Hottovy eager to pitch at Kauffman Stadium

Hottovy eager to pitch at Kauffman Stadium

Hottovy eager to pitch at Kauffman Stadium
DETROIT -- Pitcher Tommy Hottovy already has had a big day, his first Major League appearance in a Kansas City uniform, and another big day is ahead. On Thursday, he'll be in Kauffman Stadium wearing Royals blue for the first time.

This is significant because he was born in Kansas City and always imagined himself playing for the hometown team at Kauffman Stadium where he saw so many games as a youngster.

"I can't tell you how many times I was supposed to be sick on Opening Day. I just happened to be at Kauffman," he said, chuckling. "But that's just what we did. We loved going to games. We just had a blast growing up there, and that's why it's pretty special to get an opportunity to play there."

Hottovy, 30, finally reached the Majors last summer with the Red Sox and pitched in eight games, so being called up by the Royals wasn't quite so much of a whirlwind for him and he's able to enjoy the experience more.

"It's more, 'OK, I'm here and I belong here and this is where I want to be,'" he said.

Growing up in KC meant a lot of backyard baseball with his brother, Tim.

"Pitcher-wise, I loved [Bret] Saberhagen, obviously, and [Jeff] Montgomery. But [Dan] Quisenberry was one of my favorites, too, and now that I kind of throw sidearm, it's fun to look back," Hottovy said, remembering Quiz's famous side-winding delivery.

"And the way we'd do it is we'd go through the lineups. My brother would hit and he'd be George Brett, he'd be Steve Balboni, then he'd be Frank White. And I'd throw one pitch like Montgomery or one pitch like [Kevin] Appier or one pitch like Quisenberry. That's just what we did, and then we'd switch. We loved it."

Hottovy made his Royals debut last Wednesday night at Cleveland and was so amped up that he hit Casey Kotchman with his first pitch. Then he gave up an RBI single and got a strikeout. In his second outing on Friday night at Minnesota, he worked two innings and gave up one run.

There will be a big turnout of family and friends for the Yankees series at Kauffman Stadium, including Hottovy's wife, Andrea, and infant son, Cameron, in anticipation of Hottovy getting into a game.

"That first night will be the first night that my wife will be at a big league game I've pitched in," Hottovy said. "Every one that I made last year, she was 35 weeks pregnant and couldn't fly."

Also planning to be on hand are parents Tom and Linda, brother Tim and sisters Nicole and Holly.

"Aunts, uncles, cousins and everybody else that you can think of are going to be there, too," Hottovy said. "It's going to be a neat experience."