By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
Playing high school baseball in the Kansas City area, it’s easy to imagine David Reese’s thoughts when he stood on the pitcher’s mound at Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.
Reese, however, can’t explain it.
“It was unreal,” Reese said. “Our Missouri Southern team has gone to the Metrodome (in Minneapolis) to play, but that’s nothing like playing at Kauffman Stadium. I really can’t put a pinpoint phrase on how great that experience was, how perfect the field was. Those guys at Kauffman know how to do it.”
Reese, a right-hander, pitched the second inning of the Ban Johnson League All-Star game at Kauffman. No pitcher worked more than an inning in the Kansas City-area summer league’s all-star game.
“There are quite a few MIAA guys in the league,” Reese said. “There are a few high school guys who have graduated and going to their freshman year of college, but overall it’s mainly college athletes. There are a few junior college and a few Division I guys in the league.”
Reese, 6-foot-2, 195-pounder who prepped at Olathe South, had an outstanding summer pitching for the North Kansas City Apartments Giants.
“All the teams have pretty interesting names,” Reese said with a laugh.
“It was one of the best summers I’ve ever had. I led the league in strikeouts (70 in less than 50 innings pitched), and I was second or third in the league in earned run average (less than one run per game). I had six wins and two losses. It was a really good summer. Everything was going my way.”
The Giants finished with an overall record of 18-17, including two losses to MINK League teams from Chillicothe and St. Joseph.
Last spring for Missouri Southern, Reese finished 4-6 with a 5.27 earned run average. He had eight starts and two complete games among 25 appearances, and he recorded a team-high four saves. He struck out 52 batters and walked 10 in 681⁄3 innings.
“The spring season didn’t go my way personally toward the end of the season,” Reese said. “As a team we did awesome ... but personally, I think I did a lot better my sophomore year (6-3, team-best 2.64 ERA) than my junior year.
“This summer gave me a lot of confidence,” said Reese, who will be a senior for the Lions. “I know it’s a long way away, but already I do look forward to the spring season. It will be a struggle getting through the fall.”