04/16/12 9:30 AM ET
Gordon excited to welcome FanFest to KC
Royals left fielder named spokesperson for All-Star event
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
That will be his assignment this year as spokesperson for the MLB All-Star FanFest that will be held July 6-10 at the Kansas City Convention Center/Bartle Hall. Gordon will generate awareness for the FanFest and make appearances on behalf of the event.
The Royals' left fielder joins such notable players as Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols who have served in the role.
"I'm honored and privileged to do it," Gordon said. "I think George Brett is doing something, too, and we're all excited the All-Star Game is in Kansas City, so whatever I can do to help out with the community and the team, I'm happy to do it."
Brett, the Royals' Hall of Famer, is the All-Star Ambassador for Kansas City's third All-Star Game and its first since 1973, the year that Kauffman (then Royals) Stadium opened.
Gordon missed that one -- he was born in 1984.
"So I wasn't around when the last All-Star Game was in Kansas City. But you hear the buzz in the city, even two years ago when they announced it," Gordon said. "We have great fans, we've got a great stadium that was upgraded, and I think [Commissioner] Bud Selig saw that and wanted to reward the city of Kansas City for all they've done. It's a great atmosphere and I know it's going to be a great event."
The extensive stadium renovations have hit a responsive chord with fans and players and enlivened the atmosphere at games.
"Yeah, definitely, especially in the outfield with the energy and excitement you get with the bleachers," Gordon said. "Before, there were no fans, just the waterfalls, which was great, but you didn't have that excitement behind you, which is great to have all around the ballpark. More seats, more stuff to do out there, so it makes it a lot more entertaining for the fans. It definitely puts more buzz and excitement in the stadium."
The All-Star FanFest in downtown Kansas City is billed as the largest interactive baseball theme park in the world, covering 400,000 square feet. Included will be exhibits from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Negro Leagues Museum plus batting cages, clinics and free autograph sessions with former Royals, MLB legends and Hall of Famers.
All MLB All-Star FanFest attractions are included with the price of admission. The only additional event costs are for concessions, memorabilia and merchandise. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under (children two and under are admitted free), senior citizens and military personnel. Tickets are sold on a timed-entry basis, providing fans the ability to reserve the day and time of their choice. Once inside the venue, fans can stay as long as they wish until the event's closing time. To purchase, visit the official All-Star Game website of Major League Baseball (AllStarGame.com), the official Royals website (royals.com/2012), the Royals Box Office at Kauffman Stadium or call 1-888-FanFest (326-3378).
On a smaller scale, Gordon has enjoyed participating in the Royals FanFest.
"Usually the fans that come to those kind of things are true fans that have been with the Royals for a while and they support us through the year, so the least we can do is spend a little time with them," Gordon said.
Last year, in the midst of a big breakthrough season for the Royals, Gordon was one of five American League players nominated for the All-Star Final Vote, which prompted him to do a bit of campaigning with the fans.
"I was very honored. It was great to even be selected for the top five, especially where I was the last couple of years," he said. "It was a good year last year, and maybe I can turn it around here and get this slow start out of the way and get it going and maybe be up for an All-Star Game again."
With the baseball world focused on Kansas City's All-Star season and its vibrant young team, Gordon is hoping for multiple representation on the AL team by the Royals, something they haven't had since 2003.
"It would be awesome if we could get two or three or maybe four in the All-Star Game," Gordon said. "Since I've been here, it's only been one and it's been the manager's selection, so hopefully the fans can get out and vote for some of these young guys that are playing well and put them in the All-Star Game. It would really be a lot more exciting to have some of our players in the game for the fans to see. And it'd mean a lot to the players, too."
Perhaps Gordon the All-Star spokesperson could also be an All-Star player.
"Hopefully it comes hand in hand," he said with a smile.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.