Generals catcher gives opposition the blues
Blue Hybner by the numbers
2 home runs
Before each game, Blue Hybner makes sure he introduces himself to the home plate umpire. If for no other reason to ensure his father remains in the stands.
Otherwise, the home plate umpire might think father of the Generals catcher is shouting at him.
During a select league game, the story goes, Hybner's father was shouting words of encouragement toward his son. But the umpire, thinking the man in the stands was referring to him by the common nickname for an umpire, thought he was being insulted and ordered Hybner's father ejected.
"I wasn't having my best game, and he was really trying to encourage me," the younger Hybner said. "I hadn't told the umpire beforehand that my name was Blue, and that was my dad. He got excited, and the umpire lost his temper and tossed him."
Thanks to a good start, phrases like, "Let's go, Blue!" have been heard around Riverside Stadium for the Generals this season.
Hybner is hitting .278 and is second on the team with 12 RBIs and shares the team and league lead entering play Friday with two home runs.
Hybner was a late addition to the team, but he's proven to be an important one.
"It's one of the premiere leagues in the nation and I thought it'd be a really good opportunity to better myself for next season," Hybner said about playing in the Texas Collegiate League.
Hybner is with the Generals between seasons at Hill College.
He had a successful high school career at Shiner St. Paul. He helped the Cardinals win three TAPPS state championships in four state tournament appearances and was a Wendy's High School Heisman finalist.
Hybner saw limited action at Hill College, hitting .231 with five RBIs, in the spring after transferring from Texas State, where he was enrolled in the fall of 2011.
Hybner said he faced adversity going from Shiner to San Marcos for college ball.
He said that the jump in competition from TAPPS to NCAA Division I was a difficult one to make since everyone at Texas State was the best or one of the best athletes at his high school, area or region.
"After that defeat, I worked my butt off and I tried everything I could to get back into tip top (shape) and be one of the premiere guys in the league," Hybner said.
Since coming to Victoria, his work ethic caught the attention of Generals coach Chris Clemons.
The coach said Hybner's best attribute is his offense, but he's working on being able to handle a pitching staff and game day experience is the only way to get better for his second season at Hill.
"He's run with every opportunity," Clemons said. "Every mistake he makes, he wants to correct."