Monday, January 18, 2010

Royals Fan Fest

The third annual Royals Fan Fest was held this past Friday and Saturday at the Overland Park Convention Center. The featured attractions were the 1985 World Series team on Friday night and Zack Greinke throughout. There were autograph sessions, stage time for the position groups, games for kids and adults, the stores, and contests on the main stage. This is a fun time, especially for kids, and a time to hear from some of the Royals' players and the manager and GM.
The 1985 team appeared Friday night. It was amazing how many of the guys were there. Hal McCrae was there, but only his legs appear in this shot (oops).

They were very well received. I was impressed by the interaction within the group. Chemistry is an important part of winning, and it appears that this team had remarkable chemistry. Dan Quisenberry was missed by all, and mentioned by several, both for his contribution athletically and to the clubhouse. Maybe it is time to retire the #29 uniform.

Zack Greinke was everywhere, including at the store.

The kids are still the athlete's biggest fans. Team allegiances that never die are made at this age. You never forget what your first favorite team was, and who your favorite players were.

I would say that the general feeling at the Fan Fest was enthusiasm but realism. I think most fans realize that the Royals do not have a lot of really good players. For the Royals to surprise, many players are going to have to have outlier type years, they are going to have to play better then they ever had. In addition, players like Greinke and Butler are going to have to continue to excel. There also has to be very few injuries, as the minor leagues are still somewhat depleted at the upper level. Could the Royals win 82 games--play .500 baseball? That would be nice. More realistic is probably 75 games. Improvements in fundamentals and baseball smarts from last year will make that possible. Anyway, it was a nice break from winter to think about baseball for two days.

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