MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Longtime Memphis Tiger baseball batboy Stan Bronson passed away at the age of 89 last month.
The Guinness Book of World Records holder for "Most Durable Batboy" worked 56 consecutive seasons in that position for the Tigers.
Bronson had a mental disability, but he never let that stop him from having a good time. He left a lasting legacy when he passed away in early January, and on Friday, those who knew Stan celebrated that legacy, including Super Bowl champion kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who knew Stan from his time as a pitcher for the Tigers.
"You know, the four years I was here, I probably saw Stan everyday, especially during baseball season. And Stan was just the best. He put a smile on everyone's face. He worked so hard at what he did. He never had a bad day, and that was something that was contagious around the guys on the team," Gostkowski said.
In the early 1950's, former Tiger football head coach Billy Murphy allowed Stan to help around his program. That's how his relationship with the U of M started.
Libby Ladyman, Murphy's daughter, still remembers meeting Stan for the first time.
"I think as a little girl sometimes when my mother would take us around practice, and I would see this sweet man, and my dad would say, 'That's our special friend. That's Stan. He's here to help us at the university.' He was just a joy," Ladyman said.
The Tigers open the 2018 baseball season on Saturday against Western Kentucky.
It'll be the first time in decades that Stan won't be alive to see it, but those who knew Stan said they won't forget him and what he meant for the University of Memphis.
"He was the best batboy I think the world has ever seen," Gostkowski said.
"He persevered. He was like my dad. He came here to be a Tiger. He lived as a Tiger, and he died a Tiger," Ladyman said.