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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “‘Family’ of spirited,passionate UA baseball fans rile up opponents”

    Marketing sophomore Scott Mills, left, and physics sophomore Kai Lindstedt, right, take a break from heckling San Diego State in Tuesday nights 3-2 Arizona win at Sancet Stadium. The Hot Corner has been notorious for giving Wildcat opponents a hard time since its creation in the 2003 season.
    Marketing sophomore Scott Mills, left, and physics sophomore Kai Lindstedt, right, take a break from heckling San Diego State in Tuesday night’s 3-2 Arizona win at Sancet Stadium. The Hot Corner has been notorious for giving Wildcat opponents a hard time since its creation in the 2003 season.

    The Arizona baseball team calls Sancet Stadium home, where thousands of fans gather in search of quality college baseball, hard-working student-athletes and entertainment on game day.

    But the Wildcats aren’t alone. Another unique team calls it a home, too.

    Meet the Hot Corner family, a unique handful of spirited UA students who come together with an intensity and desire to succeed equal to the Wildcats’ on-field performances.

    That same passion UA head coach Andy Lopez displays can also be found in section 13, where de facto Hot Corner “”head coach”” Sean “”Butters”” McMannes leads his squad in chants, cheers and heckling.

    “”We’re cheaper like the dozen,”” McMannes said while being heckled by his fellow Hot Corner participants. “”Pretty much, I treat these people like my kids.””

    What began in 2003 as a small group of students has evolved into today’s self-proclaimed best baseball student section in the nation.

    And with up to 50 members on any given weekend, the group of Arizona baseball super fans stir up the on-deck circle by heckling opponents with clean, yet witty and clever shots at opposing players just feet away.

    “”We’ll say whatever we need to say that’s not cursing or offensive … to get a little reaction out of people,”” McMannes said. “”We’re pretty good at it, we’d like to think.

    “”We want to make sure as many people get to watch college baseball and experience how lucky we are to have such a great program,”” he added.

    The Hot Corner boasts a wide variety of player-targeted heckles, thanks to extensive research on Facebook and MySpace. A few classic shouts, however, always throw an equal impact, McMannes said.

    Opponents hear one-liners like, “”Pick a major! Get your act together!”” in reference to a player without an academic major, while opposing coaches who walk out to the mound hear the echo of their footsteps as the Hot Corner chants, “”Left! Right! Left! Right!”” with each step.

    San Diego State sophomore Eric Castro, an Arizona transfer, took an earful from the Hot Corner when

    making his Tucson debut on Tuesday night.

    “”Eric Castro you do not have beautiful eyes! Why did you leave us, you traitor! I thought we had something!””

    On-deck batters occasionally react to the heckling, McMannes said, when the Hot Corner picks on players with rear pockets hanging out of their pants.

    “”Let’s play tic-tac-toe in the dirt! I got the top left corner!”” a Hot Corner member shouted at SDSU’s Brandon Glover. Other heckles such as, “”I will own you at four square, No. 22!”” and, “”You don’t even know (former UA swimmer) Amanda Beard!”” also occur on the fly.

    During the game, McMannes even received a text message from a scout that said SDSU’s Garett Greene has a younger brother, Grant, who plays baseball for USC – material the Hot Corner thrives on.

    “”He’s got a better haircut and better batting gloves!”” McMannes shouted at Greene in comparison to his younger brother.

    With such a broad array of different chants, UA senior and member Adam Knapp couldn’t conceal the Hot Corner’s arsenal into a list of five.

    “”I can’t even … I’m trying to think,”” Knapp said. “”There’s so many every game. Wow I have no idea.””

    SDSU head coach Tony Gwynn, a Hall-of-Famer with experience all over Major League Baseball stadiums, took the Hot Corner lightly.

    “”When I took the lineup card out (Tuesday) a guy came out and tried to bust my chops and I said ‘look man I’ve been ragged for 25 years, you’re not gonna bother me,'”” Gwynn said. “”It’s part of the game. Try playing right field at Wrigley (Field).

    “”College is a little more spirited because you have the students, but I don’t pay much attention to that,”” Gwynn added.

    Washington State head coach Donnie Marbut applauded the Hot Corner’s support during the April 18 weekend series, McMannes said.

    “”We actually had a running dialog with the coach,”” McMannes said. “”All the coaches came up and thanked us for chatter, saying (we are the) best student section in the nation (and) that it’s really entertaining and pleasure to have us out there.””

    Like all head coaches, McMannes not only performs on game day, but works outside of the stadium with recruiting.

    “”Pretty much all we do is recruit,”” McMannes said. “”It sounds weird that we recruit, but honestly we’ll go out on the weekends, wear our Hot Corner shirts and ask, ‘What are you doing tomorrow? Let’s go to the baseball game.’

    “”It feels great, we’ve been working really hard at it,”” McMannes added.

    – Bobby Stover contributed reporting

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