The gang’s all here. Well, nearly.
Twenty members of the Royals, along with manager Ned Yost and general manager Dayton Moore, will be at Saturday’s FanFest at the Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd.
George Brett, Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens and Kevin Appier are some of the former players who will be on hand as well.
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, doors will open at 9 a.m. for season-ticket holders. Tickets are $8 for children (6 to 17) and $14 for adults. Children 5 and under are admitted free.
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Among the players expected to take part are Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar. The pitchers acquired during the offseason — Ervin Santana, James Shields and Wade Davis — also will be there.
There will be autograph sessions, roundtable discussions and interactive games.
The Royals Charities store will be open throughout FanFest at the same location as the team merchandise store. All proceeds from memorabilia items will go to charity. Near the Royals Charities store, the Royals will join the USO chapters of Fort Riley and Missouri to collect items for military members serving overseas or returning from service.
Donations needed include washcloths, individually wrapped toothbrushes, beef jerky and pudding cups.
In addition, fans can bring or make hand-written “Thank You” cards for troops at the Royals Caravan stops. For every card received, Royals Charities will donate $1 to the USO (up to $10,000).
For more information on FanFest, go to Royals.com/fanfest.
Collins honored to be on Team USA
A day after being named to Team USA’s provisional roster for the World Baseball Classic, Royals left-handed relief pitcher Tim Collins was still excited.
“I am extremely honored to even be thought of to participate in this,” Collins said Friday. “To even be playing on the same field as that group of guys is pretty awesome. It’s almost like an All-Star team, especially with the caliber of players who are representing Team USA.”
Collins, 23, was 5-4 last season with a 3.36 ERA in 72 career games.
He is one of nine players from the Royals organization on provisional rosters for the WBC, which is March 2-19.
There is one other addition. Mike Swanson, the Royals’ vice president of communications and broadcasting, will be working public relations for Team Dominican Republic.