There are some big Zack Greinke doin’s set for next Friday night at Kauffman Stadium. It’ll center around him accepting his American League Cy Young Award from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
He’s gotten it before – at the writers’ New York dinner last winter – but this time he gets it in front of the hometown folks before a game against the Red Sox.
It’ll all start at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, April 9, so get there early. The Royals’ other Cy Young winners, Bret Saberhagen and David Cone, will participate. So will George Brett, Dennis Leonard and Paul Splittorff.
The Zackster also will get his Players Choice Award as 2009’s best AL pitcher. He’s already designated the cash prize that comes with it from the Players’ Association to the Boys and Girls Club of KC.
And for the fans there’s a “Cy Young Celebration” tee-shirt featuring Greinke, Saberhagen and Cone. The shirts will go to the first 35,000 fans so that should take care of just about everybody. (The joint seats just under 38,000.)
— Dick Kaegel
The Royals have been big supporters of the military and that continues with the launch of the 2010 Royals Caravan next Tuesday at Fort Riley in Kansas.
Hall of Famer George Brett will be joined by his old pal and former catcher Jamie Quirk and the noted “Joker” and ex-third baseman Joe Randa in meeting members of the Combat Aviation Brigade. The unit of more than 2,700 soldiers is preparing to deploy overseas in the nation’s war zone.
They’ll be joined by broadcaster Joel Goldberg for the visit from 11:15 to 12:45 p.m. CT on Tuesday. The group also will visit the Cottonwood Elementary School in Salina, Kan., at 2:15 p.m. and go to that night’s basketball game at Manhattan, Kansas State vs. Texas A&M.
Should be an interesting FanFest with the ’85 World Series boys coming in. Even Buddy Black, busy as the Padres manager, is taking time to join ex-pitching buddies such as Charlie Leibrandt, Bret Saberhagen and Danny Jackson. And Hal McRae will be there with his big smile and famous cackle. . . . We hear the Royals are planning to have an alumni game next summer with the ’85ers squaring off against some of the Cardinals’ alums from the I-70 Series. Wouldn’t it be nice if new Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog could join the fun? . . . Mike Sweeney will be at next Thursday night’s Royals Awards dinner to present the award named for him – which goes to the player who best represents the organization on and off the field. This year’s winner is first baseman Clint Robinson from the Wilmington Blue Rocks. He logged many hours at the community’s schools and camps and the local Children’s Hospital. He also hit .298 with 13 dingers. Sweeney last year was surprised with the Mr. Baseball Award for his long service to Kansas City. . . . Tickets for the dinner, by the way, are on sale at www.royals.com/awardsnight. It’s 75 bucks and gets you a look at Zack Greinke, Billy Butler, Brett, Frank White and many other celebs. It’s at the Overland Park Convention Center.
— Dick Kaegel
The Royals 2009 Media Guide includes an interesting feature – the team’s all-time numerical roster for its first 40 seasons.
Where else would you find out that David Cone wore No. 13 in 1986, No. 17 in 1993 and No. 22 in 1994, his only three years with the Royals?
Want to know who wore 5 before George Brett? Well, coaches Owen Friend in 1969, Dan Carnevale in 1970 and George Strickland in 1970-72 and players Ted Savage in 1971, Richie Scheinblum in 1972 and ’74, and Tom Poquette in 1973. The number was retired in 1994 after Brett hung ’em up.
We should mention, of course, that Brett wore 25 in 1973-74 after he came up.
The list for Frank White’s retired 20 is shorter. Only three players – Jim Campanis in 1969-70, Monty Montgomery in 1971-72 and Barry Raziano in 1973 preceded White.
Manager Dick Howser’s 10, which he took when hired in 1981 and was retired after his death, had been worn by six players – including current pitching coach Bob McClure in 1975. The others were Paul Schaal, Tommy Davis, Joe Lahoud, Jamie Quirk and Clint Hurdle.
The highest number was Hideo Nomo’s 91 last year and the lowest George Scott’s 0 in 1979.
If you’ve seen the World Series-clinching photos and tape from 1985, you know that Bret Saberhagen was wearing 31 then but he switched to 18 two years later. Incidentally, 31 has been worn by the most folks – 27 players and one manager, Jack McKeon. The current 31 is Brandon Duckworth.
The info was provided by Baseball Almanac.