Banner night: Royals raise champions flag

Opener ceremonies include Silver Slugger, Gold Glove presentations

April 4th, 2016

KANSAS CITY -- A sold-out crowd at Kauffman Stadium ushered in the new season by honoring the Royals' 2015 run to a World Series championship in pregame ceremonies before a 4-3 victory over the Mets.

There were video highlights from the Royals' postseason run -- even a 30-second video salute to the Mets' season -- and a Silver Slugger Award presented to designated hitter Kendrys Morales, as well as Gold Glove presentations to catcher Salvador Perez, shortstop Alcides Escobar and first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Hosmer, like many of the Royals, took in the ceremonies with great appreciation.

"It's just showed to us what a great accomplishment it was," Hosmer said. "I really enjoyed looking at all of it."

There were player introductions and more video highlights.

Of course, there was the viewing of the World Series trophy itself, a trophy that had toured the Midwest most of the winter and then was placed behind home plate before Sunday night's game.

And then came the moment the fans had been waiting for -- the raising of the championship banner. The biggest and longest cheer occurred as local firefighters Dan Werner and Chris Anderson did the honors; they survived a deadly fire and a building collapse that claimed the lives last October of two of their fellow firefighters.

The new banner will fly next to the 1985 World Series championship flag beyond the Royals Hall of Fame building in left field.

But not everyone was enamored with the pregame ceremonies.

"To be honest, I couldn't wait for the game to get started," manager Ned Yost said. "For us, we already experienced it all. So this was more for the fans and that's great. But I was just wanting the game to start."