04/05/12 10:00 AM ET
Royals Hall of Fame begins new era
By Curt Nelson / Kansas City Royals
Our everyday reliance on the Web for information, news and entertainment has become so pervasive in a relatively short amount of time (at least for a forty-something like me) that it now looks and feels effortless, but of course that is not the reality. Getting a project with as much content and engagement as this up and running would have been nearly impossible without the help of our friends and partners at MLBAM. With their help, it is now possible for us to provide even more depth of Royals coverage, both past and present. We hope to do that and more.
OK. Where to start? Here is a quick (or maybe not so quick) history of the Royals Hall of Fame. Many of you probably know that the Royals Hall of Fame began during the 1986 season. Those were heady days for those of us who remember hearing "Walk like an Egyptian" by the Bangles (perhaps on our Walkman -- the stone tablet to the iPod, for those much younger) or actually saw "Top Gun" in the theater. That same year, the Royals Hall of Fame welcomed its first two inductees -- Amos Otis and Steve Busby.
Since then, 22 others have joined A.O. and Buzz, and the list is a true Who's Who of Royals history. For more than two decades, the inductees were honored in a concourse display, which went through several incarnations, here at Kauffman Stadium. All of them were nice, but none could provide a full perspective of the accomplishments of the inductees, let alone a full account of the story of the Royals franchise from its very start. All of that changed when Jackson County, Mo., residents approved a commitment to renovate Kauffman Stadium in 2006.
The renovation plans included the addition of the Royals Hall of Fame building that now sits just beyond the left-field wall above the Royals' bullpen (anyone else ever going to get used to their bullpen being in left field? Maybe it's just me). This turned out to be the final piece of the renovation project to be completed when we opened after the All-Star break in 2009.
So here we are, and if you haven't been by to visit us, please make plans to do so next time you're here at the ballpark. We'll tell you more about what you'll see here in the coming days -- or if you've been here before, be sure to visit again, as we have some exciting new exhibits planned for the 2012 season.
Now let's talk a little about what you'll find here at royalshalloffame.com. First off, we believe that what you see today is just the start -- our plan is to add more video content, some audio bits from the past that you may have never heard before and of course feature articles and notes about Royals history.
Trivia Break -- Which club was Kansas City's first Major League team?
The answer to that question is a perfect illustration of one of our other goals, which is to delve into the broader story of Kansas City's professional baseball history, of which the Royals are the current chapter. Our area has a rich baseball tradition stretching back more than 125 years, with a list of many interesting characters to rival any other city.
Answer -- If you guessed the Kansas City Athletics in 1955, you would be off by a mere 71 years. The first Major League team here was the 1884 Unions of the Union Association. In fact, the Unions actually predate the city's charter that officially named our hometown Kansas City.
I'm looking forward to being one of the main writers here and will be joined by several others, led by Jill Seib and Dave Webster. I will let them introduce themselves to you in full. Jill has done great work as a Royals Hall of Fame Assistant and is the main designer of our successful Royals Scholastic Victory Program. She has a great love of history and has many stories she is looking forward to telling.
If you've been to the Royals Hall of Fame during games at Kauffman Stadium, you've probably already met Dave. He plays "KayCee Baseball," dressed in his vintage Kansas City uniforms while telling stories about the game. Dave has a passion for Kansas City baseball history, its interesting connections and ties and a few oddities along the way.
Well, that covers some of what we have in store for you here at royalshalloffame.com. The first video elements will be the actual induction ceremonies for many of our Royals Hall of Fame members. These haven't been available anywhere, and it's a great way to get us started with the words and thoughts of our inductees themselves.
We hope you'll make royalshalloffame.com a regular visit when you go online for Royals news and notes. We'll work to provide a bit of historical perspective, perhaps provide a few "I didn't know that" moments and of course have some fun. But it's never all about the past, because history happens every day.
It's finally baseball season again, so let's get started. Welcome to royalshalloffame.com.
Curt Nelson is the Director of the Royals Hall of Fame and has worked for the Royals since the 1999 season. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.