BV Spanish teacher feels special connection to Royals

Lily Ehler, Fall 2015 J1 Student

Steve Dean, a Spanish teacher at BV, was originally from California where he grew up as an Los Angeles Dodgers fan.


After his move to Kansas City, Dean said he became a Royals fan during the second game he attended.


“We walked in, and they handed us camouflaged Royals hats,” Dean said. “We found out it was Armed Forces Appreciation Day, and they had [many activities] before the game.”


Included in these events were a fly over, an armed service member singing the National Anthem and an American flag stretching the size of the outfield. Dean said the most impactful event was a man back from Iraq surprising his wife.


“They introduced [a lady] saying her husband was serving in Iraq,” Dean said. “He taps her on the shoulder, and she starts crying — and I’m crying because it’s so cool,”


Dean’s said his connection to the Royals began with former Royals pitcher James Shields.


“James, who went by ‘Jamie’ his ninth grade year, was on my baseball team and in my Spanish class,” Dean said.


Dean said he remembers Shields being a very good baseball player.


“I knew he was in the minors, but I didn’t know how well he was doing,” Dean said. “At that time, I wasn’t [teaching] at that school any more, and I’d kind of lost touch with him.”


Dean said he was very excited Shields came to play for the Royals, and he wanted the pitcher to feel at home in Kansas City and tried to reach out to him.


“I tried every way I could think of to get in touch with him,” Dean said. “I made a Twitter account, so I could tweet somebody who worked for the Royals. I met some people at the airport who were going to hang out with the Royals at Spring Training, and [I] said, ‘If you run into [Shields], would you tell him I’m here?’”


Dean said he was finally able to meet with Shields after Dean’s young kids saw Shields at First Watch.


“They sent me a text and said, ‘We think [Shields] is here. What do you want us to do?’” Dean said. “[I said,] ‘Well go up and say hi!’ So they went up and my son said ‘We think you know our dad, Señor Dean’ and I guess he said ‘Señor Dean?!’ and came out of the booth and gave my kids a hug, talked to them for awhile and signed things for them. They gave him my phone number, and we finally talked that day.”


Dean said Shields invited him and his family to come to the stadium.


“We got there during batting practice,” Dean said. “[Shields] brought us down onto the field, and it was great to see him.”


Dean asked Shields if he could meet catcher Salvador Perez, his favorite player.


“I spoke with [Perez] in Spanish,” Dean said. “I told him a story about when Jamie was in my Spanish class.”


As a Spanish teacher, Dean brings his dedication for the Royals to class, sophomore Audrey Hawn said.


“He wore a really cool jersey that said ‘Los Reales,’” Hawn said. “He uses lots of pictures of the Royals for examples in his PowerPoints.”


Dean said while he may not attend any postseason games, he will be watching every one on TV.
“We’ve moved here to Kansas City, and because I had a special experience with the Royals, it made it very easy to become more of a Royals fan than a Dodgers fan.”SENOR(the-good-one)