Warren Buffett is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at tonight's (Wednesday's) Kansas City Royals game.
The Royals play the visiting Texas Rangers in the second game of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. First (official) pitch is at 7:10p CT.
Hometown fans may be hoping some of Buffett's success as an investor will rub off on the Royals, who haven't been having much success on the field.
They lost last night, 6-5, and are currently in last place in the American League's Central Division. The Royals have won 25 games and lost 40, giving them a winning percentage of .385 and putting them 12-1/2 games behind the first place Chicago White Sox.
Buffett has a strong connection to the team. He's a minority owner of the minor league Omaha Royals, which is Kansas City's triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. They're doing a little bit better than the parent team, with a 30-33 record that puts them third of four in the PLC American - North standings, 6-1/2 games behind Iowa.
Buffett is a long-time baseball fan who saw his first game, the Brooklyn Dodgers vs. the Chicago Cubs, as an 8-year-old in 1939. (See the WBW post Why Warren Buffett Hits Like Ted Williams to see why he thinks it's so important to wait for the right pitch as an investor.)
At this year's annual shareholders meeting, he was asked by a 9-year-old from Chicago if he'd like to buy the Cubs from Sam Zell, who is trying to unload most of the team to help finance his deal to take Trubune private .
Buffett responded with a polite no, remembering that when he was nine, he thought he would eventually buy a baseball team. Last summer, he told Murray Chass of the New York Times, "Up until the age of about 20, I probably did think if I got rich I would buy a baseball team. Then I got rich, and I changed my mind."
Buffett said he'd been approached about buying the Cubs, as well as the Kansas City Royals when that team was available a decade ago. But he's holding firm. "If I was in a major league city, who knows? But the answer is no, I will not be buying a major league team."
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