Making Himself Heard

Fan’s booming voice a mainstay at Tigers games.
Sunday, March 27, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:55 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where was he?

He should have been here by now.

It’s the second inning of a Friday night Missouri baseball game against North Dakota State and there is no sign of super fan Larry Wyatt II.

Usually wearing a Missouri hat and dressed in a black-and-gold sweat top and black khaki pants, he is known to most as just “Larry.”

He is an unmistakable presence at Taylor Stadium.

He usually takes his seat a few rows behind home plate and screams his support for the Tigers (and disdain for the visitors) for nine innings.

Wyatt II, a substitute teacher, has also been known to cheer at most other Missouri events, and at high school games.

But he is most visible and audible at sporting events like Missouri baseball games and gymnastics meets.

“He’s pretty much synonymous with Hickman and Mizzou stuff,” said Kevin Lewis, sports anchor for KMIZ/Channel 17, KQFX/Channel 38and KZOU/Channel 11. “He always wants to talk sports.

“You know the deal when you know Larry. He’s never going to change.”

But going to games is also integral to his identity as a fan. That is something the Columbia native has been doing for as long as he can remember.

“It’s my hobby,” Wyatt II said.

A 1994 Hickman graduate, Wyatt II attended Missouri for 3 1/2 years before finishing school at Central Methodist University.

All the while, he remained loyal to his high school alma mater.

Lewis, a 1997 Hickman graduate, has known Wyatt II’s booming voice longer than most.

He remembers him coming to his Kewpies soccer games and now sees him at most events he is covering.

Lewis said Wyatt II leads by example. He doesn’t have to verbally encourage other fans to cheer along.

“It just comes from when it’s really quiet or there’s a lull,” Lewis said. “He’ll just start screaming and everyone kind of follows him.”

Wyatt II is modest about his loudness.

“A lot of people think loudest is best,” Wyatt II said. “Loudest is just loudest.”

n n n

Wyatt II does not just go to home Hickman or Missouri events. He travels, too.

He drove to see the Kewpies football team win the Class 6 state championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis in November.

This year he plans on watching the Tigers at the Big 12 Conference baseball tournament in Oklahoma City.

Lawrence, Kan., is the only Big 12 city he has traveled to. Fans there often refer to him as the “lone Mizzou fan.” Sometimes he is the only Missouri supporter at baseball games there.

Wyatt II is known most for his undying support at home, though.

He has to prioritize on days when multiple Missouri sports are in action.

On March 20, Missouri baseball, softballand gymnastics all were hosting games that started about the same time.

Wyatt II chose to watch the gymnastics team because it was senior day.

“You’ve got to honor the seniors,” he said.

n n n

There is still no sign of Wyatt II as the Tigers bat in the bottom of the second.

Missouri designated hitter Bryson LeBlanc leads off the inning. He steps out of the batters’ box after taking a 55-foot curveball for ball two.

Suddenly, a shout rings out from the concourse on the first-base side of Taylor Stadium.

“Let’s go Tigers,” Wyatt II bellows. Since he is an inning and a half late, he has catching up to do.

His excitement is constant. Even the slow pace of Bison pitcher Shane Bushland does not stop it.

“Light him up like a Christmas tree,” Wyatt II yells to James Boone. “Just for making us wait.”

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