On a day when Garth Brooks had scheduled his own “double header,” including sold-out matinee and evening concerts at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, he also hosted a youth baseball camp. With help from the Kansas City Royals, Brooks and Teammates For Kids welcomed over a hundred boys and girls, ages 9-13, to a baseball camp last Saturday at the Royals’ recently completed Urban Youth Academy.
The young athletes played on one of the facility’s regulation-sized baseball fields, participating in various fielding drills and team relays. They even had the chance to stand in the batter’s box against former Royals pitcher Jeff Suppan! Brooks and Royals veterans Reggie Sanders and Jason Kendall coached and encouraged the kids, along with Royals front-office personnel including GM Dayton Moore.
The camp was the first event held at the Urban Youth Academy.
The children, who attended the camp for free, represent The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, the KCMO and Kansas RBI programs (reviving baseball in inner cities), and Tickets for Kids Charities.
Reggie Sanders, an MLB outfielder for 17 years, is an inaugural Teammate who met Brooks while he was at spring training with the Padres in 1999. Jason Kendall, who enjoyed a 15-year MLB career as a catcher, is also an inaugural Teammate who attended the press conference that launched the foundation in 1999. Jeff Suppan, a Teammate since 2001, was an MLB pitcher for 18 years.
At Brooks’ concert that evening, current Royals players Eric Hosmer, Drew Butera, Whit Merrifield, Brandon Moss and Travis Wood took to the stage to shoot the confetti cannons that are a traditional part of each performance of “Friends in Low Places.”
Teammates For Kids presents the Good Teammate Award at each youth sports camp they sponsor. The award recognizes the young athletes who best demonstrate the traits of a Total Teammate, including leadership, toughness, unselfishness, and respect for the game and all of its participants. In Kansas City, Good Teammate Awards were presented to:
Isaac Middleton, age 9; Chi Alexander Smith, age 10; and Terrion Canton, age 13.
Teammates will continue to partner with Brooks to hold youth sports camps at every city on his World Tour. Brooks and athletes in each city will volunteer their time to coach kids in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, or soccer.