For Pete's Sake

Royals players excited for chance to witness solar eclipse

Where and when to view the Aug. 21 eclipse

The eclipse’s 70-mile wide path of totality means there’s no need to wade into a crush of humanity to view historic celestial event.
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The eclipse’s 70-mile wide path of totality means there’s no need to wade into a crush of humanity to view historic celestial event.

Royals fans are keeping up with the team’s playoff chances, but what are the odds of this?

On Monday, a total solar eclipse will go across the continental United States for the first time in 99 years and it’s an off day at home for the Royals in an area where the totality will be visible.

Given the travel demands that Major League Baseball players face, the Royals could be excused for not being aware of the eclipse. However, there was talk in the clubhouse before the Royals’ game Saturday against the Indians about the event.

“I’m excited about it,” pitcher Nathan Karns said. “I’m going to watch it. Something like this doesn’t come around too often. It’s been a hundred years since one went over the majority of the United States. To be here randomly within a hundred years of the last time is pretty special.”

Second baseman Whit Merrifield had the special glasses in the clubhouse, and had let pitcher Scott Alexander know it was important to have them Monday.

Merrifield has a straight-forward approach to the eclipse.

“I’m going to walk outside and look at the sun,” Merrifield said. “There’s not much to it. You just walk outside and look up.”

Yep, that’s true. The total eclipse will be over in a matter of minutes. But part of the sun will be blocked by the moon for nearly three hours.

“My buddy is flying in from Australia,” relief pitcher Peter Moylan said. “I think we’re going up to a farm up north and watch it. Friends of friends of friends have a farm there and they are inviting a group of people up there and having a cookout, so it should be cool.”

Catcher Cam Gallagher said he was joining pitchers Kevin McCarthy and Jake Junis to view the eclipse.

“Kevin has done a little more research than me and Junis have, but I think we’re going to go somewhere and check it out,” Gallagher said. “He’s got a buddy who is coming into town and he has the special goggles. I don’t want to ruin my eyes or anything.”

Karns is looking forward to see the sun disappear, even if it is only for a few minutes.

“I know a lot of people are coming from outside the state to get in that totality zone,” Karns said. “Hopefully, I’m one of those people who can get a good spot to check it out. I’m really hoping for clear skies at that time. I’ve got my glasses.

“I’m definitely excited about it. It’s rare. I’ve seen the lunar eclipse. That was pretty cool, but in the middle of the day to go pitch black is exciting.”

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff