A pitcher’s path from Kauffman Stadium keeper to prospect – The Athletic


He remembers getting the email with the paperwork, and he remembers the section that puzzled him.

To advise: ___________

It was 2015 and Nathan Webb was a high school student with bushy red hair. He lived in Lee’s Summit, a short drive from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, where he had attended games for as long as he could remember.

Now there he was, reading that form to be considered a prospect draft. Webb didn’t know what a counselor was. (Think: agent.) So he jotted down a name that made sense.

Advisor: Trevor Vance

Matt Price, the Royals scout who sent the papers, remembers reading that name, closing his eyes and shaking his head with a smile. Vance is in no way an agent. He is the senior manager of grounds maintenance and landscaping for the Royals: the man who cultivates what many consider Kansas City’s finest lawn.

But for Webb, an unsuspecting prospect who didn’t exactly have Scott Boras at his disposal, the gardener was the closest he had to a major league connection. Webb worked on Vance’s gameday team. Before games, he painted the batter’s box at the major league ballpark. After them, he swept away the canoes. Vance was a good boss. He was also a demanding youth baseball coach. Webb was a beneficiary.

If he needed another reference, Webb could have written down the name of a longtime security guard at Kauffman Stadium. The guardian was his grandfather. Price, the scout, would learn of this connection in time. He would begin to understand the magnitude of sending the scouting form to Webb in the first place.

Funny thing is, Nathan Webb never had to apply for his first job at Kauffman Stadium.

He was probably 9 years old when, sitting in a dugout because the ticket holders hadn’t shown up, Vance passed by. The gardeners planned to drag the ground.


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