'Salvy Splash' will help bring normalcy to KC

May 12th, 2020

KANSAS CITY -- The one symbol that might truly represent when baseball is back in Kansas City someday is the Salvy Splash.

“I can’t wait,” FOX Sports Kansas City reporter Joel Goldberg said by phone. “I miss it so much. That celebration, which might seem so meaningless, means a lot to people. The first time people see that again, people are going to be really happy.

“And when we see it, we know we’re back.”

The Salvy Splash -- catcher dousing FSKC’s star of the game with what’s left inside the orange Gatorade bucket while being interviewed by Goldberg on the field -- became such a staple to postgame celebrations over the last decade that the Royals’ marketing firm had a three-dimensional billboard constructed of the Salvy Splash in Westport, Mo., before the 2016 season.

“Really, that was one of the coolest billboards I’ve ever seen,” Goldberg said. “It was remarkable at the time to drive by that billboard and see the lines of people waiting to get a photo underneath it. I thought, ‘Everyone now has a chance to live my life for a moment.’”

Goldberg, of course, is always in the line of fire of the Salvy Splash. While the star of the game gets drenched, Goldberg, too, often gets nailed.

Collateral damage.

“The number one question I get is how big my dry cleaning bill is,” Goldberg said, laughing. “But the truth is, the dry cleaning bill [about $200 a month] was always pretty high because, hey, it’s summer in Kansas City. You’re going to need to dry clean your suits.”

But a local dry cleaning company -- Hangers Dry Cleaning -- reached out to Goldberg a few years back and offered to pick up the bill for cleaning his suits, just to be connected to the Salvy Splash.

“A nice little perk,” Goldberg said.

But as much as Perez has made the Salvy Splash his signature postgame move, here’s a little-known fact: Perez didn’t originate it.

“I can’t remember the year but it was probably 2011,” Goldberg recalled, “and the first ‘Splash’ I remember came from Alex Gordon. It was a getaway night to St. Louis and I just remember I got nailed with Gatorade and my neck was sticky the whole flight to St. Louis. Thankfully it’s a quick flight.”

Perez likely started his version of the Splash sometime in 2013, Goldberg said.

“I don’t remember a singular moment,” Goldberg said. “It just started to become a routine. Guys weren’t expecting it first. Now, Salvy and I kind of have to choreograph it a little.”

Of course, the next Salvy Splash will be extra special simply because, due to Perez missing all of ’19 after Tommy John surgery, fans haven’t seen it since 2018. Well, actually there was one Splash after the final game last season: Perez and Gordon doused manager Ned Yost after his final game before retiring.

“It’s always been amazing to me how many fans stick around after the game just to see the Salvy Splash,” Perez said. “And I have a feeling there will be a lot of them the next time we see it.”