October 2010

Who’ll win the Series? Doc Brown knows

Who will win the World Series?

Let’s check with Dr. Emmett Brown. He knows.

Yeah, that’s Doc Brown, the wacky scientist played by Christopher Lloyd in the movie “Back to the Future.” That was 25 years ago, an anniversary that’s being celebrated by Hollywood just as the 2010 World Series is beginning in Northern California.

The movie, a money-making blockbuster, was about high school kid Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) who was accidentally transported in a time machine back from 1985 to 1955. He runs into his parents-to-be as teenagers and works to make sure they fall in love so he can get back to the future.

Remember some of the film’s great lines?

Doc: Then tell me, Future Boy, who is President in the United States in 1985?

Marty: Ronald Reagan

Doc: Ronald Reagan? The actor? Who’s Vice President? Jerry Lewis?

Early in the film, Doc Brown tells Marty where he’d like to go in his time machine, improbably crafted from a DeLorean automobile.

“25 years into the future,” Doc says. “I’ve always dreamed of seeing the future, living beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. . . . I’ll also be able to see who wins the next 25 World Series!”

Movie fans remember the end of the film when frizzy-haired Doc is about to take Marty and his girl friend Jennifer (Claudia Wells) zooming into the future in his garbage-powered DeLorean. In the script, they flew away in the car – “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads,” Doc proclaims – and left 1985 behind.

All of us, of course, know who won the next 24 World Series. But only Doc Brown knows if the 2010 winner is the San Francisco Giants or the Texas Rangers.

And, really, we did our best to check with him but he was much too busy. Something about a fluxcapacitor and a Clock Tower and, oh yes, he had to feed Einstein. He was barking.

–Dick Kaegel

Butler’s ‘Hit-It-A-Ton’ campaign is a big hit

Billy Butler’s off-the-field contributions continue to get recognition. He was cited as the October Player of the Month by Sporting Generosity, an organization in Washington, D.C., that recognizes contributions to the community by athletes.

Butler’s biggest hit has been his “Hit-It-A-Ton” program which helps feed Kansas City’s homeless and low-income families through the Bishop Sullivan Center’s St. James Place. He donates a ton of food for every home run he hits and various businesses follow his lead. Since 2008, the program has accounted for nearly 1,000 tons of food.

He and his wife Katie have become leaders in the Royals’ charitable endeavors.

— Dick Kaegel

Jim Abbott to share his story, help disabled kids

There’s a great chance to hear some good baseball talk and help a good cause on Thursday, Oct. 21, in Kansas City.

Jim Abbott, the no-hit pitcher who spent 10 years in the Majors despite being born without a right hand, will share his inspirational story in a conversation with Sports Illustrated writer Joe Posnanski at the Bruce Watkins Cultural Heritage Center at 3700 Blue Parkway. The program will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT.

This is the launch of the “Inspired Performances” series of the National Sports Center for the Disabled-Kansas City. Proceeds will benefit NSCD-KC and its free sports camps for kids with special needs. Tickets are $50 per person for lunch and the program. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $100 which includes a pre-event meet-and-greet session with Abbott.

To order tickets, call 816-513-7571 or go on-line at www.nscd.org/kansascity.

Also scheduled to appear are two former Royals outfielders, Jim Eisenreich and Willie Wilson. Eisenreich successfully battled Tourette Syndrome in a 15-year Major League career. Wilson is a member of the Royals Hall of Fame.

Abbott, from Flint, Mich., was the Angels’ first-round draft choice in 1988. For his play at the University of Michigan, he won the Golden Spikes Award. In his first three years with the Angels, he won 40 games. He pitched his no-hitter for the Yankees on Sept. 4, 1993, against the Indians. And, of course, he threw AND fielded left-handed.

Just FYI: Abbott didn’t have overwhelming luck against the Royals in his career, going 6-12 against them in 25 games. Oh, and Eisenreich was 4-for-12, .333, against the big lefty but Wilson was a mere 1-for-11, .091.

It’s all being arranged by Bob Kendrick, who did such a great job for years at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. He tells us that more that 500 kids with physical or mental challenges participated in the NSCD-KC sports camps this year, learning soccer from the Wizards, football from the Chiefs, baseball from the Royals and basketball from UMKC athletes.

— Dick Kaegel

Royals exercise 2011 option on DeJesus

The Royals announced on Saturday they are picking up the $6-million option on outfielder David DeJesus’ contract for next season.

Only the timing was a surprise. The Royals had until Oct. 15 to exercise the club option.

The option was an addition to a five-year, $13.8-million deal that DeJesus signed with the Royals that ran from 2006 through this season. He earned $4.6 million this year.

DeJesus, 30, was lost for the season on July 22 when he jammed his glove hand into the center field wall trying for a catch at Yankee Stadium. He underwent surgery four days later.

In 91 games this season, DeJesus hit .318 with five homers and 37 RBIs. He was the Royals’ leadoff batter for most of his eight years with the club but he batted third most often this season.
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Although he played center field most of his career, he moved to left field in 2009 and to right field this year.

–Dick Kaegel