Just beyond the tunnel that the Royals use to take the field, a nervous teen paced Tuesday night in an attempt to work out the jitters before the American League Wild Card Game.
The young woman was Maggie Marx, a senior at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, who had been selected to sing the national anthem at Kauffman Stadium. This was the latest addition to her list of performances as a young artist, having also sung at T-Bones, Kansas men’s basketball and Pittsburg State basketball games.
Though she may have been nervous and even concerned about going over her allotted 90 seconds, she exited the field with a triumphant smile and a flurry of congratulatory handshakes.
She was one of two Kansas City natives selected to participate in pregame festivities.
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For the ceremonial first pitch, the Royals elected to honor a World War II veteran and former prisoner of war, Tech. Sgt. Marlin Kerby, who served in the Army Air Corps.
On his 16th and final mission, Kerby was shot down over Czechoslovakia. He was taken as a prisoner of war and survived a 600-mile POW march. Among other awards, he was decorated with three Bronze Stars, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Prisoner of War Medal and a World War II Victory Medal.
According to the Veterans History Project, run by The Library of Congress, Kerby served in the 15th Air Force, 454th Bomb Group. He threw to Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.