The Royals’ Class AA affiliate in Northwest Arkansas thought it had caught a break Wednesday.
The game against the Arkansas Travelers was postponed, meaning the Naturals were going to get an early start on their trip to Tulsa.
The team had traversed about two hours from Little Rock and all was right with the world. Then around 8:30 p.m. ...
“We just started to slow down,” Benjamin Kelly, the radio announcer for Northwest Arkansas, said by phone. “It didn’t sound like the accelerator was working. I was about four or five rows behind the bus driver, so I could see the whole thing happening.
Never miss a local story.
“He just pulled off the road and everybody started to freak out. He went outside and looked at the engine a few times, made a couple of phone calls, and now we’re just trying to figure out what our next move is going to be.”
Kelly said he wasn’t sure of the reason for the bus breakdown, but the team was on the side of Interstate-40. The good news: another bus was coming. The bad news: all of the team’s gear is in the bottom of the bus, so making the switch may not be that easy.
The team was about two hours from Tulsa, so when the wheels of the bus finally did go round and round, it likely wasn’t going to be an awful drive.
Kelly said he asked some of the guys on the bus if they’ve ever been stranded on a bus trip before and catcher Parker Morin told of being stuck while playing for Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls.
“He had been stranded in the middle of Montana,” Kelly said, “so we’re getting off pretty easy to say the least. I’ll take Northwest Arkansas, that’s fine with me.”
That’s life in the minor leagues, right? Well, about two hours later the replacement bus did arrive.
“They brought out a mechanic and he said it couldn’t be fixed,” Kelly wrote in a text message.
“Entire staff and a few players moved everything into a smaller bus. It’s all in and we should be on our way shortly.”
The entire team was on the new bus and headed to Tulsa by 10:30 Wednesday night.
Here are some tweets from the Northwest Arkansas team: