The Faluuuuuuuuuuu chants will be heard no more at Werner Park in Omaha - unless Irving Falu comes back in a Nashville uniform, which is quite possible.
At the age of 30, and given the number of players the Royals wanted to protect from the Rule 5 Draft, the move doesn't come as a huge surprise - although, you have to wonder why he never got more than two brief looks in Kansas City given the number of problems they have had at second base in recent seasons. In his 95 plate appearances for the Royals, he hit .337/.366/.427.
He didn't play a lot of second base for Omaha in recent seasons for various reasons - one of which is the Royals wanted to give other guys a look at second. And Falu can play multiple positions, so he could always find a spot in the Omaha lineup.
With that said, his offensive numbers took a nosedive in 2013, including his batting average which dipped from .329 to .256. He also drove in fewer runs and had fewer total bases in 2013 than he did in 2012, even though he played 47 more games for Omaha in '13.
That didn't make him any less popular with the fans though. When the Storm Chasers posted a photo of him on its Facebook page on Thursday in appreciation of a "true franchise legend," fans referred to him as a gentleman and a role model. Parents and grandparents expressed their thanks to him for taking time to talk to their kids at the ballpark. And one woman ... well, she'll always have a story to tell.
"We will miss you Falu!!! But we still have our dog named after you in which you met at Bark in the Park!:)," Tawnya Masters Wortman posted.
No minor league player wants to climb the all-time minor league stat charts, but Falu's name is embedded in Omaha's record books. Here's where he ranks in several categories:
- 3rd in games played (578)
- 3rd in at-bats (2,232)
- 2nd in hits (631)
- 3rd in runs (309)
- 10th in RBIs (214)
- T-8th in doubles (84)
- 2nd in triples (29)
- 4th in stolen bases (89)