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01/12/2009 3:12 PM ET
Royals Caravan travels through Kansas
Trip to include Davies, Meche, Mayberry and Stewart
KANSAS CITY, MO - The Kansas City Royals announced today the itinerary for the third trip of the 2009 Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Kansas City. 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 Caravan event with trips to six states and more than 35 Midwestern cities throughout January.
This tour of the Caravan, which will make stops in nine communities throughout Kansas, begins Monday, Jan. 19 and runs through Wednesday, Jan. 21. It will include pitchers Kyle Davies and Gil Meche, Royals Hall of Famer John Mayberry, Royals Radio Network broadcaster Steve Stewart and mascot Sluggerrr. Prior to the tour, these same participants will be involved in the Royals FanFest, Jan. 17-18 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan.
A tentative schedule is listed below:
2009 Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Kansas City
West Caravan Trip: Monday, Jan. 19-Wednesday, Jan. 21
Participants: Kyle Davies, Gil Meche, John Mayberry, Steve Stewart and Sluggerrr
Monday, Jan. 19 (Emporia, Topeka and Lawrence, Kan.)
Noon-1:30 p.m. - Meet and Greet at Planet Sub - 2715 Candlewood Dr. in Emporia (Hosted by KVOE)
3-4:30 p.m. - Meet and Greet at Jeremiah Bullfrogs - 4115 SW Huntoon in Topeka (Hosted by WIBW)
6-7 p.m. - Meet and Greet at 23rd Street Brewery - 3512 Clinton Parkway in Lawrence (Hosted by KLWN)
Tuesday, Jan. 20 (Fort Riley, Manhattan and Salina, Kan.)
Noon-2 p.m - Visiting members of the military and their families stationed at Fort Riley ***Private event
Noon-12:45 p.m. - Eating lunch with troops at Camp Funston
1-2 p.m. - Visiting with families at the Post Exchange on Custer Hill
3-4 p.m. - Meet and Greet at Paddy O'Quigley's - 530 Richards Dr. in Manhattan (Hosted by KMAN)
6-7 p.m. - Meet and Greet at Wal-Mart - 2900 S. 9th Street in Salina (Hosted by KSAL)
Wednesday, Jan. 21 (McPherson, Hutchinson and Wichita, Kan.)
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. - Meet and Greet at McPherson College - 1600 East Euclid in McPherson (Hosted by KBBE)
3-4:15 p.m. - Meet and Greet at Hutchinson Mall - 1500 E. 11th Ave. in Hutchinson (Hosted by KWBW)
5:30-6:30 p.m. - Meet and Greet at Heroes Sports Bar & Grill - 117 N. Mosley in Wichita (Hosted by KFH-AM)
ROYALS CARAVAN PARTICIPANTS
KYLE DAVIES - Pitcher Kyle Davies enters 2009 looking to build on his strong finish to the 2008 campaign. The right-hander delivered several solid outings for the Royals as a starter last season, going 9-7 with a 4.06 ERA (113.0 IP, 51 ER) in 21 starts. His nine wins set a career high and his 4.06 ERA was a career best. He posted a 6-6 record and a 3.66 ERA (64 IP, 26ER) in 12 starts following the All-Star break, including a 4-1 mark with a 2.27 ERA in September.
Davies started the year in Triple-A Omaha, going 6-2 with a Pacific Coast League-leading 2.06 ERA, before getting recalled on May 31 and making his 2008 debut that night against Cleveland. He won his first three decisions in the Majors (with one no decision), allowing single runs in each of his first four starts, posting a 1.46 ERA (24.2 IP, 4 ER).
The Decatur, Ga., native was acquired by the Royals in a trade with Atlanta on July 31, 2007. The 25-year old resides in McDonough, Ga., with his wife, Katie.
GIL MECHE - Gil Meche put together another successful season in his second year with the Royals, posting the second-highest win total of his career and a second-straight sub-4.00 ERA. The right-hander, who went 14-11 with a 3.98 ERA in 2008, will look to continue his success on the mound as he enters his third year with the club and his ninth in Major League Baseball. Meche, 30, made 34 starts in 2008, tying a career high, while also setting a career high with 183 strikeouts, ranking fifth in the American League and tying teammate Zack Greinke for the most strikeouts by a Royals pitcher since Kevin Appier in 1997 (196 strikeouts). Meche was outstanding from June 10 through the remainder of the season, going 11-3 with a 3.09 ERA in his final 21 starts. He was named the Royals Pitcher of the Month for August after going 1-1 with a 3.49 ERA in six starts, striking out 42 batters in 38.2 innings. The 42 strikeouts were the third most in the A.L., the most by a Kansas City pitcher in August and the most in any month by a Royals pitcher since Appier recorded 44 in May of 1997.
Meche, a native of Lafayette, La., was signed as a free agent on Dec. 8, 2006. Before joining the Royals, he pitched for six seasons with the Seattle Mariners, posting a combined 55-44 mark with a 4.65 ERA. He has three children and resides in Kansas City, with his fiancée, Stacy.
JOHN MAYBERRY - "Big John" Mayberry was the first true power hitter for the Kansas City Royals and probably the most impressive. He was a true slugger in a lineup that featured speed and gap hitters. In six seasons with Kansas City (1972-77), he averaged 24 home runs and 94 RBI.
Mayberry earned All-Star honors in both 1973 and 1974 and became the club's first 30-home run hitter with 34 bombs in 1975. In addition, he helped lead the club to back-to-back American League West titles in 1976 and 1977.
Mayberry enjoyed a 15-year Major League career from 1968-82 with the Houston Astros, Royals, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. He finished his career with 255 home runs, 879 RBI and a .253 average. He was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1996. He and his wife, Janice, reside in Overland Park, Kan. The couple's son, John, Jr., was a first-round selection of the Texas Rangers in 2005 after playing collegiately at Stanford and is currently with the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
STEVE STEWART - Steve Stewart enters his second season in the Royals Radio broadcast booth in 2009, 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 joined the Royals broadcast team in 2008 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 calling 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).