ARLINGTON, Texas – Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, who got the day off on Wednesday, had to do a double take when he saw a dancing bat boy on top of the Texas dugout after the second inning.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Cruz said. “He had some good moves. It was fun.”
Kenneth Paryo, a 21-year-old from the Atlanta area, made his major league debut as he took his “Breakin’ BBoy McCoy” act to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He wore a Rangers batboy uniform with the name McCoy on the back and jumped up on the dugout from the field and perform his act. He danced several times during the game and did a spot on television, receiving a warm reception from the crowd.
“It was amazing,” Paryo said. “I didn’t know what to expect. The crowd responded the same way they do in the minors, but it was the biggest stadium and crowd I’ve performed to.”
The Rangers announced attendance was 30,724 and Paryo provided some entertainment relief for fans that sat through a lopsided 13-2 Rangers loss.
Paryo has performed at minor league parks throughout the country, including Round Rock, the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate. Nolan Ryan’s son, Reid, recommended the Rangers put the BBoy McCoy act on display in Arlington.
“We did it just to give our fans something different,” Ryan said. “The kid is well-spoken and did a good job.”
Paryo admits he isn’t a big baseball fan and wasn’t sure who Ryan was when the Hall of Famer called to hire him.
“He doesn’t know baseball well, so it’s been a big learning curve for him,” said Dominic Latkovski, Paryo’s manager. “He got a chance to talk with Nolan Ryan for five minutes during the game and enjoyed it. He doesn’t realize how many people in this state would love that opportunity.”
Latkovski partnered with Paryo after both were on the TV show “America’s Got Talent” in 2008. Latkovski was there with ‘Zooperstars,’ a show with a cast of inflatable costume characters, including athletes like “Nolan Rhino.”
“Kenneth was the best act in a room full of great acts and we thought we could take this show on the road,” Latkovski said.
Ryan said he wants to get a sense from fans as to what they thought of the act, but expects that BBoy McCoy will be back at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington at some point in the future.