Meet the man behind Troy Baseball’s new roll call tradition

Published 11:12 am Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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By Caleb Thomas

Historically, Troy baseball has seen a lot of on-field success. However, Ryan McCollough – who graduated Troy in 2012 with a journalism degree – wants to get the home crowd more engaged.

“When I came to Troy, I was aware of the history and tradition at Riddle-Pace Field, but it has never been known as an overly active crowd,” McCollough said. “We know what good baseball looks like, but it’s never been a rowdy environment.

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“I’m trying to change that in a respectful way.”

Roll call is one of the ways McCollough is doing just that. Similarly to the storied New York Yankees tradition, the crowd goes around the diamond, chanting the starting fielders’ names in the top of the first inning.

McCollough leads the crowd in acknowledging the starters, then breaks off into the T-R-O-J-A-N-S chant.

“I watch the Yankees fans do that every time I see Sunday night baseball, and I always thought it was pretty cool,” said McCollough, a former sports editor for The Tropolitan and The Messenger. “It lets the players know that [the fans] are there, ready to be loud and support them the entire game – whether it lasts nine innings or 19 innings.”

Although the roll call isn’t completely new to Riddle-Pace Field, it has started to catch on this season, with fans and players alike participating. The players wave at the crowd, or in the case of shortstop Tremayne Cobb Jr., strike a pose.

“It’s something we used to do when I was in college, but it never really caught on that much,” McCollough said. “I brought it back this year and wanted to be persistent with it.

“It may not go great the first or second time, but eventually folks will latch on to it.”

McCollough has made plenty of memories at Troy’s home field, citing February’s six-run comeback victory over Kent State and a three homer game from former Trojans outfielder Jo-El Bennett against Northern Kentucky in 2014.

“That win over Kent State is something I’ll remember for a long time,” McCollough said. “It wasn’t just one guy, it was a team effort, and that shows a lot about this 2024 ballclub.”

While McCollough watches a lot of games from the stands, he has also called games on the radio for Troy this year. Partly due to his experience with public address announcing for South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, McCollough was asked to call Troy’s away series in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

“I’m a print guy by trade, but I’ve always dabbled in announcing as a hobby,” McCollough said. “Since the very first time I heard Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren watching the Atlanta Braves, I’ve always loved the ability to tell a story for a sporting event.”