For Pete's Sake

Big Slick stars have a special fondness for new Royals executive Gene Lamont

Many Royals fans may have paid little interest to the news Tuesday that the team hired former Pirates and White Sox manager Gene Lamont as Special Assistant to the General Manager.

However, the celebrities who host the annual Big Slick event in Kansas City are probably happy, because they have a special affinity for Lamont.

It all goes back to the first Big Slick event in 2010 when Lamont was a coach for Detroit. Rob Riggle explained that after the celebrity wiffle ball game, the stars gathered to watch the Royals play the Tigers.

“We had Will Ferrell at the game and we were in the third-base dugout suite and Gene Lamont was right in front of us,” Riggle said on the podcast “Not Just Sports With Suzy Shuster and Rich Eisen.”

“So we just went to work on him. You know? That’s what you do. So every inning, we just (yelled) ‘Hey, Lamont, that’s Bush League. It’s Bush League, Lamont. ... He was just coaching third base, but he was so close to us that we just couldn’t resist. I mean, we were in his hip pocket the whole night, just riding him. Then it just become funny to us to see what we could come up next to keep riding him.”

Eisen, who works on the NFL Network, said he had taken part in the second “Big Slick” event and was surprised when it came time for the seventh-inning stretch.

“We go out there and finish singing ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ and half you guys punctuated the song with signing ‘Gene Lamont’ into the microphone,” Eisen said.

“And we still do to this day,” Riggle said. “He had the sorry duty of being the third-base coach the night we were there.”

Here is the group singing the song:

Since Big Slick began in 2010, it has raised more than $6 million for Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff