WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Riverfront Stadium comes to life when the Wichita Wind Surge is home.
What many people don’t know is there’s an extra player in the dugout.
“This is our guy, Cossie!” said outfielder Ernie De La Trinidad.
Inside the dugout, you can find a custom bat and jersey to honor Ryan Costello. Also fondly known as Cossie.
Costello was a Minnesota Twins prospect who passed away in December of 2019 while asleep from heart failure. He was 23 years old.
“It was honestly heartbreaking. Just because when you meet someone that had such a big impact on your life in such a short amount of time, it takes a toll on you,” said catcher and infielder Caleb Hamilton.
“It’s just sad that obviously, he passed at such a young age,” De La Trinidad said.
Traded to the Twins at the same time, De La Trinidad and Costello were roommates.
Because of the pandemic, this is the team’s first season without Castello.
De La Trinidad decided to get the custom bat for him.
“Just wanted to bring him along for the journey,” he said. “He’s still here and still grinding with all of us.”
De La Trinidad makes sure to take it to every game, even on the road.
“Some of the guys on the team, they’ll, you know, pick it up to rub it before they bat. Like, hey, buddy, I need some hits tonight! Like, come on, help me out,” he said. “But, you know, the whole thing is just him being here with us on this journey.”
Teammates say Costello’s energy was contagious.
“I think he’d be one of the crowd favorites if he were here. Just seeing him smiling and laughing, and then, you know, you just, you couldn’t really be mad or upset when you’re around him just because of the energy he had,” said infielder Aaron Whitefield. “He always put out the best in people.”
“He’s our guy. We miss him all the time and just know that he was very important to the whole organization and us,” De La Trinidad said.
Whitefield says Costello is looking down on them, probably jealous of the beautiful stadium and all the home runs he would’ve knocked out of the park.