01/11/2008 6:08 PM ET
Royals Caravan travels through Kansas
Trip includes DeJesus, Gathright, Butler, Leonard and Moore
KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Royals announced today the dates and itinerary for one of the final two legs of this year's Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Net. A number of current Royals players, coaches, announcers and front office officials, as well as Royals legends and Sluggerrr, will take part in the annual event with trips to over 30 Midwestern cities throughout January.
This Caravan trip will begin on Monday, Jan. 21 and runs through Wednesday, Jan. 23, making stops in nine Kansas communities. It will include General Manager Dayton Moore, outfielders David DeJesus and Joey Gathright, infielder Billy Butler, Royals Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Leonard, broadcasters Fred White and Steve Stewart, and mascot Sluggerrr. These same participants will be involved in the Royals FanFest, Jan. 18-19 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan.
A tentative schedule is listed below, as well as at royals.com.
2008 Royals Caravan presented by FSN
Caravan Trip 4: Monday, Jan. 21-Wednesday, Jan. 23
Participants: Dayton Moore, David DeJesus, Joey Gathright, Billy Butler, Dennis Leonard, Fred White, Steve Stewart and Sluggerrr
Monday, Jan. 21 (Junction City, Manhattan and Salina, Kan.)
12:30-1:30 p.m. Meet & Greet at Jim Clark Auto Center - 911 Goldenbelt Blvd. in Junction City, Kan. (Hosted by KJCK)
4-5 p.m. Meet & Greet at Paddy O'Quigley's - 530 Richards Drive in Manhattan (Hosted by KMAN)
6-7 p.m. Meet & Greet at Wal-Mart - 2900 S. 9th Street in Salina (Hosted by KSAL)
Tuesday, Jan. 22 (Greensburg, Hutchinson and Wichita, Kan.)
1-1:45 p.m. Greensburg School Visit
1:45-2:15 p.m. Tour of Greensburg Community
4:30-5:30 p.m. Meet & Greet at Hutchinson Mall - 117 North Walnut (Hosted by KWBW)
7-8 p.m. Meet & Greet at Heroes Sports Bar & Grill - 117 Mosley in Wichita (Hosted by KFH AM/FM)
Wednesday, Jan. 23 (Emporia, Topeka and Lawrence, Kan.)
10-11 a.m. School Visit at Lowther South Intermediate School - 215 W. 6th Avenue in Emporia (Hosted by KVOE)
1:30-2:30 p.m. Meet & Greet at Jeremiah Bullfrogs - 4115 SW Huntoon St. in Topeka (Hosted by WIBW)
3:30-4:15 p.m. Meet & Greet at Hy-Vee - 4000 West 6th Street in Lawrence (Hosted by 1320 KLWN)
ROYALS CARAVAN PARTICIPANTS:
BILLY BUTLER - Billy Butler enters his second season in the Major Leagues looking to mirror the success he found in his rookie season for the Royals. Butler hit .292 with 23 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 52 RBI in just 92 games with the big league club in 2007.
The 21-year-old opened the season at Triple-A Omaha and had his contract purchased on May 1, becoming the 12th-youngest player and seventh-youngest position player to make his Major League debut for the Royals.
After hitting .341 (31-for-91) with three home runs and 24 RBI in 24 games in July, Butler was named the July American League Rookie of the Month as well as the Royals Player of the Month. From June 20 on, he led the club in hits (87), RBI (48), on-base percentage (.358) and slugging percentage (.466).
Butler, who was selected by the Royals in the first round (14th overall) of the 2004 draft, resides in Baldwin, Fla., with his wife, Katie.
DAVID DeJESUS - Outfielder David DeJesus enters his fifth full-season with the Royals in 2008.
DeJesus batted .260 last season and set career highs in a number of categories including games (157), at-bats (605), runs (101), hits (157), triples (9), RBI (58), walks (64), strikeouts (83), stolen bases (10) and hit-by-pitches (23). The 23 hit-by-pitches, which led the American League in 2007, set a new Royals single-season record. He became the first Royals player since Carlos Beltran in 2003 to top the century mark in runs scored.
DeJesus, who just turned 27 in December, had a great start to the season, hitting .308 and leading the squad in at-bats, hits and runs in April. His four April home runs tied for first on the team and helped him to earn Royals Player of the Month honors. He recorded his 100th career double on July 2 vs. Seattle and posted 100 hits before the All-Star break for the first time in his career. His 13-game hitting streak, during which he batted .400 with 11 RBI from July 22-Aug. 4, marked a team season-high.
The Manalapan, N.J., native was selected by the Royals in the fourth round of the 2000 draft. DeJesus signed a five-year deal with the Royals, which also includes a club option for 2011, prior to the 2006 season. He resides in Mission Hills, Kan.
JOEY GATHRIGHT - Speedster Joey Gathright looks to build on the success he had at the plate in 2007 as he enters his third season with the Royals. Gathright, who split last season between Triple-A Omaha and Kansas City, hit a career-best .307 with 28 runs scored in 74 games for the big league club.
The 27-year-old outfielder began the season in Omaha and was hitting .328 with eight doubles, two triples, 20 RBI and 33 runs scored when he was recalled to the Royals on June 6. He was leading the Pacific Coast League with 21 steals in 26 attempts and was tied for second in both walks (37) and on-base percentage (.450) at the time of his first call-up.
In his first stint with the Royals, he hit .315 with nine RBI, five steals and 13 runs scored in just 25 games. The Royals posted an 18-14 during his time in the bigs and a 15-10 mark in games he appeared. He was optioned back to Omaha on July 16, but was recalled for the remainder of the season on Aug. 1. He hit .303 the rest of the way. Gathright's .341 average and nine multi-hit games in August landed him Royals Player of the Month honors.
Prior to joining Kansas City in a mid-season trade in 2006, Gathright spent parts of three seasons with the Devil Rays and owns a .251 career average in 229 big league games. He was originally selected in the 32nd round of the 2001 draft and can jump over a car with a running start, which is what he was doing when Devil Rays scout Benny Latino caught up with him in the parking lot of his high school in Kenner, La. He resides in the Kansas City area.
DAYTON MOORE - Dayton Moore was named Senior Vice President-Baseball Operations/General Manager on May 30, 2006. He officially assumed his duties, becoming the sixth general manager in franchise history, on June 8, 2006.
Moore, a native of Wichita, Kan., and former resident of Garden City, Kan., brings an impressive resume to the Royals. He had previously worked for the Atlanta Braves organization since 1994, most recently serving as Assistant General Manager/Baseball Operations. He was named by Baseball America in 2005 as one of the Top 10 Up-and-Coming Power Brokers in Major League Baseball, and in 2004, was named the top general manager prospect by the same publication.
Moore played a key role for many years of the Braves string of 14-straight division titles. Under the leadership of General Manager and former Royals GM John Schuerholz, the Braves won the prestigious Organization of the Year Award from Baseball America several times, including 2005 when 18 rookies contributed to a team that posted 90 wins.
The 40-year-old earned both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from George Mason University, where he served as an assistant coach from 1990-94. He and his wife, Marianne, reside in Leawood, Kan., with their three children.
FRED WHITE - Fred White, Director-Broadcast Services & Royals Alumni, continues to work with the Royals broadcast team as both Director-Broadcast Services & Royals Alumni in 2008.
White handles the Royals broadcast services and oversees the club's alumni group. He rejoined the organization in 2001 after serving as an announcer on the Royals Radio Network for 25 years from 1974-1998.
White has won numerous awards in the broadcast industry and has worked college basketball and football games for CBS, NBC, TBS, Raycom and ESPN. His voice is heard year-round as he continues to draw assignments in the Big 12 and Big 10. A graduate of Eastern Illinois University, White has been named the Kansas Sportscaster of the Year several times. He and his wife, Barb, reside in Leawood, Kan. He has three children, Stacy, John and Joe Brett.
STEVE STEWART - Steve Stewart joins the crew in the Royals Radio broadcast booth in 2008, hosting the pre and post-game shows on the Royals Radio Network, as well as calling the action on selected games throughout the year.
Stewart joins the Royals broadcast team from Cincinnati, where he partnered with Ford C. Frick Award winner, Marty Brennaman from 2004-2006. Prior to Cincinnati, Stewart spent parts of four seasons describing the action of the Baltimore Orioles. A St. Louis native, Stewart also provided play-by-play for the Cardinals during a portion of the 2002 season. His broadcasting career began in 1981 calling SMU football and basketball on KSMU in Dallas. He also has four seasons of minor league play-by-play experience (Calgary and Richmond).