Wednesday was a perfect day for School Day At The K.
The kids were treated to warm temperatures, sunny skies and the glow of Tuesday’s comeback win by the Royals was still in everyone’s hearts.
Then Wednesday’s game started and everything went south — the Royals lost 13-2. But it wasn’t the first time School Day At The K didn’t turn out so well.
In fact, some funky things have happened at School Day At The K in recent years. Here are five games in particular that stand out:
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2015: The Royals beat the Indians 7-4. But there was a 2 hour, 17 minute rain delay that certainly dampened spirits. Starter Edinson Volquez left after three innings because of a blister on his hand. Last year’s game also was the first time Luke Hochevar pitched after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014. He pitched a scoreless inning.
2014: The Royals beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 as Mike Moustakas knocked in all three runs and Jason Vargas allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings. Does that jog your memory? There had been calls for Moustakas to be demoted to Class AAA Omaha because he had been struggling. After this game, Moustakas answered most questions with a simply: “Vargy pitched a great game.”
2013: You can call me on this later if it happens again, but there will never be another time when School Day At The K is snowed out. It happened for the game against the Rays. Snow, sleet, rain and frigid temperatures forced organizers to reschedule School Day At The K. The game actually started before it was snowed out. On May 2. Here’s the thing: School Day At The K was pushed back to June 12 and it was a heck of a game. The starters were James Shields and Justin Verlander, and the Tigers led 2-0 in the ninth inning. However, Lorenzo Cain hit an two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs and an 0-2 count. In the 10th inning, Eric Hosmer’s single scored Miguel Tejada and the Royals won 3-2. Hosmer was doused with barbecue sauce after the game.
2008: The Royals roughed up Tigers starter Kenny Rogers and won 8-4 under manager Trey Hillman. This is notable because every Royals starter had a hit, and that list includes: Joey Gathright, Esteban German, Ross Gload and Tony Peña (the shortstop). Jose Guillen hit a home run in support of Gil Meche, who got the win.
2007: This remains the worst rout in School Day At The K history (thanks to Sam Mellinger for remembering this). Oakland led 12-0 at one point and won 17-3. Luke Hudson* lasted two innings and allowed five runs, but just four of those were earned. Todd Wellemeyer (five runs), Joel Peralta (two runs), Neal Musser (four runs) and Zack Greinke (one run) all came on in relief and couldn’t subdue the A’s. However, Brandon Duckworth pitched a perfect ninth. Oakland had 18 hits and a bunch of players had big games, including Danny Putnam**, who had three hits, scored twice and knocked in a run.
*That was the only game Hudson appeared in that season and he never pitched in the majors again. This is a true story: In spring training that year, a friend was adamant that the Royals had to have Luke Hudson (5.12 ERA in 2006) in the rotation if the Royals would have any chance at success. We still laugh about it. The Royals lost 93 games that season.
**Putnam appeared in 11 games that season, his only one in the majors. He had six hits in his career, so half came in that game against the Royals.