Greg Echlin

Sports Reporter

Ever since he set foot on the baseball diamond at Fernwood Park on Chicago's South Side, Greg Echlin began a love affair with the world of sports.  After graduating from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, he worked as a TV sports anchor and a radio sportscaster in Salina, Kansas.  He moved to Kansas City in 1984 and has been there since covering sports.  Through the years, he has covered multiple Super Bowls, Final Fours and Major League Baseball's World Series and All-Star games.
 
With his high metabolism rate, Greg is able to enjoy a good meal and stay slim when he's not running around on the sports scene.  He loves desserts, even making them.  Cheesecakes, pies and parfaits are the most common around the Echlin household.

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Sports
7:53 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder Absorbs Honor As Hall of Fame Coach

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was on hand in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Friday for the College Football Hall of Fame announcement. He is one of two coaches and 15 players who being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Before Snyder was hired at Kansas State in 1989, the Wildcats had been to only one bowl game in the history of the program. When he arrived, the cupboard was bare. 

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Sports
2:49 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Sporting KC Signs Former Player Roger Espinoza

Roger Espinoza poses with Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

After an early exit from the MLS playoffs last year, Sporting Kansas City is making changes for this season.

They announced their biggest off-season move Tuesday, signing Roger Espinoza.

Espinoza played for Sporting for five years before going overseas to play in the English Premier League. 

"This is the age where the majority of players hit their peak,” said the 28-year-old at a news conference at Sporting's office in Kansas City, Mo.

Sporting’s season opener is on March 8 against the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

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Sports
8:14 am
Fri January 2, 2015

MU Finishes Football Season With Citrus Bowl Win

The 16th-ranked Missouri Tigers football team successfully ended its season Thursday afternoon in Orlando with a 33-17 Citrus Bowl win over 20th-ranked Minnesota.

Heading into the fourth quarter, it was a close game. The Tigers led, 19-17, but pulled away.

“You have to have a drive, a competitive drive in the fourth quarter,” said Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel. “It sounds really easy. It’s not easy. It’s the character of your team and your players, the leadership that you have.”

Sports
7:59 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Kansas City Chiefs Make NFL History, But Not The Good Kind

A day after their final game this season, the Kansas City Chiefs are stewing over a dubious NFL record.

Until this year, no team in NFL history had ever gone through an entire season without completing a touchdown pass to a wide receiver. The worst moment occurred Sunday when Dwayne Bowe had a chance to become the first this season, but he fumbled just shy of the end zone.

Quarterback Alex Smith didn’t play because of a spleen injury, but even he was stunned at how it turned out.

Sports
8:13 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Chiefs Win, But They're Still Done For The Season

A 19-7 victory over the San Diego Chargers Sunday wasn’t good enough to propel the Kansas City Chiefs into the playoffs.

When the Chiefs finished the regular season with a 9-7 record, they didn’t find out they were eliminated until after the game when Baltimore came from behind to beat Cleveland. Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel, who started in place of the injured Alex Smith, says they can only blame themselves.

“We were 7-3 at one point,” said Daniel. “(We) sort of got on a slide at the back end of the season. Uncharacteristic of us.”

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Sports
8:13 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Mizzou Spoils SEC Tradition In Conference Title Game

Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo.
Credit Wikimedia -- CC

For the second straight year, the Missouri Tigers will play for the Southeastern Conference football championship. They’ll play Alabama, the top-ranked team in the nation, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta starting at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Since leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, the Missouri Tigers have stepped up the caliber of their play. But the rest of the SEC wasn’t quite ready for them.

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Sports
8:20 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Kansas City Chiefs Greet December Like A Lump Of Coal

The Denver Broncos beat the Chiefs 29-16 Sunday night under frigid conditions at Arrowhead Stadium. That sent the Chiefs to their second straight loss and dropped their overall record to 7-5.

The slide started with a loss to the previously winless Oakland Raiders, then the impactful news of starting safety Eric Berry being diagnosed with lymphoma. After the Denver Broncos quickly took the spirit out of the Chiefs with an early 14-0 lead, it would have been natural suspect the news of Eric Berry affected the Chiefs preparations.

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Missouri Football
8:51 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Mizzou To Face Brigham Young At Arrowhead In 2015

Not since the Missouri Tigers squared off against the Kansas Jayhawks in 2011 has any big-time college football team played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Next year, however, MU will play a game there against Brigham Young University.

MU athletics director Mike Alden said he knows fans would love a rematch between the Jayhawks and Tigers, but it's up in the air whether that could be arranged.

"Boy, it would be awesome if one of these days we could get that together," Alden said. "But who knows?"

Sports
7:58 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Royals Primed For Storybook Finish To 2014 Season

By beating the San Francisco Giants, 10-0, Tuesday night, the Kansas City Royals forced the seventh and deciding game of the 110th World Series.

It was the most lopsided World Series victory since the seventh game of the 1985 series when the Royals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-0.

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Sports
8:36 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Royals Thankful For Home Field Advantage, But Not Everyone Likes How It Is Decided

Home field advantage for the World Series is decided by the outcome of the All-Star game. This year it favored the Royals.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

The fact that the Kansas City Royals have home field advantage in the World Series has rekindled debate.

It’s traced back to a July night in Minnesota, better known for the All-Star farewell to New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. The American League won the game and that’s why the Royals have three and potentially four home games with a possible seventh game in the World Series.

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, the A.L. All-Star manager this year, says the All-Star result should not determine the home field advantage.

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Sports
7:47 am
Mon October 27, 2014

World Series Returns To Kansas City With Royals Trailing 3-2

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner again  was untouchable Sunday night.

This time, Bumgarner didn’t need any help from the Giants bullpen. He outdueled Royals starter James Shields one more time and tossed a complete-game shutout in the 5-0 victory over the Royals.

Eric Hosmer was one of the Royals hitters who was baffled by Bumgarner.

“He’s tough guy to really get comfortable at-bats in,” said Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. “It just seems like it’s a constant battle every time you face him”

World Series
7:43 am
Sun October 26, 2014

Giants Win World Series Game 4

Despite an early 4-1 lead, the Kansas City Royals couldn't maintain the upper hand against San Francisco in game four of the World Series Saturday.

The Giants scored ten unanswered runs en route to an 11-4 victory. Kansas City's starting pitcher Jason Vargas said his goal was to set the stage for the team's dominant bullpen.

"As a starting pitcher you want to get as deep into the game and close the gap for the bullpen as much as you can," Vargas said.

Kansas City Royals
8:43 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Royals Hope To Keep Up Offense With Butler On Bench

Royals designated hitter Billy Butler will be on the bench during game three of the World Series as a pinch hitter.
Credit Keith Allison / Flickr-CC

During the regular season, the Royals were accustomed to adjusting their lineup when they played in a National League city. There was no designated hitter during many of those games.

So that means Kansas City's DH deluxe, Billy Butler, will begin Friday's game on the bench when game three of the World Series gets underway in San Francisco. Teammate Alex Gordon tried to see the bright side of the situation.

"The good thing is he's a great pinch-hitter," Gordon said. "So he comes of the bench and can cause some damage." 

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Sports
8:05 am
Tue October 21, 2014

For Some Royals Players, An Extended Season Means Hotel Living

It’s October and most Major League Baseball players have gone home — all except the players who are in the World Series.

For players who don’t live in Kansas City year-around, it means temporary housing until the series is decided.

Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain became a father just before a stellar performance in the American League Championship Series that earned him the Most Valuable Player award in the series.

So, he’s adjusting to becoming a new parent and living in a hotel until the World Series concludes.

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Sports
6:41 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Royals' Jason Vargas Says Pennant Win Is 'Unbelievable'

The Kansas City Royals didn’t waste any time.

They scored two runs in the first inning and held on to clinch the American League pennant with a 2-1 victory over Baltimore.

It’s the Royals' third trip to the World Series and the first since 1985.

Winning pitcher Jason Vargas refers to the World Series as the “Big Dance.”

“The only thing that could be better is to have the ball that decides the big dance,” Vargas said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s everything I imagined it would be. And more.”

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Kansas City Royals
5:59 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Royals Fans: Your Team Is One Victory From The World Series

Royals fans packed Kauffman Stadium Tuesday for the third ALCS championship game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

It’s not just about being in the playoffs anymore. It’s for the whole shebang.

The Kansas City Royals defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1, Tuesday night to close within one victory from reaching the World Series.

The Royals are making the most of their first trip to the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1985 - and no one expected this.

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Sports
7:39 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Billy Butler Says Royals Are Taking It 'Pitch To Pitch'

Game three of the American League Championship Series is scheduled to start Monday night at 7:07 between the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles.

With a lead of 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, designated hitter Billy Butler says momentum is building toward the Royals reaching the World Series for the first time since 1985.

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Sports
5:19 am
Wed October 1, 2014

After Iffy Start, Royals Pull Off 9-8 Victory In Extra Innings Against A's

The post-season paraphenalia around Kauffman Stadium can stay a while; Royals advance after beating the A's in the Wild Card playoff game.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

It appeared that their first post-season appearance in 29 years would be brief, but the Kansas City Royals came up with a dramatic victory in the wild card playoff last Tuesday night, 9-8, in 12 innings.

Trailing 7-3 in the sixth inning and with Jon Lester on the mound for the Oakland Athletics, the Royals’ chances of winning didn’t look promising. Lester had beaten the Royals twice already this season.

But Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer says the Royals didn’t lose hope.

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Sports
6:53 am
Mon September 29, 2014

29 Years Later, The Royals Make The Playoffs

Royals fans watch a game against the White Sox in Chicago.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

For the first time since winning the 1985 World Series, the Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs.

They will take on the Oakland A’s in a one-game wild card playoff Tuesday at 7:07 p.m. Thus ending the longest active post-season drought of any major sport team in North America.

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Sports
8:27 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Kansas City's Tom Watson Ready To Lead U.S. Team To Ryder Cup Match

Kansas City-native Tom Watson will lead the US team to the Ryder Cup as captain.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

Kansas City native Tom Watson is the captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team that will be competing against the European golf team this weekend in Scotland. It’s his second go-round as the US captain, though times have changed since Watson last served as captain in 1993.

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Sports
7:54 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Royals Conclude Home Season On A Winning Note

The Kansas City Royals finished the home portion of their 2014 schedule with a 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers Sunday afternoon. They did it in front of a sellout crowd to push their season total to roughly 43,000 fans shy of the 2 million mark.

The charged-up atmosphere didn’t go unnoticed from those taking the field. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon says the players enjoyed the sellout crowds over the weekend.

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Sports
8:31 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Chiefs Start Out Season With 26-10 Loss To Titans

Chiefs fans leave Arrowhead Stadium after a loss to the Tennessee Titans Sunday.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

It wasn’t until Nov. 17 last year when the Kansas City Chiefs lost their first game of the season. But this year is a different story.

The Tennessee Titans, with a handful of former Chiefs, players knocked off the Chiefs, 26-10. It isn’t a good sign for the Kansas City Chiefs when fans leaving after the third quarter chanted, “Let’s go Royals.”

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Chiefs
10:09 am
Sun September 7, 2014

Chiefs Open Season With Different Look

The Chiefs start their 2014 Sunday with a new look.
Credit Greg Echlin

To open the NFL season against Tennessee Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs have high hopes.  They’re coming off a playoff season with an 11-5 regular season record. But the look of this year’s team is different.

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Sports
8:29 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Sporting KC's Palmer-Brown Balances Professional Soccer With High School

At 17, Erik Palmer-Brown is the youngest player on Sporting KC, and the youngest player this year in the MLS.
Credit Mike Gunnoe / Sporting Kansas City

As a player for Sporting Kansas City, Erik Palmer-Brown of Lee’s Summit, Mo., is in the big leagues. But at 17, his story is different than any of his teammates.

Palmer-Brown is living a life that most kids his age only dream of. A defender, he last saw action in a friendly match at Sporting Park against Manchester City (July 23) from the English Premier League.

“It was just really fun to be out there against the best team in England right now,” said Palmer-Brown after the match.

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Chiefs
9:09 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Matt Cassel Makes Triumphant Return To Arrowhead Stadium

Matt Cassel enjoyed his return to Arrowhead Stadium with a 30-12 win Saturday night.
Credit Kyle Engman (Creative Commons)

Quarterback Matt Cassel returned to Arrowhead Stadium Saturday night for the first time since he played for the Kansas City Chiefs two years ago.  Cassel jump-started the Minnesota Vikings In their 30-12 exhibition win over the Chiefs.

Cassel was the focal point of the frustration that Chiefs fans felt two years ago when the team was 2-14.

When there were cheers after Matt Cassel was injured two years ago, it brought out the wrath at the time of his teammate Eric Winston.

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Sports
7:43 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Super-Fan SungWoo Lee Attends His Last Royals Game — For A While

SungWoo Lee poses at Kauffman Stadium Wednesday night.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

SungWoo Lee, a devout Kansas City Royals fan who traveled to Kansas City from South Korea, attended the final game of his trip Wednesday night.

It has been a trip packed with good memories. SungWoo Lee met the Kansas City Royals players. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday night, then flashed the big W after the win that enabled the Royals to move into first place in the American League Central.

As he wandered through the stands before the last game of his trip, fans who had heard or read about him wanted their pictures taken with him.

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Sports
7:49 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Royals Claim First Place In AL Central After 3-2 Win

The Kansas City Royals took over first place in the American League Central and lead Detroit by a half-game.

They defeated the Oakland Athletics, 3-2, Monday night for their eighth win in a row.

Before Royals closer Greg Holland nailed down the game’s final out, the final score of the Tigers game flashed on the outfield wall scoreboard: Pittsburgh 11, Detroit 6.

Then Royals centerfielder Jarrod Dyson used his lightning speed to flag down a fly ball for the final out. To mark the moment, Dyson did a backflip.

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Sports
8:25 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Parking Changes At Arrowhead Stadium Go Into Effect Thursday

Parking changes will be in place at Arrowhead Stadium Thursday.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

There will be some changes in the Arrowhead Stadium parking areas Thursday night for the Kansas City Chiefs exhibition opener.

The Chiefs kick off at 7 p.m. against the Cincinnati Bengals, and fans entering the Truman Sports Complex at Gate 5 better have their parking pass ready — there will be no cash accepted at Gate 5.

Once inside the gates, fans will notice all the cars traveling in one counterclockwise direction. Chiefs president Mark Donovan said he is braced for fans who might have trouble adjusting to the changes, but asks for patience.

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Sports
11:48 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Energy Drinks Raise Red Flag In High School Athletics

Credit Daniel Juřena / Flickr--CC

High school athletes in Kansas and Missouri start outdoor workouts for fall sports in August, no matter how hot or humid it is outside. One of the main safety concerns in the heat is dehydration. 

Sometimes it’s not the weather but what the athletes drink that makes the problem worse. A can of Red Bull, Monster, 5-Hour Energy, or any other energy drink before practice can dehydrate an athlete.

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Sports
7:49 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Royals Honor Longtime Equipment Manager Al Zych

Before Thursday night’s 14-inning victory, 2-1, over Cleveland, the Kansas City Royals honored one of their former behind-the-scenes figures.

Al Zych, who grew up in Kansas City, Kan., was the Kansas City Athletics equipment manager from 1963 until the team departed for Oakland four years later. Zych then became the Royals equipment manager from the franchise’s first year in 1969 until 1988.

George Brett called Zych one of his best friends during his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech in 1999.

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