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Royals Rumblings - News for April 16, 2021

First Place Royals! 158-4 still on the table.

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Toronto Blue Jays v Kansas City Royals
Good game, 42! You, too, 42!
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Yesterday was Jackie Robinson Day so we’re going to start there. For those of you who saw the broadcast last night, the wonderful Bob Kendrick was on there.

Bill Ladson from had a story about a painting being shown at the Negro Leagues Museum:

It’s Jackie Robinson Day, and the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City displayed a painting entitled “Grace,” created by artist Dave Hobrecht. It shows Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. having dinner with Robinson and his Dodgers teammates, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe. The painting will be on display as part of the Barrier Breakers exhibit at the museum.

Also at, Anthon Castrovince wrote a story about William Clarence Matthews who could have broken the color barrier back in 1905.

It sounded like a done deal. Per a “person on the inside,” a newspaper report revealed that a National League team would be adding a new player “very soon.” This was no ordinary player. He was a player of, as the paper put it, “remarkable ability,” sure to “prove a great attraction and a big drawing card.” He was a skilled middle infielder who engendered respect for the way he comported himself on and off the field.

He was also Black. And his arrival would make him the first player to cross the color barrier in the modern Major Leagues.

What sounds like the setup to Jackie Robinson joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 actually precedes that essential event by more than 40 years. It is, instead, the story of a would-be pioneer who possessed many of the same traits as Robinson at a time when society, at large, was unwilling to recognize them.

Most people alive today have never heard the name William Clarence Matthews. They don’t know what a star he was in his time and place. They don’t know that his baseball story intersected with those of Hall of Famers Denton True “Cy” Young and “Wee Willie” Keeler. Or that his life story converged with those of such important historical figures as Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey and President Calvin Coolidge. Matthews’ tale is largely lost.

Tom Goodwin was the last Royal to wear #42.

Royals: Tom Goodwin (1995-97) Goodwin wore No. 42 for three years in Kansas City before he was traded in 1997 and MLB retired the number. Goodwin was selected off waivers from the Dodgers in ‘94 and played in just two games that year with the Royals, but he broke out in ‘95 and finished ninth in AL Rookie of the Year Award voting with a .288/.346/.358 slash line and 16 doubles. Goodwin declined slightly in the next two years and was traded on July 25, 1997, to the Rangers for third baseman Dean Palmer, who made the ‘98 All-Star Game and won a Silver Slugger Award in Kansas City.

Jack Baer of Yahoo Sports collects a list “what MLB is doing for Jackie Robinson Day”.

More than 100 players donated their salaries to The Players Alliance.

That was a pretty fun win last night, too. A few nervous moments with the bullpen but ultimately a winner.

The Salvy Splash may make a return:

“We’re going to see it soon guys. Soon.,” Perez answered. “I promise you guys I’m going to do it soon.”

At Into the Fountains, Craig Brown talks about Salvy, Keller, and Benintendi (one day, I’ll spell that right without looking... but today was not that day).

This is what a Keller pitch chart looks like when he’s successful. Fastballs up, sliders down. It looks like he hit the zone three times with the slider. The fat one in the middle was to Albert Pujols on a 1-0 count. It had to have caught Pujols off guard as he took it for a strike. The other two were put in play, one for a runs scoring hit and the other for an out. It’s probably not a coincidence that both sliders that were entirely in the zone came in the sixth inning when Keller was likely feeling a little fatigued.

David Lesky also wrote a bunch about Brad Keller at Inside the Crown:

He’s never going to be a guy who gives you pinpoint control because of that movement, but is why he misses barrels as often as he does. Out of 17 batted balls in this one, he allowed five hard hit balls and a couple of those are almost never hits with a fly ball from Albert Pujols at an xBA of .010 and a line drive off the bat of Jose Iglesias at a .180 xBA. He didn’t allow a single barrel after allowing three in his first two starts. I thought he did a really nice job keeping the ball out of happy zones against righties. There wasn’t much in a spot they could really extend their arms and get leverage.

There were three blog posts about Jake Brentz:

Former Royal news is always fun.

Yesterday, Maikel Franco made a really nice play at third, only to have it go through the glove of first baseman Trey Mancini. Literally. The glove ripped and Mancini was charged with an error. Of course video is included in that link.

I didn’t realize this but apparently Bob Nightengale’s (USA Today) son, Bobby Nightengale, is the Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer. He wrote a nice profile where the Reds praise Mike Moustakas for his leadership.

{Joey Votto, about Moose:} “I can see why he was a part of culture changes in Kansas City and in Milwaukee and now in Cincinnati. It’s very important to have that. He’s a good player, so that’s important, but I think it just changes the energy on a daily basis. You look forward to wins and coming to the park every day. He’s a part of that. Winning clubhouses are good clubhouses but sometimes there’s a person who can help keep you afloat when you struggle a little bit and he’s got that strength.”

Speaking of the Reds, Pete Rose... well...

Pete Rose’s baseball predictions are for sale for $89 a month. Rose announced Wednesday that he was joining UpickTrade, a pick-selling website based in Mexico that recently made headlines in the U.S. with a short-lived partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL. Rose will be making daily predictions about baseball and other sports.

Finally, there’s an amusing story on the 1984 Fleer Glenn Hubbard snake card:

He hated it. When he first saw the image, he loathed it. A fan had brought it up to be signed, shoving the gloriously colorful and wholly unlike-anything-out-there card and he couldn’t stand it.

“Heck, when I used to get them in the mail, I would take that card and send back another card,” Glenn Hubbard, currently a coach in the Royals Minor League system, said in a phone call recently. “I was trying to take it off the market. Thinking I could take it off the market is stupid thinking.”

Yes, the player behind one of the greatest pieces in cardboard history was originally hoping to destroy as many as he could. Fortunately for all of us, he failed in that endeavor. This is the story behind Hubbard’s brush with artistic greatness.

Ed note: I have that card. And Jay Johnstone, too. Sadly, Johnstone died last year due to complications from COVID.

Looking back to a new track off an old game. The fifth generation (N64, PlayStation, Saturn, et al) is generally looked upon unfavorably because of the clunky transition from 2D to 3D. The 3D was crude so a remake often has to start from scratch: look how long it’s taken to get a Final Fantasy VII remake. And it doesn’t have the retro appeal of high end 2D like the fourth generation. But one place where the transition was great was in soundtracks. Veteran composers who were already used to having to squeeze great sound out of limited elements (see: Nobuo Uematsu’s brilliant 16-bit work) had the freedom to work within the much less constraining medium of optical disc.

For my money, Soul Blade is a completely underrated soundtrack with lots of 3-minute long sweeping melodies, just long enough to battle to. Today’s song is Heavenly Engage, Sophitia’s theme: