Then there are the Razorbacks. Last season, Arkansas slugged 83 home runs to lead the Southeastern Conference, and a productive fall season suggested the Razorbacks might improve on that this year. They have; Bonfield’s was the team’s 95th.
“The night before the first game, we were trying to figure out something to do, something original,” second baseman Carson Shaddy said. “Our video guy” — Zach Barr, the team’s director of video and scouting — “came up with the idea to put on the traditional hog hat that everybody in Arkansas wears at sporting events and whatnot. Everybody clearly loved it, and we put stickers on it every time we hit a home run.”
When the players approached Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn for permission, he agreed. Reluctantly.
“They came to me and asked me about it, and I said, ‘I don’t want to show up every team,’ ” he said. “If you let the hitter come off the field, come close to the dugout and slam the hat on his head, that’s up to you. We’ll see how it goes. It just kind of evolved. There hasn’t been any problem with it.”
Wilson, the most outgoing Razorback, took charge of presentation. “I just grabbed it and ran out there,” he said. “Things were going good when I was putting it on people’s heads. After that it was kind of like, ‘You do it.’ ”
But there is one drawback, Shaddy said. A few days ago, in a TD Ameritrade clubhouse, Shaddy removed his cap to reveal a red splotch on the right side of his forehead just below the hairline. Seems Wilson applied the hog hat a little too enthusiastically a few days earlier, when Shaddy homered in the 14-4 superregional rout of South Carolina that sent Arkansas to the Series.
“He likes to splat it on hard and rub some skin,” Shaddy said, smiling. “It’s a little battle scar. He’s gotten me a time or two.”