You might think that the worst news a professional Baseball player could receive would be the message that he’ll never be able to play the sport again. To Jonny Gomes, however, the worst news of his career came when he was recently informed that he did not make the cut to visit The White House with The Kansas City Royals, who he played for when they won the 2015 World Series.
This decision came as the result of much debate amongst the Royals’ team owners and The White House about space restrictions that meant not everyone could be added to the guest list for the team’s visit with POTUS and FLOTUS. After lengthy discussions about what criteria should be used to determine who got to attend, it was decided that only athletes who had played with the team for the entire season or members of their post-season roster would be able to attend. Unfortunately for Gomes, he failed to meet either of these stipulations for entry, as he was only traded to the Royals on August 31 of last year and played in only 12 games during the post-season before becoming a free agent.
Of course, Gomes is not the only member of the winning Royals team to be left off the list. Other members that will not be going to Washington, D.C., include Don Free, who has produced and engineered the Royals’ radio broadcasts for over three decades, and team physician Dr. Vincent Key, without whom the success of the team would likely have never reached such an apex. What makes it such a painful piece of bad news for Gomes – in his words, the worst he’s ever received – is the fact that of all of the players in the MLB, Gomes is one of the most patriotic, with a full calf tattoo in honor of the US Military and a past that would have included joining the US Marines if he had not been drafted to the Tampa Bay Rays (at the time known as the Devil Rays) in 2001.
Luckily, Gomes has been able to visit the White House before – you may remember his sartorial choice of a stars and stripes blazer for the occasion – and for such a talented athlete, I can’t imagine that this opportunity won’t arise again for him one day – it just won’t be one day this year.