The best part about retirement is also maybe the worst part.
By JAYSON JENKS
Special to The Star
Now that he’s done playing baseball, former Royals third baseman Joe Randa has time for events such as Monday’s charity golf tournament put on by Trent Green and the Ronald McDonald House. But that free time also meant that Randa had to find other ways to fill his days.
The games go away but not the competitive itch. The structure disappears but not the comfort of having it. Randa, who lives in Prairie Village with his family, hasn’t played baseball since 2006, but only now is he really starting to enjoy retirement.
“That first five years were kind of tricky, just trying to figure out where I fit into this world,” said Randa, 42. “When you’re in baseball, you kind of lose track of society. You get blinders on at times. I’m finally now getting settled into my family and my kids. They’re definitely the priority.”
So Randa is doing the Average Joe thing, the dad thing. He takes his two sons, ages 13 and 11, to and from baseball practice. He serves as the general manager of both teams, which are sponsored by George Brett. He plays tennis and shoots around 100 in golf.
Part of Randa’s appeal — and one of the reasons he became a fan favorite during his eight years with the Royals from 1995-96 and 1999-2004 — is that he always seemed like a regular guy. Now he really is, and the transition has been a little difficult.
“Everything was structured,” Randa said. “You were on timelines. You had a goal where you wanted to be in January and March. Now that’s gone. I play a lot of tennis, and I tried to relate that to tennis and tried to use that as a driving force, but it’s just not the same. That’s probably been the most difficult challenge is trying to find something in life to use as goals or use as stress release.”
Yet on Monday, at Shoal Creek Golf Course, there wasn’t much stress to be found.
Green’s third annual golf tournament drew more than 200 participants and raised more than $170,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, a cause Green and his wife, Julie, have supported since 1995.
The tournament also brought out some big names: Sporting Kansas City’s Chance Myers, former and current Chiefs Eric Hicks, Kendall Gammon and Dustin Colquitt, and Richard Karn (the Family Feud host and Al from Home Improvement).
“We’re here in Kansas City so we want to try and make a difference,” Green said. “With events like this, we’ve got our foundation going. We just want to get more involved in the community. We want to make this home.”
Green also launched his foundation’s website on Monday: trentgreenfamilyfoundation.org.
J.C. DeLeon, from Prairie Village, and Steve Muller, from Leawood, were the lowest net and lowest gross scorers at the tournament. As part of the Mercedes-Benz Dealer championship, the two qualified to go to Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii for the Mercedes-Benz Western Sectional.