As the first KMBC-TV Dream Factory child to visit Kauffman Stadium this season, Josh ... was hoping that a little rain on Wednesday wouldn’t dampen his Royals experience. Luckily, running into Sweeney as the Royals veteran was heading to the indoor batting cages worked out perfectly. Sweeney chatted with Josh and then introduced the young Royals fan to a few teammates...John Buck, Gil Meche and “Big Donkey” (aka Billy Butler), who Sweeney introduced as “our starting left fielder.” [my bold, italics]
I know we already have a Big Donkey in the Majors in Adam Dunn, but Butler fits the bill awfully well, doesn't he? No reason we can't have two donkeys in The Show, one for each league. I think this just might catch on.
On a serious note though, I think it's great the Royals are active in the community, especially when it comes to doing the small and non-newsworthy things -- like visiting a children's hospital -- that could end up being the highlight of a kid's week. Heck, even if it's the highlight of one kid's day, or half-day, or hour, the trip should be considered redeemed.
The jaded among us might chalk this up to just athletes cultivating their public image, but I don't think that was the case for Buddy, Alex and Mark in the above link. If it's true that Buddy Bell holds these hospital visits "very deep in his heart" -- and given the context, there's no reason to believe Megan was writing this up as something it isn't -- then it seems he searches, as we all should, for the gold in sand, and it's a truism that gets overlooked all too often in life that these specks of gold lie all around us, before our eyes, even, and collected together, they make for one big, shiny, precious nugget.
Not everyone can hit a home run for a sick boy every time out, but when a child says something like this -- “(Sweeney) just keeps bringing guys out... I can’t keep them all straight. This is awesome" -- I think the lesson here is that you don't need to. Kids require so much less out of their heroes than we sometimes make of it, and if everyone remembered that -- this is going to sound cheesy, but it's appropriate here -- the world would be a better place.
Now let's go beat those Angels again tomorrow.