Illinois Wesleyan University has a super fan, and his name is Matt “the Cat” Adams. Whether you recognize him from the waving towel during basketball timeouts, seeing him in the Athletic Offices or as the bat boy for the Illinois Wesleyan University baseball team, Adams is a well-known presence in the IWU athletic scene.
Adams graduated from Bloomington High School in 1984 where he went on to become manager for the football, basketball, and baseball teams.
According to IWU baseball head coach Dennis Martel, Adams had been a good high school friend for the sons of current IWU Athletic Director Dennie Bridges. “When both [Bridges’] sons came to Wesleyan to play sports Matt kind of drifted over,” Martel said.
Since then, Adams has been a loyal Titan fan, manager, batboy, and friend to everyone. “Sometimes I think there are three Matts, because he is everywhere. He comes to every game,” said Ed Moore, IWU assistant baseball coach.
“It’s a running joke amongst the coaches that, if you walk around [the Shirk Center] and you’re looking for something, ask Matt,” Martel said. “He’ll even tell you where something should be to if you put it in the wrong place.”
Adams also knows everyone on the IWU sports scene. Basketball officials, baseball umpires, even opposing coaches—he knows them on a first name basis. “He walks out to flip the coin with all the coaches and we introduce him as Assistant Director of Baseball Operations,” Moore said.
This devoted IWU fan also travels with the baseball team whenever possible. When the baseball team won the regional game at home for the first time, Adams wanted to go with them to the World Series.
Martel asked Adams if he would attend and his eyes instantly lit up. I told him ‘Bus leaves at nine o’ clock Tuesday. Don’t be late.’ I think Matt was there at seven. He was so fired up,” Martel said.
IWU Director of Sports Information Stew Salowitz and Moore set Adams up with a Matt “the Cat” card night during baseball season, in which you can line up to have him sign his very own bat boy baseball cards.
“We always get him to come out when his theme song is played and tip his hat to the crowd,” Salowitz said. Adams said his personal favorite song to come out to is the Adam’s Family theme song.
When asked about his affinity for sports, Adams said, “Sports are my number one thing. It’s something I’ve always kept up on. I read three or four [sports sections] a day.”
And it’s true. Adams really does read every sports section he can get his hands on. Ask him about any game and he will tell you who won, what the score was, who hit a home run, even who is on the roster.
So watch for Matt “the Cat” Adams cheering the team on during timeouts by whirling his signature white towel or tipping his hat to his very own theme song. Moore said, “Once you are introduced to him, he will never forget your name. That’s just how Matt is.”