FROM TUESDAY’S MESSENGER
One of Troy University’s greatest sports fans passed away early Monday morning. E.C. Oswald will be remembered as a dedicated Trojan as well as a ballpark attraction all to himself.
Oswald, a lively member of Troy baseball’s “First Base Mafia”, enjoyed the ballpark atmosphere and even more enjoyed heckling opposing teams.
“He would come to practice on occasion and we’d talk about the team and kick some things around,” said Troy assistant coach Mark Smartt, who also played for the Trojans from 1986-87. “What he liked more than that was to call the pitchers out by their numbers. Except, he wouldn’t call out the right number, he would always intentionally be one off the number. So, if No. 31 ran out to the mound, he would call out ‘Hey, No. 30.’ He was a great Trojan.”
Troy fans, players and coaches were not the only ones to enjoy The Mafia’s antics.
During one Troy home game, University of West Georgia head coach Archie White walked over and asked then-Trojan head coach Chase Riddle “Who is that group in the stands making all that noise?” Riddle responded, “That’s the Troy Mafia, they’ll do any job I ask them to do.”
Later in the game, White was ejected and watched the rest contest from the stands with Oswald and Troy’s famous fan section.
Oswald’s trademark line at Troy baseball games came when an opposing runner was on base. “Let him go coach, let him go,” Oswald would chant.
He would also travel to many Troy contests and was a dedicated Trojan basketball fan as well. In 2004, Oswald was inducted into the Troy Baseball Hall of Fame as a supporter.
“That was a big moment for Troy baseball and his family,” Smartt said. “We couldn’t have honored him in a better way.”
Oswald’s funeral will be held on Thursday, February 28 at 2 p.m. at Dillard Funeral Home in Troy.