The Tanner Shelby Merz Foundation – and the Falls City community – was well represented and easy to find among the 36,000 or so fans in Royal blue Sunday afternoon. All decked out in orange, Gordo Nation became Merz Country and witnessed the Royals’ 5-4 series-sweeping win over Chicago.
Speaking of the Royal All-Star and Gold Glove left fielder, Alex Gordon may be riding the pine and resting an angry groin injury another month while KC cruises to its first Division title since 1985 (12-game lead and AL’s best record last I checked), but he’s still Fan Favorite No. 1, particularly to young Huskers.
Take Silas Amanullah (right), 10-year-old son of Sara Amanullah Ruiz and soon-to-be South School fifth grader, who just experienced a time in his life he will never forget – and the TSMF made it happen. His mom won the “Alex Gordon Meet & Greet” at this summer’s TSMF “Memorial Cruise” auction and Silas, as well as Marc and Sally Merz, met Gordon and the other players and coaches under Kauffman Stadium after Sunday’s victory.
“He was smiling all day and was quite bashful when he walked up,” Sara said. “He’s speechless right now. He is such a great kid he deserved to meet him.”
And Gordon’s a great guy, as well as a great player; one KC will not let leave via free agency this winter, right? He’s helped mold this team on the field as much as GMDM has on the waiver wire. On the field – and in the clubhouse. Shortstop Alcides Escobar came around to shake hands, they met Manager Ned Yost and Silas took a good-natured bump on the noggin from pitcher Danny Duffy, even though Danny had kind of a rough afternoon.
“We’re so glad TSMF had this up for auction and we would do it again!,” Sara said.
The TSMF is “a non-profit organization working toward safety in athletics for our youth today and in years to come by bring awareness to TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).”
The Foundation was established in honor of Tanner Merz, 21-year-old son of Marc and Sally, who passed away tragically in a car accident on March 30, 2013.