Alex Heldrich, Reporter
The crack of a bat; baseballs flying; spectators cheering; Power Rangers in the outfield? On Oct. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. the Pierce College Raiders baseball team held their annual Halloween game at the Heritage Park Recreation Center in Puyallup.
The baseball team did not play another college during the game, but instead played a lighthearted game of softball where freshmen faced off against sophomores. Two games were played and the freshmen won both at six to three for the first game and five to three for the second.
Each member of the team was dressed in a Halloween costume including Olaf the snowman, Napoleon Dynamite, every color of Power Ranger, Mike Wazowski, the Pope, Avatar Aang, ‘Left Shark’, a baby, a whoopie cushion and two minions.
Even the coaches joined in. Head Coach Kevin Davis dressed as a scarecrow and Assistant Coach Jacob Phillips dressed as Macho Man Randy Savage. The coaches played on the teams during the two games that were played, one on the sophomore team and one on the freshman team.
“My favorite part of the game is definitely dressing up in costumes,” Jacob Phillips said. “I like to go as all out as I can. It’s fun to get out here with the guys and play a little softball in some funny costumes.”
When positioning himself to bat, Jacob Phillips flaunted the long neon yellow fringe that hung from the sleeves of his Randy Savage-esque jacket. The crowd and the team laughed as he attempted to hit the ball but got tangled in the fringe.
Other players in large, restrictive costumes also struggled to hit and throw the ball.
During the game costumed players who were not on the field playing handed out candy to the crowd. Free drinks such as hot chocolate and apple cider were available at a tent next to another tent selling hats and sweatshirts.
“This was actually the idea of one of my old assistant coaches, Billy Boyer,” Davis said. “We were just going to do it as a team event but we decided to turn it into a fundraiser and it’s been awesome.”
All proceeds of the game collected from the $10 admission fee go to the Raiders Baseball Program to help buy player packs and uniforms.
“This event is one of the things that we tell (the team) when they come in,” Davis said. “They know that it’s one of our fundraisers.”
The coaches try to keep the team away from simple costumes such as just wearing a sheet over their head and being a ghost.
“I ask them to be creative with their costumes,” Davis said. “They do a good job at getting it done.”
While most of the costumes were store-bought, several players wore homemade costumes. The two players who dressed as minions made their own costumes as well as the player who dressed as Avatar Aang, who went as far as shaving his head in order to paint on Aang’s blue arrow tattoo.
“I think that they see the seasons in the past and the guys that have done it prior to us and that just spurs them on to be better than the previous teams,” Davis said.
Baseball announcer T.J. Phillips, father of Jacob Phillips, the assistant coach, kept the crowd entertained throughout the event.
T.J. Phillips was garbed in a white ’70s disco suit with platform shoes and a hat made out of a disco ball. He played Halloween-themed songs such as “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, “Black Magic Woman” by Carlos Santana and “Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He also make frequent jokes and puns, some pertaining to the costumes of the team.
“My favorite part about the Halloween game is that I pretty much get to do all of the things that I don’t do during all of the normal baseball games,” T.J. Phillips said. “I wing it and I get to tell all of my stupid jokes”
One of his jokes went, “what’s the difference between a nicely dressed man on a tricycle and a poorly dressed man on a cycle?” to which he answered “attire.” Groans with a few chuckles echoed throughout the crowd in reply to his joke.
“This is just a great thing,” T.J. Phillips said. “It raises money for the team, it’s fun for the kids and I try to make it fun for everybody that’s here. As long as they’re groaning at my bad jokes then I think I’m doing my job.
The students, staff and friends of Pierce College that missed this year’s Halloween baseball game will have the opportunity to go to the fifth annual game next October.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost