A familiar face, and voice: SeaWolves super fan gears up for another season of cheers, and jeers.
Since becoming a full-season ticket holder in 2004, Erie SeaWolves super fan, Richard Laurie is about as passionate as they come. Erie News Now Andrew Hyman caught up with Laurie at the SeaWolves home opener, to see what makes him such a familiar face, and voice at UPMC Park.
Death, taxes and SeaWolves baseball. That's the mantra for super fan, Richard Laurie.
"I love baseball." Laurie said "I really enjoy the game, it's my favorite sport."
That love is what brought him out for this opening day game. Much like it has since he became a season ticket holder in 2004.
And for the man they call "Red", he's not been afraid to share that love with the people around him.
"He probably knows every usher by, you, know, personally." said Usher at UPMC Park, Leonard Wienczkowski "The way he acts, he calls them by name. [He] knows the ballplayers by name."
Wienczkowski has ushered at UPMC Park for eight years. Four of them have been near section 206, where Richard proudly, and loudly sits.
"When they do good, he feels good," Wienczkowski said "When they do bad, not so good."
Laurie brings equal enthusiasm to every cheer and jeer. In English, and in Spanish.
And it wouldn't be a game if he didn't bring along his trusty rally puppet, Wiley.
Ask him why he brings such energy for one team, and he'll tell you, he's just root, root, rooting for the home team.
"They're the Erie team." Laurie said "I can't understand why people, they go to the games, and unless you're from the town...though, some people are [Pittsburgh] Pirate fans. They only come when they're gonna see Altoona [Double-A affiliate], but they root for Altoona, or Akron, if they're [Cleveland] Indians fans."
The energy and excitement of a baseball game can have fans on the edge of their seats, to begin with. But with a little bit of the spice that Richard adds, it could make all the difference, win or lose. And he's not going anywhere, anytime soon.
"As long as I'm able, I'll be there." Laurie said "And my voice will be there too, and umpires will hate it, and several members of the other team will probably hate it. But our guys will love it."
When asked if he looks forward to another season with Laurie, Wienczkowski said "Yes, yes I am."
*Laurie retired from his job at General Electric in 2011. He now spends summers between SeaWolves games and theater. You can view more on Laurie's life on the second video.