Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

The Royals won on Monday night against the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 5-3. They had no business winning the game and if you were watching or listening to the game in the early innings, you probably tuned out on the game.

Royals starter Bruce Chen pitched 5 innings giving up 3 runs on 8 hits while throwing 99 pitches. It could have been a lot worse as he massed 50 pitches by the 2nd inning and escaping 2 bases loaded situations by only giving up one run each time. Chen gave way to Robinson Tejeda in the 6th and pitched brilliantly for the win in relief giving up only 1 hit. Both Chen and Tejeda benefitted from defensive plays from Ryan Freel and Bryan Pena respectively. Freel throwing out Nolan Reimold at the plate to end the 2nd and Pena throwing out Cesar Izturis trying to steal second base after he led off the 6th with a single and was the last Oriole hitter to reach base. Closer Joakim Soria took over in the 9th to get his 16th save.

One the offensive side, Billy Butler went 5 for 5 including 2 doubles with 3 runs batted in and scoring twice. Mark Teahan, Willie Bloomquist, and Alex Gordon had doubles also in the 14 hit attack.

The Royals could have easily collapsed early in the game, but they did not. The offense and pitching could have packed it in, but they didn't. They had no business winning the game, but the Royals did not listen. They did what other teams did to them during the past home stand; the Royals snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Royals Hall of Fame Opens

The Kansas City Royals have done it right with their new Hall of Fame which opened on Friday July 17, 2009. The exhibits are all top notch starting with the Wall at the entrance to the Hall of Fame. A tour guide dressed in a Jackie Robinson Kansas City Monarchs uniform described the headlines that are enshrined on the ash wood wall appropriately using a baseball bat as a pointer. This area also contains replica lockers for the 3 Royals retired numbers of #10 Dick Howser, #5 George Brett, and #20 Frank White along with informational displays about Kansas City baseball history including the Cowboys, Blues, Monarchs, and Athletics among others.

After the 20 or so minute presentation the group was whisked into the Dugout Theater sponsored by Sprint. The theater designed is to look like a dugout that seats 40 people (appropriate because of the 40 man roster). The perspective of the field on the screen is from the dugout and you feel as if you are in the dugout at Kauffman Stadium. The film documents the history of the Royals which includes interviews from players and fans. A life size statue of Buck O'Neil is at the end of the bench that you pass as you exit to go into the exhibit hall.

The exhibit hall contains multi media displays and artifacts about Royals history. Many of the stations contain several videos that you can watch. A neat feature is the Royals Radio Network replica booth that has a "You Call the Play" feature where you can watch and listen to 6 famous Royals calls.

From here you move to the Hall of Champions where you are first greeted by a giant #5 made of 3154 baseballs that represents all of George Brett's hits. There is also a display of the gold gloves of Frank White along with wall displays and artifacts from each of the Western Division championships, American League championship, and finally the 1985 World Series trophy that contains a video presentation of the 85 championship.

The museum concludes with a room that contains the plaques of the 23 members of the Royals Hall of Fame.

The Hall is open on game days and no extra ticket is required upon admission to the ballpark. Tours are conducted in groups of 40 every 15 minutes. You are given the option of skipping the wall and film presentations and go straight to the museum if you choose. But I highly suggest you watch these presentations your first time attending the Hall. It is also open during the day for a $10 admission charge which includes an unlimited pass good for one year. Details are at the Royals website at http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/kc/ballpark/hall_of_fame.jsp.

Click here for photos of the new Royals Hall of Fame.