Will Zack attract more fans to Kauffman?

You’ve got to hand it to Zack Greinke for not being big-headed. He can’t quite believe that folks are going to come to Kauffman Stadium just to see him pitch.

He electrified a sellout crowd last Friday night with a brilliant 6-1 victory over the Tigers, his second straight complete-game victory. He’s leading the league not only with four victories but with that can’t-be-any-better 0.00 ERA and, oh yes, those 36 strikeouts.

He’s still got a string of 43 innings without giving up an earned run, even though that error-caused run scored the other night. He’s got the ability to throw a 98-mph fastball and a 62-mph curve with equally devastating results.

Beyond that, he’s got that boyish grin and good looks, a refreshingly quirky outlook on life, great intelligence and a genuine respect for the fans. And everyone knows how he overcame some personal issues and took a firm grip on his great talent and potential.

All things considered, he could become the first pitcher since the days of Bret Saberhagen or David Cone to be a real box-office draw for the Royals. Last Friday night, it was Fireworks Friday (although those were postponed because of high wind) and Buck Night, attractions that certainly swelled the crowd.

We’ll get a better read when Greinke pitches on Wednesday night at Kauffman against the Blue Jays. The only “extra” is it’s College Night Happy Hour with cheap seats and concessions for high schoolers and collegians.

The biggest attraction is young Zack Greinke.

–Dick Kaegel

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