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Better know a commenter: mitchfreakingmaier!

One of the Royals Review faithful and an active participant since June of 2010, today's subject in the series shining a light on our dear readers is none other than mitchfreakingmaier!

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While we're all much more than just being Royals fans, it is the tie that binds us. What brought you to the Royals' front stoop knocking on the door to be let in?

My parents took me to my very first Royals game in 1979. I honestly don't know if I remember this particular game or not, but it became an annual event throughout my childhood to catch at least 1-2 games a year at Royals Stadium. I got hooked on listening to them on the radio every night and that has lasted basically my whole life.

More importantly, why did you stay?

I think I've stayed through the bullshit because, frankly, I've believed that it would always turn around. Even in the horrible disaster seasons, I'd buy in emotionally only to get crushed. At some point, I just became pot committed to see it through.

Standard dating profile questions: Age? Sex? Height? Hair color? Marital status? Kids?

I'm a 39-year-old male standing 6ft tall with brown hair (not thinning yet!). I've been married for 18 years and have three kids (14 girl, 9 boy, 4 girl).

While many choose not to define themselves by their job, what do you do to make ends meet? For how long have you been plying that trade?

I am the finance director/business manager at Dennis Hanks Chevrolet. I never set out to make this my career, but it's what I do and have done since graduating college in 1997. I still want to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

I'm feeling like there's a sort of kinship between you and Andre Braugher's character on Men of a Certain Age.

I hate to admit, but I've never watched Men of a Certain Age. After doing some research about it, I'll make it a point to check it out.

You're not alone. Most of the world didn't see it. It's good, though. Since you are not doing what you had figured you would be, what did you think you'd be doing for a living as an wide-eyed idealistic young man? Is that something that you still have an interest in pursuing? If so, what is stopping you? If not, what changed?

My parents were both high school music teachers. I always thought that I'd be a high school band teacher and figured that was what I was put on earth to do. My wife's brother had to have major heart surgery right as we were finishing up college. We made the decision to move to Springfield to help her family out with the situation. There was exactly one high school band job open at the time. I never applied. I started selling cars, had a ton of success, and was promoted after only a few months. At this point I'd say that the only thing stopping me from going back to teach is the fact that I couldn't afford it financially to start over as a first year teacher.

Where do you live now, and where did you grow up?

I live in Ozark, MO. I've been in this house since 2003. I'm originally from Iowa, moved to Colorado for several years, and back to Iowa. I've been in Missouri since 1993. When people ask where I'm from I just say Iowa and Colorado. It was a pretty even split.

If I'm not mistaken (and please correct me if I'm wrong), you grew up in Webster City and Sac City, Iowa. You also lived in Alamosa, Colorado per Facebook, which is set in an idyllic high desert/mountainous if I'm not mistaken. What took you from one to the other and back? Despite the rural nature of each setting, I would assume they were drastically different. If you had a choice of having grown up in one place or the other, which would you have chosen and why?

I was born in Dubuque, IA. I've lived in Radcliffe, Rolfe, Sac City, Webster City, and sort of in Eagle Grove. My parents moved to Eagle Grove the summer after my freshman year in college from Webster City. I went to K-1 in Rolfe, IA. 2-6 in a private school called Sargent just north of Monte Vista, CO and then 7-9 in Alamosa, CO followed by 10-11 at Sac City and my senior year in Webster City.

My parents were graduates of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, IA, and I would think that they never intended to move from Iowa. I'm still not sure what prompted the initial move, but they both decided to take the jump and move to the little farming community of Monte Vista, CO. You're right. Describing that area as idyllic high mountain desert/valley is spot on. Think of the scenery from Longmire, and you've basically got it pegged. It was small town rural living at its finest. If it had been up to me, I'd still live in Monte Vista, and I'd have some kind of fly fishing guide service on the Rio Grande or something like that. I love Iowa more than it's possible to explain, but growing up for the most part in that setting of remote southern Colorado is a special thing, that I'm glad I got to experience. It's probably to this day, why I inexplicably feel disappointment when a big snowstorm misses us. I realize now years later about how much we took living there for granted.

Photo credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

That's a whole lot of moving around before graduating high school. How do you feel like starting anew every few years as a child affected you as an adult?

Honestly, I think it's helped me easily form relationships quickly which is a huge benefit in my job. It's really eye opening to see how much I moved around as a kid. It doesn't register until I see it in writing.

What is your educational background/area of study?

I have a BA in Music from Central Methodist University. I'm still pursuing music.

As a music man, what instruments do you play? What floats your boat, musically speaking?

I play all brass instruments, but trumpet/cornet was my primary area of study. My favorite genres of music are jazz, motown, and lots of orchestral stuff. I love the Russian composers. My go-to stuff to listen to is typically jazz though. I got pretty hung up on Boys II Men for years. There's not much I won't listen to.

Give us more information about the singing group of which you are a member? Where have the cruises taken you?


The group I sing with is called 4Calvary. It's a southern gospel quartet based out of the Springfield/Branson area. We do church services and concerts six to eight times a month all over the place. It takes up most of my free time. We've also been singing the national anthem at a bunch of area events. The cruises have been sponsored by one of the radio stations in Springfield. We've been to Key West, Nassau, Freeport and Coco Key Bahamas, Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Honduras, Belize City Belize, and New Orleans for the concerts on the ships. The next one that it looks like we'll be on will go out of Galveston, TX and hit Cozumel, Falmouth (Jamaica), and Grand Cayman Island. It's not my preferred genre of music by any means, but it's opened doors for me, and it's fun to hear a song that I arranged and sing lead on getting regular air play on the radio.

If you could live anywhere that you haven't lived already, where would you choose?

If I could live anywhere that I haven't lived, it would be in Destin or Islamorada, FL. I've been getting hooked on both the weather there, and bay fishing for redfish.

With the understanding that obviously baseball and the Royals are an area of interest for you, what other hobbies and interests do you have?

I spend way too much time and money on playing golf. I fly fish quite often. We recently bought a cheap camper to take the kids out occasionally camping. My son is an avid Cub Scout, so that keeps me going with him. I also help coach him in baseball. I have a singing group that I work with 4-5 concerts a month. With that group, I've been able to travel on a couple of cruises to perform over that last couple of years, and do the national anthem at several sporting events including MSU hockey, men's basketball, and the Springfield (ahem) Cardinals.

What's the best thing you've read in recent memory? Describe it as though you were trying to convince someone else that they should read it.

I read a bunch of fiction thrillers. My favorite lately has to be the latest Sandford novel involving Virgil Fucking Flowers. I'd describe it as having my required elements to enjoy a book. Some sort of sex or innuendo, a fair amount of crime, and plenty of wit.

We all have a long list of stupid shit that we've done. What's the dumbest thing you've done?

The list seems long, but as I write about this stuff it also seems lame. Probably racking up a ton of credit card debt in college, but again that's lame. I once thwarted what I thought at the time was an armed robbery. Turned out it was a drunk with a sub sandwich in his pocket.

Tell us more about the sub sandwich would-be armed robber. What was he up to?

Foiled robber - Photo credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

I worked overnights during summers while in college as the night auditor at the Best Western Columbia Inn in Columbia, MO. There had been a bunch of rumors going around about hotels and gas stations getting robbed all over town one of those summers. I blew it off and figured it would never happen to us because we were in a very safe location at the time and the lobby was very secure, etc. Every night I would finish doing the books and deposits for the restaurant, bar, and hotel around 2:00 AM.  Then I'd back up the computer system for 90 minutes at which time I'd usually take a nap locked in the office. While the computer did its thing, I couldn't even open a cash register, so this was pretty common.

One night, I was woken up my a guy screaming his head off in the lobby. I looked out the window and decided that I should either call the police or ask him to leave myself. Being 21 years old and pretty sure of myself, I chose the latter. As soon as I opened the office door, he started demanding that I open the cash drawer and give him all of the cash. I calmly explained to him that this wasn't going to happen and that even if I could open the drawer, I wasn't going to for him. He kept his hand in his pocket the entire time acting like he had a gun in his hand but never showing it to me. Once he tried to make a move to get behind the desk, I grabbed a club that I had back there and hit him in the area below his shoulder as hard as I could. I felt the crunch of his arm breaking on impact, and he hit the floor. As soon as he hit the ground, I went into the office, locked the door and called 911.

The first officer to respond was a state trooper. He happened to be driving by on I-70 and was there within a couple of minutes. It was fairly common for cops to stop by and check on me because they all ate breakfast at our restaurant 3-4 times a week. When he asked me to come out of the office, the trooper was dying laughing. That was when he showed me that the weapon was a six-inch cold cut combo. The "attacker" threatened to sue the hotel, but nothing ever came of it, and I got tons of crap from the cop regulars for months.

Describe yourself in three sentences or less.

I'm a 39 year old overweight desk jockey that obsesses about a kid's game. I'm a great cook. Trust the process.

Let's say I'm coming over for dinner and have no dietary restrictions. What would you make for us?

I'd most likely serve a meal of smoked orange glazed chicken wings, followed by a main course of prime rib, smoked baked potatoes, and grilled asparagus all smoked on my Pit Barrel Cooker over charcoal and apple wood. There would be plenty of Sailor Jerry and coke, and a large selection of both beer and margaritas.

So when am I coming over for dinner?

You're invited any time. Bring Greinke with you. We have a healthy whitetail population.

What Royals Reviewer would you be most interested to meet in person? Why?

Boner: Kansas City Keith and no explanation is needed.

Is there anything you feel like I'm missing? What would you love to put out there?

I'm not afraid to admit that I'm an avid fan of musicals and that I would admit to being a borderline expert on the subject of DisneyWorld.

Many thanks to mitchfreakingmaier! for being our latest participant in the Better Know a Commenter series. Greinke and I are looking forward to our respective meals in Ozark. The rest of you should make sure to schedule your cruises to coincide with when 4Calvary are the on-board entertainment.