Grandson of fallen soldier throws first pitch in KC

Grandson of fallen soldier throws first pitch in KC

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals trotted out their Hall of Famers during pregame ceremonies prior to the first American League Championship Series game they hosted at Kauffman Stadium, but they would probably agree that their salute on Wednesday was far more meaningful, for several reasons.

The ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 4 was thrown by the grandson of an American hero -- a soldier who lost his life while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.

Sgt. Robert Wayne Crow Jr. of Kansas City was honored posthumously by the Royals on Wednesday, when his grandson, Patrick Kern, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He was accompanied by Crow's widow, Beverly Crow, both of whom were given a standing ovation by the sold-out crowd at "The K."

  Date   Recaps Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 10   KC 8, BAL 6 (10 inn.) video
Gm 2 Oct. 11   KC 6, BAL 4 video
Gm 3 Oct. 14   KC 2, BAL 1 video
Gm 4 Oct. 15   KC 2, BAL 1 video

Crow began his military service with the Missouri Army National Guard in December 2005. He previously deployed to Iraq with the 35th Engineer Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in August 2007 through May 2008.

He was hand selected to deploy again in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the Personal Security Detail with FSC, 203D Engineer Battalion. Crow was killed in action in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the vehicle in which he was traveling struck an improvised explosive device.

The armed forces were a big part of the Royals' pregame ceremony for a second day in a row. The colors were presented by representatives from Whiteman Air Force Base, who also unfurled a giant American flag in the outfield, as they did prior to Game 3. Members of the same base conducted a flyover above Kauffman Stadium in a B-2 bomber.

The national anthem was performed by David Cook, who hails from nearby Blue Springs, Mo., and won the seventh season of "American Idol."

His self-titled first album was released in November 2008, and his second major album, "This Loud Morning," was released in June 2011.

Vocalist Gracie Schram sung "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.