That's the odd storyline that unfolded Sunday at Kaufman Stadium. The Royals, as is now common for reigning World Series champions, were opening the season by wearing gold-trimmed uniforms, including caps with the team's familiar K.C. logo rendered in gold.
But Volquez, the Royals' starting pitcher, apparently got mixed up regarding which cap the team was wearing. Instead of the one with the gold logo, he took the mound wearing the team's spring training cap, which features a gold crown over white lettering.
Fans watching on TV noticed right away, and so did the ESPN broadcast crew, which mentioned the mix-up on the air. Someone informed the Royals, and Volquez was told in between innings that he had donned the wrong headwear. He came out for the second inning with the proper cap.
Blissfully unaware of all this was Royals fan Jeremy Scheuch, who was sitting about 30 rows behind the Mets dugout.
Scheuch, 36, lives in Chicago and works in marketing, but he was born and raised in Kansas City and has remained a passionate Royals fan. How passionate? He has created a slew of Royals-themed artwork, attended six Royals games during the 2015 postseason and has the team's logo tattooed on his thumb.
But Scheuch had no idea that Volquez had worn the wrong cap.
"From where I was sitting, I couldn't see it at all," he said in a telephone interview. "Then, around the second inning, I happened to scroll through Twitter and saw people talking about it. I thought, 'Oh, that's interesting.'"
Scheuch still didn't think much about the cap until he paid a third-inning visit to the stadium shop where the Royals sell game-used gear.
"I wanted a game-used ball, and they typically put a bunch of those on sale, from the game in progress, after the third inning," he said. "It's mostly pitches in the dirt that are removed from the game, that kind of thing. But while I was waiting in line, someone came in and said to the shop manager, 'Here's the cap he was wearing in the first inning.' I knew right away what he was referring to."
Scheuch decided an Opening Night game-used cap that was never supposed to have been worn in the first place was better than a ball, so he asked the manager if the cap was available for sale.
"None of the other customers seemed to realize the story behind the cap, and I certainly wasn't going to tell them," he said.
A few minutes later, the cap was his. Scheuch declined to disclose the price, although he said it was "less than the average price for an Opening Night ticket," which he put at about $250.
Underside of Volquez's "wrong" cap w/ MLB hologram and Royals shop sticker. Photo by the fan who bought the cap. pic.twitter.com/tSus6ggqTC— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) April 4, 2016
And what does he plan to do with the cap?
"I have a little shrine of Royals collectibles, so I'll add it to that," Scheuch said. "But I definitely won't wear it. I have so many other Royals hats I can wear. I'm not gonna put my sweat over [Volquez's] sweat."