FOND DU LAC, WI – When you hear the name Andrew Bullock, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For Betty Trent, it’s “Gentle Giant” or “Bull”. Trent has been the host mom to the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders veteran, Andrew Bullock, for the three seasons he’s come to Fond du Lac to play ball. The relationship they share is very unique and a story worth telling.
When Betty first met the redshirt junior first baseman, Bullock, back in 2017, she wasn’t sure what to expect and if she would live up to the expectations of being a good host mom. She was very leery at first as Andrew is a very quiet person, but it didn’t take too long to break the ice. When Betty let Andrew take her Moped that just happened to be sitting in her garage, their relationship started to turn into a friendship.
“My door is always open to Andrew and his family,” said Trent. “I respect him and he respects me.” Whenever Betty goes to Bullock’s games, it seems like it’s only the games she attends that he happens to be not playing. Whenever that’s the case, she walks down to the dugout and playfully yells at manager, Zac Charbonneau, telling him to put in Bullock. When asked what it’s like watching him at the games, she said, “Seeing him at games is like cheering for my son.”
Part of what makes their relationship work so well is that they can talk about the games together. Betty keeps track of all the wins and losses and gets very upset whenever the Dock Spiders lose to the Madison Mallards. Even though the games are a serious topic, “Betty is really laid back and easy to live with,” said Bullock.
Not every host family can have the same player the next season, but the fact that Bullock has lived with Betty for the past three seasons is almost unheard of. “This year I wasn’t going to host another player because I was spoiled with Andrew, but when he called to tell me he was coming back, I was so excited,” said Trent. Even Betty’s whole neighborhood knows Bullock and asks if he’s coming back for the upcoming season. It’s safe to say that Andrew Bullock has become a well-liked person around Fond du Lac with a name that everyone happens to know.
Bullock brings the other guys on the team over to Betty’s house every now and then and all of them have good manners. They never come in without saying hello or leave without saying good-bye. “My cat hasn’t learned to talk to me yet, so it’s nice having them around,” said Trent.
This year things have been a little different than past years as Betty is hosting two players instead of one. “Andrew’s friend and college teammate, Luke Robinson, came to play here and he asked if Luke could say with us,” said Trent on adding another player to the mix. “I liked that he said ‘us’ instead of just myself.”
Robinson and Bullock play baseball together at Western Carolina University so the transition has been quite smooth. “It’s better having a roommate and I always have a fun time hanging out with Luke,” said Bullock on his friendship with Robinson.
Among Bullock’s best memories, he mentions being on the field with the team and of course, winning the Northwoods League Championship last season. Many people may ask, why keep returning to the Dock Spiders instead of going somewhere new to play baseball? “The Northwoods League is a great league to play in and every game has a nice atmosphere,” said Bullock. “I also like Coach Charbonneau and the Fondy area.”
Betty and Bullock’s family also maintain a relatively close relationship. Since Betty isn’t exactly what you would call ‘tech-savvy’, Andrew’s mom will text Betty’s daughters to keep in touch. In Betty’s words, “It’s like having an extended family.
With the amount of success Bullock has had during his time with the Dock Spiders, Betty hopes he can get his own bobblehead and even make it to the major leagues. Andrew is part of my family and I am so grateful that he was brought into my life,” said Trent.
Bullock had the same kind of gratitude towards Betty when going over what the past three seasons have been like for him in Fond du Lac. “I’d like to thank Betty for opening up her house to me for three years,” said Bullock. “She does more than enough for me and that goes even as far as doing my laundry.” While this will be the final season of Bullock playing for the Dock Spiders this summer, as he will be a Senior at Western Carolina next year, the relationship developed between “Bull” and Betty will always be a special one that neither will forget.
The Fond du Lac Dock Spiders are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.dockspiders.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Dock Spiders as your favorite team. Story written by Gracie Thies.