01/13/09 3:30 PM EST
Newcomers in spotlight for FanFest
Bloomquist, Crisp, Farnsworth and Jacobs to attend event
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
Four prominent newcomers -- center fielder Coco Crisp, first baseman Mike Jacobs, second baseman Willie Bloomquist and relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth -- are scheduled to appear at the two-day event. Farnsworth will attend only on Saturday.
A total of 26 players are coming in for the FanFest but not right fielder Jose Guillen, who caused a stir at last year's event by telling general manager Dayton Moore he didn't want to play left field as the Royals planned. Moore said that Guillen is concentrating on getting ready for Spring Training and for the World Baseball Classic in which he's to represent the Dominican Republic.
The doors at the Overland Park Convention Center will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT on Sunday. One-day passes cost $12 for adults and $6 for children aged 6 to 17 in advance or $14 and $7 at the door. Children under 6 will have free admission.
This year, two-day passes also are on sale at $18 for adults and $9 for kids. All tickets can be purchased at royals.com.
There will be exclusive sessions for season-ticket holders from 9:30 to 11 a.m. CT each day.
The FanFest will feature interactive games, autograph signings, kids clinics, auctions and main stage events. Last year's event was such a big draw that the area is being expanded by 25,000 square feet to nearly 85,000 square feet.
Among players attending will be the team's big three award winners -- Mike Aviles, top player; Joakim Soria, top pitcher, and Zack Greinke, special achievement.
Other players expected are John Bale, Brian Bannister, John Buck, Billy Butler, Shane Costa, Kyle Davies, David DeJesus, Brandon Duckworth, Esteban German, Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar, Kila Ka'aihue, Devon Lowery, Ron Mahay, Gil Meche, Neal Musser, Miguel Olivo, Ryan Shealy and Mark Teahen. Teahen and Bale will appear only on Saturday.
Newly-signed pitchers Doug Waechter and Horacio Ramirez had other commitments.
Also scheduled to be on hand: manager Trey Hillman and coaches John Gibbons, Rusty Kuntz, Dave Owen, Eddie Rodriguez and Kevin Seitzer.
Seitzer will be joined by other Royals alumni including Jim Eisenreich, Dennis Leonard, Mike Macfarlane, John Mayberry, Brian McRae, Jeff Montgomery, Greg Pryor, Jamie Quirk, Joe Randa, John Wathan, Frank White and Willie Wilson. Hall of Famer George Brett will be absent; he's being honored this weekend at a Los Angeles event.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.