In an ongoing series, Royals Review profiles the various cities linked by the Royals Radio Network.
Previous Affiliate Profiles:
1270 AM KOZQ
Waynesville Missouri: Population 3,511
It's a close piece between Jefferson City's 1240 AM and Waynesville's 1270 AM for the title of Closest Royals Affiliate to St. Louis, with each city about 134 miles from the STL. If you're willing to take non-interstate roads, or can fly, Jeff City is in fact around ten miles closer. However, as someone who's never done the US-50 drive from Jeff City to Union, I cannot in clean conscience endorse that methodology. Moreover, Waynesville is much farther from KC (189 miles) than is Jefferson City (147 miles), which gives it much more of a renegade, "behind enemy lines feel" in my book.
Finally however, both cities also boast Cardinal Affiliate status, although it appears not on the same station. Loyal readers will remember that in Conway, Arkansas, KASR-FM appears to broadcast Cardinals, Royals and Yankees games depending on the night.
Waynesville is the county seat of Pulaski County (population 41,465) which is home to the Army's Fort Leonard Wood, a major training base. Pulaski ranks 21st in population among Missouri's 115 counties, and is bisected by US-44 and Route 66. According to Waynesville Mayor Cliff Hammock, "Waynesville offers job opportunities, a well-educated population with a strong work ethic, and a strong economic base". Waynesville is something of a sister city to St. Robert, Missouri, which is only 1.3 miles east of town on the old route 66. St. Robert is a mite smaller at 2,760 people, but from what I hear, "you raise hell in Waynesville, you raise your kids in St. Robert".
As one of the smallest cities on the Royals Network, its hard to find too much online directly in, or about Waynesville. Sure, the city boasts numerous churches and a string of public schools, but beyond that, it makes more sense to think a little more regionally.
Waynesville apparently boasts a cattery called "Lynxotics" which breeds hybrid lynx, servals and something called "junglebobs". Its probably very soothing to listen to the Royals on the radio while breeding these animals.
Born and bred outside Waynesville Missouri. Go Royals!
Reading more and more material on Waynesville online, it is clear that the Ozarks are a major part of life around Waynesville, with most of the best scenery in the state branching out from the county to the south. United Country Basset Realty, while praising the potential for real estate in Waynesville writes,
"Our many streams and rivers include the Little and Big Piney rivers, the Gasconade River, and the Roubidoux River, which is a trophy brown trout management area. In addition, we are just a short distance from the Lake of the Ozarks, which has hosted several Bassmaster tournaments in recent years. Add to these waters the literally thousands of square miles of Mark Twain National Forest which surrounds us and you have a truly wonderful outdoor paradise. Dixon has a semi-private country club with one of the finest 9-hole golf courses in the area, clubhouse and swimming pool."
Just 115 miles to the southeast of Waynesville, through the Mark Twain National Forest stands Taum Sauk Mountain, the highest point in Missouri. Nestled in the St. Francois mountains, Taum Sauk is 1,772 feet above sea level. For more on the Ozarks, click here.
Or, if you don't like camping while listening to the Royals, you could travel 35 miles east on I-44 to St. James, home to at least five wineries, including the St. James Winery. They've been making wines in Missouri for a long, long time, and I've read good things about Missouri wines in Wine Spectator before. Alas, I have yet to sample from her vines. Someday... someday.
Returning to baseball, beyond high school sports, your best bet in Waynesville is probably driving either north to Columbia or west to Springfield to watch the Mid-Missouri Mavericks or the Springfield Cardinals respectively. Of course, as a diehard Royals fan, you would never support the Springfield Cards unless Wichita was in town. Of course, theres also Southwest Missouri State, errr... Missouri State down in Springfield, which usually has a solid baseball team themselves. Missouri State also has a branch campus in Mountain Grove, which, surprise surprise, works closely with the Missouri wine industry.
Just 28 miles up the road, lies the University of Missouri-Rolla, a renowned engineering school and a great place to stop and get online while driving across Missouri on a cross-country trip (I've done it three times). As we all know, UMR is also a hotbed of Royals' fandom, as countless students design high-tech devices which allow them to pick up games being broadcast in Waynesville. UMR was founded in 1870 as the Missouri School of Mines, and became the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1964. Currently, 76% of UMR undergrads are male, working in 23 research centers, labs and institutes.
Students at the UMR Zeta chapter listen to the Royals religiously on KOZQ AM.
I couldn't find information on any current or former Major Leaguers who hail from the greater Waynesville area. However, Marv "Baby Face" Breuer was born in Rolla in 1914 and died there in 1991.
(moment of silence for Marv)
And yes, in the last installment of the series we also featured a player named "Marv", but that was Marv Blaylock, who died in Conway Arkansas in 1993. Rolla's Marv pitched for the New York Yankees from 1939-1943, holding a career record of 25-26 with a 4.03 ERA. Not bad considering the offensive levels of the 30s-40s. In 1942, Marv had the 4th best WHIP in the League at 1.181, and was tenth in strikeouts per 9, at 3.94 (not alot of Ks back then, eh?). Marv pitched in two World Series, winning in 1941 against the Dodgers and losing in 1942 to the (ohh no) St. Louis Cardinals. It must have been strange playing the Cardinals as a Rolla-boy. Here's the summary of Marv from the Baseball Library
Breuer earned his engineering degree from the Missouri School of Mines, a college without a baseball team. The youthful, soft-spoken righthander failed to live up to Yankee expectations after starring for Newark in the minors.Sounds like someone I would have rooted for. Until next time...