Billy Noss, a Special Olympics Wisconsin athlete, was recently featured by WEAU News in Eau Claire. Check out the story about one of our amazing athletes:
Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) — Friendships come in all variations, and there’s one right here in the Chippewa Valley that has lasted nearly four decades, all it took was one Eau Claire Cavaliers baseball game in the early 80’s.
Dave Hanson has been the voice of the Eau Claire Cavaliers for 38 years, and along the way, he’s developed special a bond with an unlikely teammate, Billy Noss.
Talking is what Dave does best, while tracking is what Billy does best.
“I’m the ball shagger,” said Billy. I go after all the balls and try to get them all.
Together, they operate like a well-oiled machine.
“We’d always have a walkie talkie up in the press box and on foul balls. We’d communicate as to where the foul balls are going as they went out of the park,” Dave added.
No matter how far a foul ball goes, Billy will look for it, find it, and then return it.
Dave said, “We have stories with him shagging baseballs as far down as the Dairy Queen on Menomonie St. chasing after them and running after balls all over the place.”
Billy explained that he had chased a ball down to the Dairy Queen because a boy had run off with it.
“He said you’re kidding me. What are you doing down there? I got a ball,” Billy added.
Even though Dave keeps his focus on the field, the book, and the scoreboard, Billy always has his undivided attention.
“A lot of people like to enjoy talking with him and watching him do his job out there shagging balls,” Dave said.
“Billy is nice to have around here,” Eau Claire Cavaliers board member Dan Sessions added. “He interacts with a lot of the ball players. I think he knows all of the ball players on every team in Eau Claire. That’s just the way Billy is. He’s so outgoing with his personality.”
Billy was born with a learning disability, and although he’s very independent, even lives by himself, Dave has been there to lend a helping hand when needed.
“It’s kind of led to me taking care of him,” Dave explained. “I run around doing errands for him, take him shopping, and to ball games. He comes with me to a lot of events.
Where Dave goes, Billy goes. That includes dates with the Eau Claire Bears and the Eau Claire Legion baseball teams.
“They’re relationship is special, and as long as Billy can shag balls and come out to Carson Park and get to other sporting event, that’s what Billy likes,” Eau Claire Cavaliers statistician Kirk Hove said.
So, a voice you so often hear and a face you so often see have come together like the perfect double play combination.
Kirk said, “That’s Billy for you, that’s Dave for you. They have the passion and a special bond.”
“It’s always been fantastic to have him as a friend,” Dave added.
Dave has no plans on slowing down his busy announcing schedule which averages around 125 sporting events per year, and as for Billy, he’s not slowing down either. That even comes after celebrating his 77th birthday on July 12th.
You can also check out the story on the WEAU News website: http://www.weau.com/content/news/ASSIGNMENT-13-Double-Play-387729461.html