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04/12/08 7:31 PM ET
Powder blues popular in return
Sellout crowd welcomes jersey color back to Kansas City
By Alan Eskew / Special to MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Unveiling the new powder blue jerseys proved to be a big hit with Royals fans. Saturday marked the first time the Royals had worn the powder blues for a home game. The club quit wearing the powder blues after the 1991 season before bringing back the powder blue tops this year, much to the delight of fans. The first 20,000 fans Saturday night for the game against the Twins received a powder blue No. 16 Billy Butler jersey. With that promotion, the game against the Twins was a sellout at Kauffman Stadium. Manager Trey Hillman and seven players -- Brian Bannister, Gil Meche, Joey Gathright, Tony Pena, John Bale, Zack Greinke and Butler -- helped hand out the free jerseys when the gates opened at 4 p.m. CT. All 20,000 powder blue tops were handed out within 40 minutes after the gates opened. Vehicles were already lining up at 1:30 p.m. to enter the parking lot. They came out despite the cold weather. It was 41 degrees at first pitch, but with a 14 mph northwest wind it felt like 33 degrees. "I like them," Hillman said. "I was thrilled [by] bringing them back. Growing up and seeing the confidence that the Royals players had when they had them on ... they wore them a lot back then. I'm excited to wear it. "You probably won't see my power blue jersey tonight simply because of the frigid conditions. You'll probably see that Royal blue coat on me in the dugout." Frank White, who was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1995 and a winner of eight Gold Gloves at second base, threw out the ceremonial first pitch in a powder blue top.
Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.