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story.lead_photo.caption Bobby Smittle points at the home plate umpire during a game against South Carolina on Sunday, June 10, 2018, in Fayetteville. - Photo by Charlie Kaijo

It has been quite the week for Bobby Smittle.

You probably know him better as "Hognoxious," the heckling nickname he has earned over more than three decades shouting from the seats at two Arkansas baseball parks.

Smittle, a 59-year-old insurance agent from Cave Springs, had a prime position on ESPN's telecasts of the Razorbacks' super regional win over South Carolina. After he pointed and stared down umpire Mike Morris for several minutes during the second inning of Arkansas' loss to the Gamecocks on Sunday, Smittle was everywhere. He was featured on SportsCenter, had his picture plastered across social media and was the topic of multiple talk shows, including his favorite show hosted by Dan LeBatard.

"The best part was my daughter, who lives in Little Rock, texting me Monday morning and saying, 'Dad, did you know you're going viral?'" Smittle said. "I said, 'Yes, I'm sorry about that. Are you going to have to leave town?' She said not yet, but was making a plan."

What the ESPN cameras picked up was a small taste of what Arkansas fans - and opposing teams and umpires - have experienced for years. Smittle is as much a part of the Baum Stadium experience as the seventh-inning stretch and the kettle corn.

For 33 years, Smittle has been Arkansas' most recognizable baseball fan. Sitting atop the home dugout, his antics alone are almost worth the price of admission.

As a heckler, few do it better. It's no coincidence his nickname has stuck for well over a quarter-century.

"If you can get in the head of the players or the umpire, you've done something for the home team," Smittle said. "I feel like a ticket to go to a ballgame is not permission to be entertained; it's a license to go to work. It's your job to do whatever you can within the limits to get your team an advantage."

Click here to read the full story on Whole Hog Sports.

Comments

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  • JiminyC56
    June 14, 2018 at 11:58 a.m.

    What a moron, sit down and shut up!

  • drs01
    June 14, 2018 at 12:01 p.m.

    There are limits to what is reasonable, acceptable behavior. Heckling players is one thing, but umpires? Theirs is a thankless job. They make split second decisions and are RIGHT a high percentage of the time; in business. their percentage would make them super stars.
    Being obnoxious is not fan friendly behavior.

  • Jfish
    June 14, 2018 at 1:15 p.m.

    I saw him the other night against South Carolina, made me want to root for SC. I am sure that the people who sit behind him really enjoy the view and his absurd behavior.

  • OldGuard
    June 14, 2018 at 1:17 p.m.

    Yeah! Cheer the umpires and referees. That's the ticket!!

  • hurricane46
    June 14, 2018 at 3:08 p.m.

    I'd hate to sit behind that guy, and it's not "Hognoxious", it's more like obnoxious.

  • MaxCady
    June 14, 2018 at 3:25 p.m.

    That's Otis the town drunk!!

  • MaxCady
    June 14, 2018 at 3:39 p.m.

    There's definitely an art to heckling, just pointing and staring is bush league. I haven't heard this guy's schtick but I bet he doesn't have anything on Hook Slide Bradshaw (RIP) from the old Ray Winder days. It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

  • Packman
    June 14, 2018 at 5:01 p.m.

    Hey Travis - Thanks for reminding me about Hookslide - Brad, Brad, best friend the Travs ever had. Makes me smile thinking about him and the fun at Ray Winder. And the beer man. Loved the pony-tailed beer man too.

  • MaxCady
    June 14, 2018 at 6:21 p.m.

    Pack, those were the days! I had to call Brad out at home a time or two, but he always got his beer! I believe there's a craft beer named after him at Dickey-Stephens. Sad to say that both Brad and Beer Man have gone on to the great diamond in the sky.

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