WHITEHOUSE, Ohio — If you’ve ever been to an Anthony Wayne sporting event, you’ll notice a ton of people in blue and white. But there is one fan that just seems to stand out in any crowd; everyone simply knows him as Dan.
Super Fan Dan has autism, but that will never slow down his love for the Generals. You’d be hard pressed to find an Anthony Wayne game he’s not at.
From basketball, to volleyball and baseball, everyone knows Dan well. Including the athletes.
“It started off during basketball season. He was at every game so it was really exciting to see him there. He was always smiling. Even had his own clipboard to write up some plays,” Anthony Wayne pitcher Zac Szul said.
“We go play catch behind the dugout and he comes up next to the dugout and gives us some positive words. It’s really awesome,” Anthony Wayne catcher Clayton Knapp said.
Last Friday, he was at Anthony Wayne’s baseball game against Napoleon. Sitting in his seat unsuspecting, little did Dan know that The Generals had something special planned.
He was called out onto the field to throw out the first pitch.
"It went really fast!” Dan said.
The surprises kept coming. The guys presented him with a hat, a shirt, and a warmup: the same one the team wears.
“We took a picture with him after the Maumee game. We have given him a couple game balls. He had a basketball shirt on because he goes to the game. I said we need to get him a t shirt, jacket, and a hat. Get him geared up and he’ll be a real General then,” Anthony Wayne head coach Mark Nell said.
“The way I think of it is everyone needs to be treated respect and he’s no different than anyone else. It’s just great to see him out here. He deserves our respect as a team,” Szul said.
His enthusiasm is contagious. Being at all the games means a lot to Dan and it means a lot to these kids as well.
“Its amazing. When he comes out to the game it doesn’t matter what the score is. If we are getting blown out or it’s a close game he always has a positive attitude and it feeds into our dugout,” Knapp said.
“Win lose or draw it makes us happy. We all want to win. But to put a smile on his face means the world,” Nell said.
If making Dan smile is the goal, consider this a mission accomplished for the Generals.