NEOSHO, MO. — If you’ve been to a Crowder college baseball game, you might have seen a cowboy hat and hammer emerge from the dugout after a home run. It’s part of a celebration that’s become a fun tradition within the program.
Hitting home runs is something they do pretty often— 99 times this season to be exact.
If taking a victory lap around the bases doesn’t get you fired up, the celebration waiting inside the dugout sure will.
Enter the cowboy hat and hammer.
“It’s no other feeling like it,” said outfielder Landrey Wilkerson. “I know after my past like three homeruns, I’ve smiled the entire time, just laughing.”
The hammer symbolizes power and the cowboy hat pays homage to their team name, the Roughriders.
Its origin stems from a meeting head coach travis lallemand had with his team towards the end of the 2018 season. He sensed their motivation dwindling and challenged them to find a way to reignite it.
“We went up on the road that next day and the first guy hits a homerun and then here comes the cowboy hat and the hammer,” said Lallemand. “Everyone’s excited again and it was great to see.”
From that point on, it became a tradition in the Crowder dugout.
“It brings the best out of us in the dugout,” said outfielder Roderick Criss. “It gets us locked back into the game after somebody goes yard and bringing out the hat and hammer, it’s just, we feel power in here. We feel fun.”
Lallemand said they don’t do it to showboat or taunt other teams. It’s just a fun way to get themselves fired up.
“You know, I guess the old saying is, you’re supposed to have fun at some point and these guys definitely have fun with it,” said Lallemand.
But once the homerun hitter is crowned and is handed his hammer, it’s back to business as usual, at least until the next home run.