Former Royals star Mike Sweeney was walking back from the practice fields on Monday at spring camp when he spotted pitcher Ian Kennedy and delivered some big news.
“George Riggle hit a sick bomb,” proclaimed Sweeney, who is now special assistant to baseball operations.
George Riggle is not a prospect — at least not yet. He’s the 7-year-old son of actor Rob Riggle, one of the celebrity Royals fans behind the Big Slick charity event that benefits Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Rob Riggle, a graduate of Shawnee Mission South who also attended Kansas, was in Surprise with his wife, Tiffany, and their son and daughter, Abby.
The family lives in Los Angeles and like for so many other Royals fans, a spring-training road trip is great getaway.
“It kind of our tradition,” Riggle said. “We drive up early in the morning, we catch a game, spend the night, catch a game and drive home. So it’s just a quick overnighter. We catch two games, one night. We do it every year and it’s best.”
George got to play with Sweeney and Hall of Famer George Brett. Dad was right there and he also had the chance to talk with current and former Royals.
“The Royals have always been very nice to us,” Riggle said.
The family was at Sunday’s game — a 4-3 win over the Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz. Riggle suggested that may have had something to do with that victory.
“We got to the game late. I think we got there in the sixth inning and got to our seats and they were down 3-1 and all of a sudden they rallied (for a 4-3 win),” Riggle said with a smile starting to spread on his face. “I’m not saying the Riggles are totally responsible, but I think we definitely brought some mojo.
“I was also really proud to see a lot of blue out there in that sea of orange. It was nice.”
Alas, the Riggle Mojo didn’t pay off Monday as the Royals lost 4-1 to the Diamondbacks with the family in attendance.
But it was clear they had plenty to talk about on the trip home.