Royals honor fallen heroes in Memorial Day matchup with Detroit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals honored the sacrifices of the military and their families as they returned home to face the Detroit Tigers Monday night.

Members of all five branches of the U.S. Military were on the field before the game and got a chance to meet the Royals players fans look up to. But it was obvious Royals players realized people like World War II veteran Lieutenant Clifford Mathis, who threw out the first pitch, were the real heroes at this game.

When Brandon Moss met a Vietnam veteran named Crash in the stands, it was Moss who asked Crash for his autograph and to exchange hats.

“I appreciate very much of them thinking that way," Crash said.

Moss and Royals infield Cheslor Cuthbert took time out of batting practice to meet more than a dozen Gold Star families before the game, who had lost wives and moms, husbands and fathers defending our freedom.

Sgt. First Class Forrest Robertson of Wamego, Kansas was killed in Afghanistan in 2013.

“We wish it, we wish we had a Dad to take away things,” Alia Robertson, 9, said of friends complaints about their fathers.

Sgt. Milton Gist Jr. was killed in Iraq in 2007.

“It’s a time to think about him and what he did," Dayah Gist, 14, said.

Before the game the Royals asked fans to pause for a moment of silence, honoring the fallen.

“It’s amazing for us, it’s people telling us that they understand that we’ve sacrificed for our country," widow Marcie Robertson said.

“It’s good to know that we are never forgotten, and that’s what a lot of this is, it’s people saying we are not alone and we are not forgotten," Kristie Robertson, 17, said.

And neither are their parents, who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“He will always be my hero, my #1 fan forever," Evelyn, 14 said.

Both the Royals and Tigers wore special uniforms with military green colored hats and lettering. Every Major League Baseball team wore them Memorial Day. Proceeds from sales of them will go to support MLB Charities.