(ST. JOSEPH) Monday marked the end of the 2013 St. Joseph Mustangs season and one member's time as a staple of the club.
The team is known for a wide array of promotions before, during, and after the game, but none have been more common than bat boy Michael Dycus.
"He's always 100 percent, go, go, go, the entire time," Mustangs Manager Matt Johnson said. "He's been that way in everything he's done ever since I've known him."
The Benton High School senior has served as a bat boy for ten years; first for the St. Joe Saints and Blackhawks before the Mustangs' arrival in 2009.
It's an interest he picked up at a young age after taking in Saints game with his grandfather.
"I just saw these other kids picking up bats and balls and everything and I was like: 'Hey, that's pretty cool," Dycus said. "So, I got to be the road bat boy because I talked to the coach about it. It just kind of went from there and I started doing home and away game with the Saints."
It wasn't until the Saints became the Blacksnakes in 2006 that Dycus met Johnson, who played for the Mustangs' predecessors. The soon-to-be skipper made sure the bat boy would eventually have a place on St. Joe's current summer team.
"That's when I first met Michael and his mom and their family and realized that he'd been doing this for quite a long period of time," Johnson said.
"We found out that [Johnson] was going to be coaching the Mustangs and I just got set up with that," Dycus said.
He's since become a fan favorite at Phil Welch Stadium, known for sprinting out of the dugout to retrieve foul balls and make the occasional sliding catch when they hitt off the netting.
"They just told me to hustle up so I guess I just ran as fast as I could and kept doing that."
But, after a decade on the diamond, this summer was Dycus' last with the organization.
In light of the news, Johnson added that he was never part of the team to just put on a show. It's the work ethic that keeps bringing him back to the ballpark.
"There's never a second guess," he said. "It's really nice, as a coach, to have somebody who's completely in charge of that and completely reliable that you know is going to get the job done."
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