“Run, Forrest, run!”
Junior Chris Ackerman, dressed as Forrest Gump, sprinted to first base after sending a fastball into center field. Staying true to the character of his costume, Ackerman continued to sprint down the football field, even after reaching first base safely.
Ackerman’s costume was one of many lining the football field for the Hillsdale College baseball team’s annual Halloween game on Oct. 30.
According to head coach Eric Theisen, this is the fourth year the team has played a Halloween-themed game. The idea came from multiple YouTube videos of several programs doing something similar, Theisen said.
“It looked like a good time and a break from the regular grind of practices, so we decided to let loose a little bit and have a game of our own,” Theisen said in an email.
The game is a batting practice game, allowing players to switch up positions. The light-hearted event is meant to celebrate the end of the fall season, according to junior Ryan O’Hearn.
“It’s a way to end things on a high note and finish the [fall] season off with a bang,” O’Hearn said.
Costumes ranged anywhere from a garden gnome to a grape, but according to O’Hearn, the best costumes are the ones people can act out.
Ackerman said being able to act out his character not only made his costume more obvious to the audience, but it also made the game more fun for him.
“Last year I didn’t really know what to expect, but this year I definitely felt like I was more prepared,” Ackerman said.
According to O’Hearn, the players try not to reveal what their costumes are, so they can surprise the audience, and each other.
“It’s become a thing where you keep it a secret,” O’Hearn said. “It gets everyone excited to see what everyone else will come up with.”
The Halloween game always draws a crowd, and this year was no exception. Parents, students, and local residents filled the stands to watch the players parade around in their costumes, laughing at the more ridiculous ones.
“We didn’t really think it would draw so much attention,” Theisen said. “Originally we just wanted the guys to have a little fun with it, but it’s become a pretty funny and entertaining afternoon that people look forward to.”
Ackerman said if he could change one thing about the game, it would be more promotion.
“The more of an audience there is, the more fun it is,” he said.