around the world. I’ve been to Japan and I’ve done projects for him. I like that idea that I can be versatile enough to help him.

I enjoy the competition. My health is better than it has been in a long time. Towards the end with the Bulls, it got rough. It got mentally and physically tough at the end because you battle your head off for 18 years. You just fight the battle and you’re the face of the franchise for so long. I don’t have to deal with agents. I don’t have to deal with media people and you reach a certain point of your life that you don’t want to deal with that stuff.

The thing that, as you’ve been sitting here talking to me, the thing that probably strikes me more than anything else, it’s a “we thing” in this game, it’s not an “I thing.” People who use the word I, we try not to use it too much. You’ve got to keep reminding yourself sometimes. It’s a “we” game. Both of them are “we” games. Both of them are team games. Sports should be a “we” thing, unless you’re a golfer, or a tennis player. Competitive team sports are “we” things.

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Weekend Recap

6-30 Art 3.jpgSo we’ve got some catching up to do around here at Around the Horn… As promised, we’ve got photos from Art’s Hall of Fame induction and the Diamond of Dreams charity event.

Today, we’ll give you a run down of Art’s induction and crunch the final numbers from last Thursday. So far things are looking like a huge success and the Dream Factory will be very happy with what we were able to do.

Lot’s of stuff has been going on with the team in town for the last three series. We’ve been playing well, welcomed over 105, 700 fans to the K for the Cardinals Series and we have a new Hall of Fame member. To bring everyone up to speed, let’s go around the horn…

First
Art’s ceremony was touching. Rather than re-hash what was said which you can find here. We’d first like to compliment the Kansas City Star on the nice piece about Art which appeared in yesterday’s paper and show you what happened on the field before Saturday’s game.

 Getting the Royal Treatment:

6-30 Art 1.jpgRollin’ out the Blue Carpet for Art Stewart.

6-30 Art 2.jpgArt making his speech to a sold out Kauffman Stadium. One of the more memorable portions of his speech was about all the player’s with monuments at Monument Park in Yankee Stadium But there were none of the great scouts who signed those players. The Royals were one of the first teams to recognize the work of the scout. 

Thumbnail image for 6-30 Art 4.jpg
Art threw out the first pitch to fellow Royals Hall of Famer Frank White.

 
6-30 Art 5.jpg

Art and the gang: the Royals Hall of Famers who were present for the on field presentation, Jeff Montgomery ’03, Dennis Leonard ’89, Frank White ’95, Willie Wilson ’00, George Brett ’94 and John Mayberry ’96 (Hal McRae ’89 was on the field for the ceremony but returned to the Cardinals to attend to his duties as Hitting Coach and Paul Splittorff ’87 was in the Royals broadcast booth).

6-30 Art 6.jpg
Senior Assistant to the General Manager Art Stewart and General Manager Dayton Moore.

Second
While the Royals lost the final two games of interleague, we still tied for the second best interleague record in the Majors (Detroit also went 13-5 and Minnesota went 14-4). The Royals record is also their all-time best in interleague. In 2006 and 2007, the Royals went 10-8 which stood as their best record until this season.

As for the Redbirds, we won four games against St. Louis. The Royals had never won more than three games in one season before 2008 against the Cardinals (except 1985). The 4-2 mark against St. Louis is also the first time since 2001 that we’ve won the season series.
 
Short
Leading off, lead-off man David DeJesus left yesterday’s game with a bruised lower right ribcage because he landed on Cardinal catcher 6-30 DeJesus.jpgJason LaRue’s helmet after a collision in the first inning yesterday and is not starting in tonight’s game…DeJesus’ hitting streak is still intact despite not getting a hit yesterday because he walked and did not record an official at-bat…From Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: DeJesus is day-to-day and still feels sore on the deceleration of his swing…Also from Trey: He made a note that Mark Grudzielanek does not play like a 38-year-old, he’s tough…Speaking of Grudzielanek, today is his 38th birthday, so happy birthday Mark…Billy Butler will start his first game tonight after a recall from a stint in Omaha in which he hit .337 with six doubles, five home runs and 13 RBIs. 

Third
Still lot’s going on even with the team out of town…

Tomorrow: Online Chat Series with Deric Ladnier, Senior-Director of Scouting.

This week: ATH will have plenty of insight on the team (we’ve got a man or two on the inside). And we will have renovation updates as well as a Diamond of Dreams recap tomorrow.

All-Star Balloting: Stuff the boxes, it’s almost over.

On TV: The next seven games are all on FSN-KC. Saturday’s telecast was not originally scheduled but will be added to makeup for the May 22 rainout in Cleveland. It will be a regular telecast with Royals Live with Joel Goldberg starting at 5:30 and game coverage beginning at 6. (all times are CT)

Lineup

Aviles SS
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF
Teahen RF
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Buck C
Gathright CF

Greinke P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Touch 'em All: John Martin on painting Hall of Fame portraits, not knowing who Nolan Ryan is and 36-hour days

6-28 John Martin 2.JPGLast night was one of those nights that will be special for a lot of people for a long time. Forget about the game for a minute and think about what new Royals Hall of Famer Art Stewart said during his speech. He said he’d always remember the night. It was an honor he never dreamed of.

Well, one man who was integral in the induction ceremony, though he didn’t speak or even appear down on the field, was John Martin. In fact Martin has been a key component in every Royals HOF induction. Martin is a painter with deep ties to the organization. You’ve undoubtedly seen his work. It’s everywhere at Kauffman and his connection to the Royals dates back to the 1970s. He’s done media guide covers, yearbook covers, all 23 Hall of Fame Portraits, World Series and All-Star Game programs and a good 1,500 to 2,000 total projects. His NCAA mural for the headquarters in Kansas City (before they moved to Indianapolis) took him over three years and measured 12 feet tall and 90 feet in length. Yep, he’s the Michelangelo of KC.

A week ago, Around the Horn took a trip to Martin’s house/studio in Shawnee, Kan. and ate up an hour of his valuable time. Martin was already having a busy week, having been in New York two days earlier and he was planning a trip back to his hometown of Ottawa, Kan. later that afternoon.

Martin graciously allowed Around the Horn to take some pictures and snoop around, marveling at all the paintings hanging on his walls. We saw the Art Stewart portrait hours after it had been finished and got an exclusive interview with the man behind the canvas. He apologized because he said he was running on just an hour of sleep. He even claimed he was “slow to the trigger.” You make the call on this, the second installment of Around the Horn’s Touch ‘em All…

Around the Horn: Thanks for showing us around your studio.
John Martin: Not a problem. Happy to have you.


6-28 Art.JPGATH:
You said all told, Art’s portrait took between 15 and 20 hours. It’s 9 in the morning and you’re running on very little sleep. Now that the paint is drying, are you happy with the way the painting turned out?
JM: Oh yeah. You don’t short change the painting. When push comes to shove, your sleep or rest time gets short changed. There’s never any doubt about that. You always allocate time and back-up time. When I schedule my work, I have to have a certain time period. I have to think ahead because 90 percent of my work is out of town. I fly maybe 35-40,000 miles a year, mostly on the eastern seaboard. So I have to schedule a lot ahead of time.

I’m the planner and I’ve got to do the whole thing because I’m a one-man band. So I have to allocate and know how long something’s going to take. But every once in a while, I’ll get in a snag like this where two or three things come due unexpectedly. But I usually schedule my work so I have down time and it’s not so rigid. For a three-quarter length life size, I usually allocate a month. In reality, if I had to do it and I worked 12 hours a day, I could probably do it in 10 days.

ATH: Art’s portrait is the 23rd you’ve done for the Royals Hall of Fame. Plus you’ve done a bunch of other stuff. How much work have you done for the Royals?
JM: You know it’s interesting. I may sound crazy, but I actually have an idea as to what that is. I have a numbering system for all of my clients and I actually kept the Royals as a separate account. I’ve done approximately 160 jobs for them through the years.

It seems incredible. I look back at that and say, “my gosh, 160 jobs.” Well, there were times when I would do the media guide, the yearbook and special events. So I may have done five to six – maybe even more than that – jobs in one year’s time. So they kind of add up. I started working for them regularly back in the early 80s and through the mid-90s. That’s when we did the actual yearbook. We, meaning my wife and I, designed it and worked with Dean Vogelaar, who was then the Public Relations Director. And it was fun because we were given quite a bit of freedom as far as the format and given an idea from the past season. We got to go down to spring training and spend a week in Florida. Mainly to collect information on new personnel and we’d have sketches of the design and have those looked over. We’d also have a photographer come down and take pictures of the new personnel and do the team picture. Those were fun times.

So consistently that went from like 1983 to 1996, about 13, 14 years. The one that got a lot of awards was the ’89 yearbook. Of course, we got some awards when we won the World Series. It was the ’86 yearbook after the ’85 Series. But ’89 was a locker that we got and set-up and it was filled with things pertaining to the editorial content. But we always did pretty well with the yearbooks.

ATH: That’s quite a bit of work. With the paintings being on display for fans to see during all 81 home games, plus your work being sold for a number of years, what’s that like as an artist to have your work so prominent and seen by so many people?
JM: It’s great to have that kind of exposure. It’s the knowing that I had a hand with a player being in the Hall of Fame. I was involved in creating something that’s on display, of course that’s the reward-gain of an artist.

I will say, the first time I saw the banners blown up out at the stadium.6-29 Denny Poster.jpg That was really something. I went into the stadium with some friends and I had not seen them up there yet. And when you drove in and saw that from the parking lot that was like, “Wow.” When you think about it, there probably aren’t too many artists that have their work on display at 15 feet high. That is rather unusual. When you see that on the stadium, you can image the feeling you get. Some artists work for an exhibit or a show, but for me it’s to come on out to the stadium and you can see them for half a mile.

ATH: You’ve also done some of the postseason posters, media guides and yearbooks since you’ve been getting work with the Royals. While we were down in your studio, there were photos of Art around the actual portrait. How do use photos in your work?
JM: You’ll see some of these montage works. Sometimes I’ll get an assignment that features five or six players. The last media guide I did, I think was 2000 when they had Damon and Dye, Sweeney, really a pretty good core of young players. What I try to do is get enough photos of each player and try to make a balance of pictures and try to make out something that says who they are and what style they play. Maybe they swing the bat or the way they pitch. I try to look for some way someone would look at that and they’d say ‘Oh, yeah, that’s this particular player.’ So I try to get the right photo and then try to start developing it into a painting. You really have to know your subject. I try to get a feel for a player, how he plays, his moves, motions and so on.

I did do quite a bit of sports photography at that time. I got to go to the dugout and work with the press photographers. In the early days, if I didn’t have enough information on a particular player, I’d get a press pass and go in and take my own pictures.

One story that was funny, it was 1977 and I was shooting some players that I wasn’t satisfied with the information that I had, so I went to a game and we were playing the California Angels. And it was maybe the fourth or the fifth inning and this pitcher for the California Angels was lights out. I was like wow. The guy had great form. There hadn’t been anybody on base. And I looked at the guy next to me and I said ‘Who is that guy?’ He said ‘You mean, you don’t know who that is?’ ‘Nah’ I said. ‘That’s Nolan Ryan.’ I said ‘This guy’s pretty good.’

So I took some pictures of him because his motion was just sweet. And it turned out, one of my commissions I got later on was for Major League Baseball. So I ended up doing the cover for the ’80 World Series. But the cover, the motion is based on Nolan Ryan. They said that book sold more copies than any of them in the history up to that time. I did four World Series covers and three All-Star game covers.


 ATH:
So, it seems like you work in both photography and paint?
JM: Photography is just a tool that is used as a reference. If I’m assigned to do a particular person for the Hall of Fame, most of the time it’s from photos that have been taken that I’m working from. The way they’ve been designed it shows the portrait head and shoulders and then an action shot would be worked into it. That’s what I started when we came up with the Hall of Fame. In the case of Art Stewart or Joe Burke or some of the other people that were executives – even though I did a large/small with Danny Mathews – it depends on the situation and what it called for.





6-28 John Martin Box.JPGATH:
You’re obviously a Royals fan. What’s the most rewarding portrait you’ve done?
JM: Boy, I don’t know. I think, well, the only reason I point it out is the timeliness of Dan Quisenberry and working with the people out there. He’d already been diagnosed with cancer. Not only that but because of the person. Quiz was a really special person. He had a lot of great qualities off the field too.

 
 
But that one and of course, Dick Howser. That was after he had already died. I have a special feeling for all of them because of their achievements. I guess because of their timeliness of their health, it was really special that I was in a position to make a contribution like that. Otherwise, they all have their own special meaning. The first ones I did of Amos Otis and Steve Busby. And of course George and Frank. They all have their own story. But because of the timeliness of Quisenberry and Howser. I can say things about Ewing Kauffman. It was a great time for the Royals.

ATH: Now, your work hasn’t been limited to the Royals. So what’s the most meaningful piece that stands out in your mind?
JM: I think in sports, of course, I’ve always thought this Longhorns Stampede piece for the University of Texas was one of my favorites. The other one was the All-American room at the University of Kansas. The piece that’s over the fireplace. It’s coincidental, but probably our (editor’s note: Martin is a Jayhawk) greatest athlete was Al Oerter who was a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the discus. In the background, you can see the ancient Olympian with the discus and the statement it makes about the student-athlete.

One of my favorite pieces, sports pieces, was the one they call the Mount Rushmore of Kansas City (another editor’s note: this painting features Buck O’Neil, Len Dawson, Tom Watson and George Brett). It was done to raise money for ALS, it was a very successful print. We had all four of them sign it. We did a limited edition of 250 prints. They sold for $500 and the first 100 sold for $1,000. We sold most of them out, so it was very successful. What was really neat about it was I knew all four of them before it, but we had all four of them come over and sign it down in the studio.

ATH: Well John, that wraps it up. Thank you so much for your time.
JM: It’s not a problem. Thanks for coming out.

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Game 2 – A Royal Event

Yes, tonight is a big one, with a sold out crowd and an intrastate showdown. But tonight is more than that. Tonight, we are honoring one of the best men in baseball. The Royals are inducting their 23rd member to the Hall of Fame, Art Stewart. 6-28 Gordon.JPGEach time one of these events comes around, it’s always a special moment and tonight promises to follow that mold.
For more on the special night, let’s go around the horn…
 
First
Art Stewart is the Royals’ longest tenured associate. He’s been with the club for 39 years. Over 50 years of his life has been spent in baseball. Stewart currently holds the position of Senior Advisor to the General Manager, a post he’s held since 1997. Before that, Stewart served as Director of Scouting from 1984-96. He’s also helped in the organization of the baseball academy in the Dominican Republic and served as a scout in the Midwest for a number of years.
 
Stewart may not be the most visible person in the Royals organization to fans, but his work most certainly is visible. Over 70 players Stewart drafted or scouted reached the Majors, including Bo Jackson, Kevin Appier, Brian McRae, Mike Sweeney, Johnny Damon, Joe Randa and Carlos Beltran.
 
During Spring Training, the Royals dedicated three fields, naming them for the retired numbers in the organization, Dick Howser, George Brett and Frank White. At the same time, the Club dedicated the observation tower, naming it Stewart Tower.
 
If you’re curious who Stewart is, he can be seen at most Royals home games, sitting a few rows behind home plate holding a radar gun and jotting notes.
 
Second
During a pre-game interview with the media earlier this week, manager Trey Hillman talked about ‘slug.’ Very simply, ‘slug’ is a lineups ability to hit the ball and hit it hard. The Royals are showing quite a bit of slug lately, with the most recent example being Alex Gordon’s 416-foot shot in the fifth last night. Gordon has hit five homers in his last 16 games.
 
Gordon’s recent surge can be attributed some to the protection Jose Guillen provides hitting right behind him in the lineup. Hitting in the three-hole, Gordon has seen better pitches to hit and taken advantage of it. Last season he ended with 15 homers. 6-20 Teahen.jpgLast night he joined Guillen as the only double-digit Royals so far this season. But three more players are chomping at the bit to join them, with David DeJesus, Mark Teahen and Miguel Olivo all sitting at eight homers.

Short
As a team, the Royals have gone 11-1 over their last 12, homering in all but three games, including going homerless in their lone loss…Of note: Hot hitting Billy Butler has been recalled from Omaha and Alberto Callaspo moved to the Disabled List. Butler was hitting .337 with six doubles, a triple, five homers and 13 RBI while with Omaha.
 
Third
A few reminders of what to watch out for…
 
On Around the Horn: Tomorrow a complete recap of tonight’s festivities and a Touch ‘em All interview with John Martin (no regular around the horn).
Monday: A recap of the “Eye”-70 Series, presented by Silverstein Eye Centers.
Later this week: A renovations update and more daily content.
 
On royals.com: The Royals Relay chat series will have another installment on Tuesday. Royals’ Senior Director of Scouting Deric Ladnier will be online at 3 p.m. CT to take question from fans.
 
On the field: The Royals finish up with the Cards tomorrow at 1:10 (tickets still available) and head out to Baltimore on Monday for a four game set. You can catch all four games on FSN-KC at 6:05 p.m. CT.
 
 
Tonight’s Lineup:
LF David DeJesus (l .317-8-41)
SS Mike Aviles (R .313-3-14)
3B Alex Gordon (L .266-10-39)
DH Jose Guillen (R .285-13-60)
2B Mark Grudzielanek (r .302-2-14)
RF Mark Teahen (L .256-8-26)
C Miguel Olivo (R .257-8-27)
1B Ross Gload (l .263-1-14)
CF Joey Gathright (L .245-0-14)
 
P Kyle Davies (3-0, 3.12)

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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