A Permanent Seat to the Game

Date:

Roadrunner Baseball Pays Tribute to Former Manager RayburnA Permanent Seat to the Game

What started as a young Angelina College student with a passion for baseball eventually evolved into a full-time role with the Roadrunner baseball team – and a permanent seat in the program’s hearts.

Tyler Rayburn was sitting outside the press box during an AC baseball game one spring day in 2014, keeping a scorebook the way he’d done since he was a child. An AC official noticed his knowledge of the game and his meticulous stat-keeping, and in no time, Tyler had his own reserved seat in the press box as the official statistician.

In fact, Tyler once insisted a man remove himself from Tyler’s reserved seat.

The man? Only the Angelina College president, Dr. Larry Phillips.

Phillips graciously acquiesced, but he’d get the seat the very next season when Roadrunner head coach Jeff Livin brought Tyler into the dugout as a team manager.

For the next two seasons, Tyler was an integral part of the team. During one playoff run, the ‘Runners pulled off a big win in late innings. When the players ran to celebrate, many of them ran straight to Tyler.

Tyler would finish his time at Angelina College, eventually transferring to Stephen F. Austin State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications.

Sadly, Tyler passed away unexpectedly in January of 2023, leaving behind his wife Tracy, his loving family – and an empty seat in the press box.

Angelina College baseball coaches Jeff Livin (far right) and Dylan Murphy (far left) pose with members of the Rayburn family during Saturday’s pre-game ceremony. The Roadrunners honored former manager Tyler Rayburn, who passed away in 2023, in a tribute prior to the doubleheader at Poland Field. (Gary Stallard/AC Athletics photo)

On Saturday, March 23, Livin and the Roadrunner baseball program paid tribute to Tyler, with father Steve Rayburn throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to AC’s doubleheader with TCS Post Grad. Livin presented the family with a framed photo of Tyler – looking out over the field from the dugout, of course – that will take its permanent place in the AC baseball press box, along with a plaque commemorating Tyler’s time as a Roadrunner.

Steve Rayburn throws out the ceremonial first pitch during Saturday’s Angelina College baseball tribute to Rayburn’s son, Tyler, a former team manager who passed away in 2023. (Gary Stallard/AC Athletics photo)
          
Angelina College baseball coaches Jeff Livin (far right) and Dylan Murphy (far left) pose with members of the Rayburn family during Saturday’s pre-game ceremony. The Roadrunners honored former manager Tyler Rayburn, who passed away in 2023, in a tribute prior to the doubleheader at Poland Field. (Gary Stallard/AC Athletics photo)

There’s no doubt the guy absolutely earned his permanent place with the program.

The email address for AC’s Sports Information Director is gstallard@angelina.edu.

Gary Stallard
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.

Share post:

Subscribe

Popular

More like this
Related

Angelina College’s School of Visual and Performing Arts Celebrates Scholarship Recipients

Incoming, Returning Students Recognized in Ceremony In a relatively new...

Building A Commercial Demand Response System: Power Your Property and Pocket the Benefits

In the evolving landscape of energy management, commercial property...

Elevating Your Culinary Game: From Home Cook to Home Chef in Texas Forest Country

In Texas Forest Country, where family meals are a...

Caring for Fruit Trees

I was eating lunch with a group of ‘gentlemen...