A half hour before the Royals played the Oakland A’s on April 17, Josh Morgan, the community relations manager for Cable-Dahmer Chevrolet, stepped on the field at Kauffman Stadium.
As Morgan presented a $500 check to Shirley Cottrell of the Independence Girls Softball Association and a $500 check to Joe Murphy of 3&2 Baseball Club of Kansas City, Mo., more than 30,000 fans already in the stadium heard their names over the Royals’ public address system as they were introduced.
“With all the things they have going on, to let us get out there and do that is awesome,” Morgan said.
“For me, it was awesome. Growing up, baseball was my first love. I played from the time I was 4 until I was 17. I get to stand on the Royals’ field, hear my name announced over the loudspeaker. It was pretty cool. It would have been better if they would have said, ‘Starting in left field,’ but I will take what I can get.”
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Morgan, though, is thrilled that Cable-Dahmer plays a role in helping youth softball and baseball.
“It is just a way to get involved in the community and involved with the youth,” he said. “Baseball is obviously a very popular sport. It is a way to give back.”
Besides providing the money, the car dealership also buys some equipment for both programs.
“We set up test-drive events for them, which are fundraisers,” Morgan said. “People come out and test drive vehicles, and they go online and submit a code we give them and that sends money to the league also.”
One of the biggest thrills for younger children in the IGSA program and 3&2 baseball occurs at Sunday afternoon home games.
Morgan is given 25 to 30 spots that he parcels out to both programs for the home Sunday games when the Royals are announced along with one or two children for each starter. They stand beside the players during the introductions and for the national anthem. Before the children walk off the field, the Royals sign baseballs for them.
“I think it is great they have the time to do that and are very willing and helpful with it,” Morgan said.
In the first Sunday home game, on April 19 against Oakland, Morgan wasn’t able to use children from the softball and baseball leagues because rosters weren’t set.
“The kids that did it the previous week were the (Cable-Dahmer) employees’ kids,” Morgan said. “I know two of them got to go out with Eric Hosmer and they got autographed baseballs. From what their dad tells me, they are taking those balls with them everywhere.”
These are definitely feel-good moments that Cable-Dahmer plays a role in providing to the youth in its community.
“Everybody tends to associate the car business as greedy,” Morgan said. “Nobody looks forward to buying a car. To be able to do something like this is not only very positive, we are getting kids involved and helping make their season better. As corny as it sounds, making dreams come true and walking out on the field with a player, you can’t help but smile when you think about it.”
If you have a story you would like to see in Making a Difference, email David Boyce at Drive@ksctar.com