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Royals show support for fallen KC firefighters

KANSAS CITY -- After the tragic deaths of Kansas City firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh on Monday night, the Royals honored them on Tuesday by wearing KCFD shirts and hats during their workout day at Kauffman Stadium before Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Astros on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). The Royals will honor their memory in a special pregame tribute, and KCFD firefighters will take the field in support of the two fallen heroes in a moment of silence before the game.  

Royals Charities will also be donating net proceeds from the 50/50 Raffle to the Surviving Spouse and Family Endowment Fund (SAFE), administered by the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission, as well as IAFF Local 42

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The deaths of Leggio and Mesh, who were killed when a wall of a burning structure collapsed, especially hit close to home for Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. Hosmer's father, Mike, spent 26 years as a Miami City Firefighter before retiring.

"Just on behalf of the Kansas City Royals and myself included, we just want to let everybody know that our thoughts and prayers are with the Kansas City Fire Department," Hosmer said. "We just want to just extend our prayers to the family and let everybody know that obviously there's nothing we can do to make this go away or make this disappear, but as a team, as a city, we're all going to unite and just try and get through these times with each other."

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Hosmer, who has played with the Royals since 2011, first heard about the tragedy on Tuesday morning. He's met with plenty of Kansas City firefighters over the years and was deeply saddened by the news, but he praised Kansas City for its ability to rally the community together.

"I've met a couple of the firefighters that work here throughout the stadium, and as my dad came and visited, he's gotten to know a lot of the guys as well," Hosmer said. "So it's a tough time, but we're all in it together. And this is what makes Kansas City such a special place, is everyone rallies up for times like this and really just lean on each other for support."

Royals manager Ned Yost, wearing a KCFD hat on the podium, said it also deeply affected him, as his wife's family includes several firefighters, including his brother-in-law's dad and his nephew.

"I would like to say that all of the thoughts and prayers from the Kansas City Royals organization are with the families of the two firefighters that lost their life in the line of duty yesterday, and the entire Kansas City Fire Department," Yost said. "We've got such a close relationship with the Kansas City Police and Sheriff, and the Fire Department people, it's just, I think we all woke up with heavy hearts today."

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who has expressed admiration for firefighters publicly in the past, also gave his condolences and said wearing the KCFD hats and shirts was the least they could do to show their support.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of those people who lost their lives," Moustakas said. "Kansas City is a big family. We're all in this together. When you lose two guys who put their lives out there to save others, it's really sad. For us to be out there wearing the T-shirts and stuff is just a small token of our appreciation for what they do. Again, our sympathies and thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.
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