Allen Mosteller’s heart was the reason he had to stop driving the bus for Cullman’s baseball team. One could say it’s the same reason he’s still one of the Bearcats’ biggest supporters, too.
Mosteller’s role within the program has changed entirely since suffering a heart attack three short years ago. He’s no longer behind the wheel, but a radar gun. He’s a fixture at every Black and Gold game, keeps in close contact with the coaching staff and would do anything for the well-being of the squad’s student-athletes.
Oh, and Mosteller’s also responsible for the sign in Cullman’s clubhouse that’s been motivating the ’Cats on their march to Montgomery.
With the team trudging through the tail end of the regular season, Mosteller figured something needed to be done to “get the boys enthused” and “get more spirit.” So the 67-year-old commissioned a sign that bears 11 words and one simple message — “Where will you be six weeks from now? Cullman or Montgomery?”
Mosteller initially took the idea to coach Brent Patterson, who didn’t even ask what the sign would say. He just replied, “Yeah, go ahead,” and based on its effectiveness, sure is glad he did.
Patterson said the players like the sign, which is the first thing they see — “you can’t not see it” — when they walk in the locker room.
“It’s just a reminder that everybody wants to go to Montgomery,” the coach said. “But do they want it enough to invest every single day and try to get the most out of practice every day?”
Cullman has clinched an area title, bounced Hartselle in the second round for the first time in three years and advanced all the way to the semifinals since the sign was initially hung. The six weeks on the original has dwindled down to one, with today’s series at Briarwood Christian — first pitch is set for 5 p.m. — serving as the final obstacle in the Bearcats’ way of ensuring the answer to Mosteller’s question is Montgomery, not Cullman.
Senior Keaton Dean has enjoyed the sign, but mostly because of his feelings for the man who had it made. The designated hitter said Mosteller is “a guy who’s just always here” and that “we love him and see the time he puts into us, even making a big sign like that.”
“We appreciate that,” Dean said. “It makes it easier to put in time in practice to reach a goal that everybody’s excited about.”
Mosteller’s motivation for creating the sign dates back to his heart attack. While in the hospital in Birmingham, he received a call from Patterson and a few of the players wanting to see how he was doing. When Mosteller got out, he had to inform the kids he couldn’t drive them to games anymore, eliciting a response he’ll never forget for the rest of his life.
“Those boys that are seniors this year came up, patted me on the shoulder and said, ‘Don’t worry about it. You’re going any way,’” Mosteller recalled. “I’ve just been with them ever since. I just go as a supporter. You don’t know how it makes me feel.”
Mosteller said the student-athletes he’s dealt with at Cullman “have more respect, more humility and more honor” than he’s ever seen in a group of kids. He believes it all comes back to their parents, which makes it easier and easier to shout his Bearcat pride from the rooftops.
“I’m a 100-percent supporter behind Cullman baseball and Cullman football,” Mosteller said. “I don’t do basketball, but I’m behind them, too.”
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at email@example.com.