A second-year veteran of the Continental Baseball League, Darryl Stanfield came to the Big Bend Cowboys from the now-defunct Texarkana Gunslingers where he was selected to the 2009 all-star team as an outfielder.
At 28, he’s an energetic bundle of raw talent and blazing speed. Within a little less than two months with the Cowboys, he’s already a fan favorite at Kokernot Field.
A native of Tupelo, Miss., Stanfield attended Concordia College in Selma, Ala., where he majored in business. There was a four-year gap in his life between leaving Concordia and playing in the CBL. Asked about that period, Stanfield explained that he had attended a number of tryouts and was never judged good enough to make a team. Not one to give up easily, his persistence paid off when he was added to the Gunslingers’ roster in 2009. He’s never looked back.
Stanfield says that with the exception of the weather, he absolutely loves West Texas — the people of the Big Bend and especially playing baseball at Kokernot Field. His face lights up when he talks of cool summer nights under the lights, the expressions on the faces of children who ask for his autograph at the end of each game and the treatment he’s received from the fans, his teammates and host family.
Stanfield’s host family for the 2010 season is Chris and Dawn Lacey of Fort Davis. He’s housed on the o6 Ranch for the 2010 season, as are three of his Cowboy teammates.
As the season progresses, Stanfield finds himself having a love affair with the West — the mountains, the wildlife and, most of all, working cattle while sitting astride a horse.
You see, in the past few weeks, he’s herded cattle and helped with branding on the o6. He freely admits that riding is now his favorite pastime.
“The Lacys have been awesome,” Stanfield said. “I appreciate them so much. Without them, just being here wouldn’t be much of a kick.”
According to Dawn Lacy, Darryl has been a delight.
“This was my first year as a host of Cowboy players, and initially I wasn’t sure what to expect,” she said. “It’s been a positive experience, and I’m getting sucked in.”
Anyone who’s seen Stanfield remove his cap during a game has probably noticed something shaved into the side of his head.
“It’s the o6 brand,” he said. “It’s my way of expressing my gratitude for everything the Lacys have done for me.”
After baseball, Stanfield wants to go into coaching or perhaps become a personal trainer.
“Whatever I decide to, I gotta have a ranch in the West,” he said. “Big, small, middle size, it makes no difference to me. Whether baseball or riding, I want to be a Cowboy!”
Stanfield and his teammates take on the Coastal Kingfish this week at Kokernot Field.