LENEXA, Kan. -- The home of the Kansas City Royals won't be the same.
Over the weekend, word broke that a celebrated mascot and fan favorite was fired from his job with the Royals as the season began.
The face of "KayCee" was a familiar one during the Royals' recent run to glory. But times have changed at Kauffman Stadium, especially in the win column. There aren't as many Ws as there were in 2014 and 15.
Lenexa's Dave Webster knows that well after he was fired by the franchise during the off-season.
The Royals found their first home winning streak of the year during the weekend, taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox, and KayCee, the guy who's become known for hanging the victorious "WW atop the Royals Hall of Fame, wasn't seen.
"Baseball season has been going on for a month, and up until yesterday, nobody noticed I was gone," Webster, the man known affectionately as KayCee, told FOX4.
The 61-year-old said it was a big disappointment when he was dismissed. He confirmed for FOX4 he was let go sometime between Royals FanFest in late January and Opening Day in late March. He refused to comment on his firing or the circumstances around it.
"There's a lot of speculation going on," Webster said. "The Royals put out their press release that said they were going in a different direction. To be completely honest, the day we parted ways, that's what they told me. There's been a lot of speculation but, honest to God, that's what was said on that day."
A press release from the Royals explained the team was parting with Webster under amicable terms:
"We had a great run with 'KayCee' and the W, but as we’ve come into the 50th season of Royals baseball, we’ve decided to focus on the tradition of Sluggerrr’s post-game celebration," Toby Cook, Royals vice-president for publicity, said in a written statement.
Webster became popular with fans by giving tours of the Royals Hall of Fame, where he worked as a historian. Fans were impressed with his knowledge of Kansas City sports history, and before long, he took on the old-time baseball uniform and the moniker KayCee.
Webster said he holds no ill will toward the Royals organization.
"Don't anybody feel sorry for me. I had a great nine-year run. I got to do some things that a guy like me would never get to do," Webster said.
Online speculation about why he was fired surrounded a Facebook post that came from KayCee's official Facebook page, in which the writer criticized Royals third-baseman Mike Moustakas, who returned to Kansas City after testing the off-season free agent market.
"Moose seems like the kind of guy that would break up with his long time girlfriend to go find a better prom date," the post said. "When none of the better looking girls would go out with him, he went back to his original loyal girl. Even though he's back, I can still see him checking out the room for a prettier girl. All that said, the Royals are still a better team with Moose on the roster."
"It could be. I don't know," Webster said on Monday.
"One thing I was worried about is people saying, 'Well, he must have done something really bad," Webster continued with a laugh. "No, I didn't abscond with the church funds or defile the Kauffman statue. No, it was nothing bad."
Webster said he originally planned to avoid the media, but chose to talk with FOX4 so he could thank Royals fans for nine fun years. During his time, only two other people hung the W to celebrate a victory at Kauffman Stadium: Korean Superfan Sung Woo Lee and retired Royals infielder Mike Sweeney, the night he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame.
"'14 and '15. The American League Championship. The World Series," Webster reminisced. "The Wildcard Game. Even afterwards. The trophy tour. I got to do some things I never thought I'd get to do."
Now that he has free time, Webster said he intends to work on a book about local baseball history. He says he's planning to watch the Royals on television too. After all of this, he says he's still a Royals fan for life.