After 10 seasons, which included a World Series victory in-between tough rebuilding projects, the Kansas City Royals gave Ned Yost a wonderful sendoff.
For those of you lucky enough to be at Kauffman Stadium on Friday evening or if you were watching the stream, an amazing tribute was paid to Ned Yost before the Kansas City Royals played their final home series of the 2019 season against the Minnesota Twins. I was not expected to be moved, but the franchise did a magnificent job of showing their appreciation for his years of service. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
From the video package that showed his first day as manager through the playoff runs to the last week, the diamond necklace given to Yost’s wife Deborah, Alex Gordon and Danny Duffy presenting the framed cards of the players he managed, the crystal acknowledging him as the winningest manager in Royals history and finally Salvador Perez driving out the new Polaris Ranger, the Royals showed that despite their record they are a world-class organization.
It was wonderful to see Ned’s family out on the field soaking in the admiration while wearing his jersey. Ned took the microphone and delivered a simple but great speech letting the home crowd know how much he loved them and his time in Kansas City. The number 3 painted behind home plate was a nice touch as well.
Thankfully, Yost decided earlier in the week to announce his retirement so he could show his appreciation to the Kansas City fans in the last series. That gave the organization time to put together this ceremony and let him know how much they and the fans are grateful for what he did.
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This reminds me of a quote from my 1985 VHS “The Thrill of it All” Kansas City Royals season-in-review tape. Gene Mauch, manager of the California Angels, comments before a crucial series at the end season against the Royals when there was only a one-game difference in the top of the standings between the two teams, “If you don’t like this, you don’t like baseball, you don’t like life.” That is exactly how I feel after watching Yost’s ceremony. Thank you, Ned, for your decade of service and leadership.