May 9, 2020

By Fred Liggett

Everyone from players, front office staff, coaches, stadium workers and fans are anxiously waiting the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, opening day for the new season is unknown and how many games will be played is a complete mystery. For two Lee’s Summit natives the delay of a new season is also a delay for them to begin a new chapter in their professional careers.

Trevor Rosenthal and Matt Hall, a pair of Lee’s Summit West High School graduates, joined new teams during the off season in hopes for a rebound in their respective careers. Rosenthal signed with his hometown team the Kansas City Royals while Hall was traded to the Boston Red Sox. The delay of opening day at Kaufman Stadium means a delay for Trevor to take the field in front of his “hometown.

Trevor Rosenthal

“When that day does arrive Trevor says “it will be a surreal experience.” Rosenthal went through nearly a month of spring training before the team was sent home due to concerns surrounding the spread of the virus. During that time, Trevor found the Royals organization has “great people.” Following the stay at home order has given Trevor even more wonderful things to say about franchise saying, “These are challenging times and the resources made available by the team meant a lot to me.”

Matt Hall can relate to Rosenthal’s situation having joined the Red Sox during the off season and getting about a month’s work in during spring training. Hall says he enjoyed his new team saying, “was welcomed on first day, team has an older group of players.” Hall quickly admits he is “ready to start a new journey” but those plans are now “put on hold.”

Matt Hall

For now both Rosenthal and Hall are doing what they can to be ready when they get the call to rejoin their teams and play a shorter 2020 season. Hall says, “playing catch every day, throw off the mound one or two times a week.” Hall also runs and participates in Zoom calls with the Red Sox as the team wants to “touch base with their players.” Rosenthal remains in St. Louis, Missouri where he has lived the past eight years. The former St. Louis Cardinal uses a gym in his basement and finds time and a place to throw to a catcher. Rosenthal calls it “normal off-season stuff” though it’s happening in May. While his wife does some home schooling Rosenthal does some cooking and other at home activities waiting for his call to rejoin the Royals.

The two former Titans not only know each other but briefly played on the same professional team in 2019. After being let go by the Cardinals Rosenthal joined the Detroit Tigers and spent time with their AAA team in Toledo. He says playing together in Toledo was “first time to spend time with him.” He adds they “keep in touch still.” Hall agrees saying he “enjoyed hanging out with Trevor” as the two talked about high school glory days. Hall added it helped that he “played with Trevor’s brother when at LS West.”

For now Hall remains at home in Lee’s Summit and awaits the opportunity to earn a spot on the Red Sox pitching staff. Rosenthal stays at his home in St. Louis waiting to get the call to rejoin his hometown team and claim a spot in the Royals bullpen. Whenever these two pitchers return to the mound fans, coaches and teammates will be happy they did as it will mean the 2020 season is finally here.