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The Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium is named after an Eagle Scout

Ewing-Kauffman-croppedUpdated | Oct. 27, 2015

Only one ballpark in the American League is named after a person.

And it turns out that Ewing Kauffman, the man who started the Kansas City Royals and for whom the team’s stadium is named, was an Eagle Scout.

The Royals host Game 1 of the World Series — at Kauffman Stadium — tonight on Fox.

Ewing Marion Kauffman, born in 1916 in Missouri, earned the Eagle Scout award on Nov. 6, 1931. After a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, establishing a professional baseball team and his myriad philanthropic efforts, it was an obvious decision to name Kauffman a Distinguished Eagle Scout in 1977.

Eight years later, Kauffman got more good news: his Kansas City Royals won the World Series, beating the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

Kauffman died in 1993, and the Royals never made the postseason again after that 1985 World Series win. That is, until last year.

Bringing baseball back to K.C.

When the Athletics franchise moved to Kansas City in 1955, the man responsible, Chicago real estate tycoon Arnold Johnson, was hailed as a hero.

That feeling didn’t last — and neither did the Athletics’ stint in Kansas City. The team moved to its current home in Oakland, Calif., after the 1967 season.

That upset U.S. Sen. Stuart Symington, who threatened to remove baseball’s antitrust exemption unless Kansas City was granted a team in the next round of MLB expansion.

Major League Baseball complied, and the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots (later the Milwaukee Brewers) began play in 1969.

Kauffman won the bidding for the new Kansas City franchise. He named the team the Royals after the American Royal, a horse and livestock show held each year in Kansas City.

The team played in the multipurpose Municipal Stadium for the 1969 through 1972 seasons before opening Royals Stadium in 1973. Royals Stadium stood out at the time because it was one of the few single-sport stadiums around, bucking the trend of one-size-fits-all stadiums that housed multiple teams.

In 1993, Royals Stadium became Kauffman Stadium in honor of the Royals’ founder.

And last year, for the first time in 29 years, Kauffman Stadium became home to the American League Champions. The Royals hope to do one better in 2015.

Related posts

Eagle Scout Shane Victorino delivers critical hit to win second World Series

Pat Gillick is the Baseball Hall of Fame’s first Eagle Scout


Hat tip: Thanks to Mark Blanken of Troop 165 for the blog idea! 

14 Comments on The Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium is named after an Eagle Scout

  1. I received my Eagle scout in the fall of 1969 in Kansas City. Mr. Kauffman was the keynote speaker at my Court of Honor. Back then as I recall there weren’t individual Eagle Court of Honor but one council wide. I’ll never forget he told all of those scouts that day who received their Eagle Scout that if the Royals made it to the World Series by 1974 we were all invited to be his guest! The man was truly remarkable who never stop giving.

    • Bryan Wendell // October 21, 2014 at 10:24 am // Reply

      Wow, what a story. Thanks for sharing!

  2. The Royals were not named after a horse but rather a cow. http://online.wsj.com/articles/did-you-know-the-kansas-city-royals-were-named-after-cows-not-kings-1413426602

    • Not really A cow but one of the biggest livestock (cows) show annually. As a Kansas City area native that has been transplanted to the East Coast, my trips back to K.C. are full of meals at Steak Houses and BBQ places — the best in the world.

      My 14-year old son is the same age now as I was when I watched George Brett and company win the last Royals World Series. Let’s make it FOURTEEN post-season wins in a row (going back to three in 1985( and SWEEP this MLB post-season!

      Go Royals!

    • Bryan Wendell // October 21, 2014 at 11:06 am // Reply

      They were named after the livestock show called “American Royal,” as I said above — and as the link you provided indicates.

  3. Mark Blanken // October 21, 2014 at 10:47 am // Reply

    Bryan, Thanks for moving on this. The timing is perfect. Scout day at the K is a day that many in the Heart of America Council (and surrounding councils) look forward to as well as the Royal gathering of Eagles. His ties to scouting are unbreakable.

  4. Bryan,

    Baseball isn’t the only tie that Kansas City has to Scouting. Nor are the Royals the only Major League sports team in Kansas City with a Scouting “Heritage.” The Kansas City Chiefs are, in fact, named after Heart of America Council’s beloved, former Scout Executive, Harold Roe Bartle.

    After supervising Boy Scout Troop in Lebanon, Kentucky, where he was the prosecuting attorney, Bartle became a young Scout Executive in Caper, Wyoming from 1923-24. There, while overseeing the Scouting movement in the entire state, he started a long relationship with Native Americans, and was fascinated by their culture, morals, traditions, and ways, in the. He was inducted into the Arapahoe Tribe, by Chief Lone Bear, who made him his blood brother, and gave him his own name. Bartle worked with them to begin a framework for a program within Scouting to honor those Scouts who went above and beyond. After he was transferred to the Pony Express Council, in Saint Joseph, Missouri, in 1925, he continued his relationship with the Tribesmen, and continued to develop a program for honors campers in Scouting, with the blessings of the Tribe. His plans for a Native American-themed camping honors program came to fruition in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, where it still exists, much as it did then (1925), at Camp Geiger. Bartle was installed as the first chief, Chief Lone Bear. Bartle would be transferred, once more, to Heart of America Council, in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1928. The Tribe of Mic-O-Say expanded to the HOAC, grew, and even took on a few local changes. It also expanded further, into Nebraska, Kansas, and even Colorado. It is no coincidence that Mic-O-Say Lodge, #541, of the Order of the Arrow, in Western Colorado, is so named. It was once a part of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. After the Order of the Arrow became the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say continued at Camps Geiger and Osceola (now, H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation). But, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say is beginning to spread, again, under other names, but with the blessings of the Tribe, like the Tribe of Mannaseh, of the Lewis and Clark Council, in Western Illinois. Bartle went on to serve two terms as mayor of Kansas City. While mayor of Kansas City, he was instrumental in bringing the AFL’s Dallas Texans to Kansas City. Upon the team’s arrival in KC, owner, Lamar Hunt renamed the franchise the Kansas City Chiefs, after Bartles, who was affectionately known and loved by all, as “The Chief.” Bartle is a recipient of the Silver Beaver, Silver Buffalo, and Silver Antelope. He was reportedly featured in a story that ran in the Scouting magazine, several years after his 1974 death (would love to read it, if it can be found), in which it was reported that after he recruited a Roman Catholic commissioner in Saint Joseph, a Ku Klux Klan mob demanded he be fired, to which Bartle is said to have replied, “If three or more of you will step right up here, onto the porch, I’ll whup you, immediately!”

    Not enough can be said of H Roe Bartle, who joined B-P in 1974. However, Kansas City is also home of the National Eagle Scout Memorial Fountain, once located at the Seventh Street entrance to the Pennsylvania Railroad, in New York City.

    • Bryan Wendell // October 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm // Reply

      Good addition. Thanks!

    • H. Roe Bartle was also the Primary Builder of Alpha Phi Omega, the Service Fraternity founded on the Ideals of Scouting. He was the second National President, serving from 1931 to 1946.

  5. Tom Skelton (KC Eagle 1985) // October 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm // Reply

    And in the city of fountains, and Eagles – http://kcparks.org/fountain/eagle-scout-memorial-fountain-2/

  6. Phil "Bald Eagle" Hatzos // October 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm // Reply

    Not Was, “Once an “EAGLE,” always an “EAGLE.”” Phil “Bald Eagle” Hatzos Troop 1085 Berkley, MI

    • Bryan Wendell // October 21, 2014 at 8:58 pm // Reply

      My policy with Eagle Scouts who have passed away is to use past tense.

  7. WAS an Eagle Scout? Did he give it back or something?

    • Unfortunately, Kaufman no longer “IS” at all folks. Everything about Mr. Kaufman “WAS” at this point. He passed away. PAST TENSE. This IS a situation where saying someone WAS an Eagle Scout IS appropriate.

      😉

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