BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – “Big Paul” Billups has a way of making his presence known at West Virginia Miners games.
Billups always wanted a summer league team to come to Beckley. But when the Miners were founded in 2010, he had no idea he would become the team’s number one fan.
“My church group came to the very first game,” explained Billups. “We were sitting behind home plate and during the ninth inning, we were down by a run and I got up and got everyone else standing.”
The Epling family took notice of his boisterous personality and penchant for firing up the crowd. Since then, Billups has received free season tickets every year. So what do the Miners get in return?
“We’ll get flat moments out there on the field and you’ll see him come out and he’ll bring the team up,” said team owner Doug Epling.
After a decade of hi-fiving, making signs for each player and pumping up the entire Epling Stadium crowd, Billups has no plans of stopping.
“I’ve always said I will be here until Doug Epling runs me off with a stick,” said Billups.
And that’s not going to happen any time soon.
“He’s too valuable,” Epling said.