HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - Giants orange and black might become a common color in East Texas. Brandon Belt is a sure reason why East Texans may be sporting these colors. He has become a hometown idol for many elementary students.
During Red Ribbon Week at Hudson ISD's Bonner Elementary School, Friday was Sports Day. The school decided to dedicate the day to Brandon Belt to show students that it's possible to achieve their goals, and the academics during class time were tied to the day's theme.
"I do look up to him because he plays baseball, and that's what I hope to do when I grow up," Parker Weiblinger, a student at Bonner Elementary, said.
Students were thrilled on Monday that their good luck wishes from three days ago came true during their favorite baseball player's World Series win.
"At the beginning, when they started playing, they weren't doing so well, and now they're at the World Series, and they won," Cali Williams, a Bonner Elementary student, said. "It's really neat to see."
Mallory German, a Bonner Elementary student said that it's "really cool" to see a Hudson High School graduate take part in the World Series.
Students participated in a pep rally for Brandon Belt Day. They wore Giants T-shirts and hand-made posters. Although they are young fans, they know that what Belt has accomplished is something special.
"I think it's pretty cool because it's like a once in a lifetime chance to graduate from a small town and become an MLB player," Corby Duvall Bonner, a Bonner Elementary student, said.
Belt has definitely become a hometown idol for many in East Texas, and not just for students.
"We're so excited for Brandon," Nancy Winston, an employee at the Very Thing, said. "Congratulations on the World Series. If anyone deserves it, he does, and that team does. His fans here are definitely supporting him. Can't wait for him to get home."
Belt's first championship was a special one to watch for his former high school coach.
"Last night was special because I know that all his life he has come so close to winning championships," said Hudson High School baseball coach Glen Kimble. "The state championship here, we just missed that when he was here. Then at San Jac they got to the world series and didn't win, and also at Texas they got to the world series but didn't win. So all of his life he has been close, and I it was special to watch him finally win that last game."
Belt often spends the off season in East Texas and even helps out with Hudson Hornet baseball practice. Those practices when Belt would show up stuck with one Hudson senior.
"I take it as an inspiration and I think everybody else does too," said Hudson senior Blake Nerren. "He came out here and worked every day to get better and worked his way all the way up to where he is now. He comes out and takes batting practice with us. Not many people can't say that they took batting practice with a World Series champion."
Fans are wearing shirts to honor belt and have even placed signs in their yards and in front of their businesses to let Belt know they support him.