'Throw It In The Dirt!' man uses baseball to remember his mother - DatelineCarolina

'Throw It In The Dirt!' man uses baseball to remember his mother.

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Caleb Dixon might be the loudest fan at the game. Well known for his " throw it in the dirt" phrase. Caleb Dixon might be the loudest fan at the game. Well known for his " throw it in the dirt" phrase.
Matthew Thomas understands Dixon's passion, but says sometimes it can be too much. Matthew Thomas understands Dixon's passion, but says sometimes it can be too much.
Ronny Tanner, long time season ticket holder, enjoys Dixon's intesity. Ronny Tanner, long time season ticket holder, enjoys Dixon's intesity.

By Matt Hogan

The cry of "Throw it in the dirt!" breaks through the normal sounds of clapping. It is yelled early and often at most of USC baseball games. Most people know the phrase, but not the man behind it. 

USC senior Caleb Dixon, has a deep rooted passion for Gamecock baseball.

"Outside of my faith and my family, Carolina baseball might be my favorite thing to do," Dixon said.

Dixon is hoping the opposing pitcher makes a mistake and allows runners to advance. He started yelling the phrase in the spring of 2014, during his freshman year of college and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

" I don't see why I would ever quit saying it, as long as I have these seats," Dixon said.

Home field advantage can have a huge impact on college baseball, especially in a conference as competitive as the SEC. Part of playing at Founders Park is having to deal with Dixon and the rest of the rowdy Gamecock fans.

One of those few, Ronny Tanner, has season tickets three rows in front of Dixon. Tanner says Dixon is huge part of the game day experience.

"It is a part of the tradition when you come here, and when he is not here you miss it," Tanner said. 

Some people love the noise that Dixon adds to the stadium, but some people, like stadium employee Matthew Thomas, can find it annoying at times. 

"I get that that's like his way of like showing his pride in our school, and like being a fan and cheering on the Gamecocks," said Thomas." But yeah, sometimes it can be annoying."

Dixon takes pride in himself if he manages to annoy people around him.

"If I'm being annoying," said Dixon," I am doing my job."

Tanner had advice for anyone who finds themselves sitting near Dixon.

"Enjoy it, or move," said Tanner laughing.

Baseball is not just a game to Dixon, it is a way for him to feel connected to his mother, who always attended baseball games with him. She passed away in 2011.

"Being able to sit in these seats, and just watch the same game," Dixon said," is just like having her back with me." 

The players on the field and the fans in the stands may come and go, but the game will never change.

"Being back here, I feel like I am back with my mom," said Dixon, " it is easy to just kinda soak it all in, and realize that you know, Alex Destino might not be back next year, but it's still going to be ninety feet from base to base.

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