With baseball season starting, everyone is hoping to make it to at least one of their team’s games. Just sitting in the stands and cheering for the team that you love can be a special and memorable experience. But on April 1, I got to do something even better—something once in a lifetime!
That Sunday I got the privilege of being a batgirl for the Boston Red Sox for their second-to-last spring training game. I brought my two cousins Dylan and Amber to the game and they watched me fulfill my dream. As I walked into JetBlue Park, the Red Sox’s new spring training stadium, I felt a little weird because I was wearing a real bat girl uniform - a hat, a jersey, baseball pants, a red belt, and red socks. As soon as I got on the field with the other three honorary bat kids, though, it was all worth it. I had such a great time and thought you guys would like to hear about what it was like to be an honorary batgirl.
As honorary bat kids, we had a lot to learn. The real Red Sox bat boy, Robert, taught us the ropes. He explained that we would not only get the bats, but do some other jobs too. We had to do one of the following things each time it was our turn: (1) Collect the bat from the player and return it to the dugout, or (2) Run to get the foul ball after it was out of play, or (3) Hand the umpire more baseballs. Now most people probably think that it is an easy job, but when it is almost 90 degrees and you are sitting in the sun, think again.
My favorite thing about being a batgirl was getting to see the players right in front of me. I even had some of them come up and say hello. For example, Big Papi (David Ortiz), came up to all of us and said, “Hey guys, how are you?” and signed our hats. Then there were some who were really focused and didn’t say much. I also got a “Great job!” from Bobby Valentine when I returned the bats to the bin in the dugout.
My other favorite things were the jobs that I got to do. Here was the routine I would go through to get the bats from the players: I would run to home plate and pick up the bat, run into the dugout, return the bat to the correct compartment, then go back to my seat on the field. If I got a foul ball, I waited till the play was over and sprinted as fast as I could and returned it to the correct bag on the field next to my seat. If the umpire needed new baseballs, he would hold up a number between one and five and that is how many balls I would bring him.
It was a tough job, but I wouldn’t replace this experience for anything! It really was a once in a lifetime experience, and a memory I will never forget. Thank you to everyone who made this possible for me!
Top photograph by Boston Red Sox photographer John Meric