Of Royal(s) Assistance: Spanish teacher helps as translator for baseball team


Natalie Martinez

World language department chair Martha Drone works as a part-time interpreter for the Royals, the MLB team based in Kansas City, Mo. Drone has been working for the Royals for the past 5 seasons.

Natalie Martinez, Staff Writer

As they travel from countries like Venezuela, the families of Royal’s players are greeted by world language department chair Martha Drone interprets for them as they make their way around Kansas City, MO. 

Drone became an interpreter, translating English and Spanish, before she was a teacher. Drone said she first found out about interpreting for the Royals from a friend.

“I tell her, ‘Well I already work full time’,” Drone said. “I was just kind of saying thank you but no thank you.”

After rejecting the offer, Drone said the interpreting company requested to have her. 

 “[The company] said, ‘Well, you can work when you have time, and it can be during the week or on the weekends,’’’ Drone said.

According to Drone, she thought the job was to be an interpreter in general. She found out it was for the Royals later on.

“The company told me, ‘We contract interpreters for the Royals and for their families,’’’ Drone said. “Many of them home school their children, and most of the families don’t speak English or it’s very limited.”

Once they leave the Kauffman Stadium, the Royals don’t stop playing baseball when they return to their home country.

“The only time they have a home is when the players are not playing, but they’re not playing with the Royals, they’re playing back in their country in their little leagues,” Drone said.
“And that’s when they get to be home with family.”

When she found this out, Drone said it touched her heart. After discussing it with her family, she accepted the offer.

 “I thought, ‘This is actually not just a job, this is like a mission for these families’”, Drone said. “It’s like I’m ministering with these families because what they really need is a contact they can trust.”

Drone said her family is supportive of this job. According to Drone, her children think it’s cool.

“My whole family, we’ve always done a lot of community service,” Drone said. “So this is like one more thing we do.”

For Drone, working with the Royals has its benefits. Drone has a free pass to every Royals game.

“It’s kind of fun,” Drone said. “I get to be with them, I get to go to the games and stay in touch with them and they pay me for it.”

Like every other job, interpreting for the Royals isn’t all just fun and games. Drone has to write a report after each job.

“It’s just something that is so easy to do for me,” Drone said. “Some people would probably be like’ I don’t want to do that,’ but I wouldn’t. I mean, I love it.”

For Drone, this job has helped better herself. Drone said that she appreciates every player she meets because it’s helped her transform into a better person.

“Sometimes people ask me, ‘Do you get paid a lot?’ and it’s always like a mind of money,” Drone said. “The greatest thing is that I get to have friends. I’m driven by people and I think it’s the best treasure I get to have.”