Carl Specht loved baseball. He was a big Royals fan, a three-sport athlete at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, an honors student, college graduate and eventually, salesman for a Fortune 500 company.
But after taking his own life after a battle with severe mental illness, Carl left behind a family who eventually found the determination to use Carls’ life to promote mental health awareness.
Four years later, they brought that determination to The K.
The Specht family, founders of Overland Park nonprofit Carl’s Cause, partnered with the Kansas City Royals for the team’s first-ever mental wellness event on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.
Carl’s father, Bob Specht, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and his mother, Kelly Specht, sat in the Buck O’Neil Legacy seat behind home plate, given each home game to a different local honoree.
“We are beyond honored that this is happening,” said Kelly during a brief interview before the game. “We’re also grateful because the Royals and the University of Kansas Health System have both chosen to do this mental wellness day at the K.”