Path to batboy, batgirl jobs

KIDS' CORNER

June 12, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Although you may be too young to apply for a batboy or batgirl job, it never is too early to start thinking of getting involved with a major- or minor-league baseball team.

Baseball clubs hired batboys and batgirls as young as 13 years old for clubhouse chores before the child labor laws first were enforced in baseball in May 1993.

Now, during the school year, 14-and 15-year-olds are prohibited from working more than three hours a day, 18 hours a week and after 7 p.m. When out of school, they can work a maximum of 40 hours a week and not past 9 p.m. The law has meant that batboys and batgirls can be no younger than 16.

As a result, the Double-A Bowie Baysox do not hire anyone below the age of 15 and the Orioles and Single-A Frederick Keys don't employ anyone under 16.

If you're thinking of becoming a batboy or batgirl when you get older, keep in mind that the work is not all glamorous.

Batboys and batgirls start the day by getting water and towels ready three hours before game time. Then they prepare the equipment and sometimes get to catch fly balls during batting practice.

When the game starts, they are the players' caddie, making sure bats, helmets and water are in their correct spots. For a 7 p.m. game, the workday usually ends around 11 p.m.

"The best part is that you get to be around players who might one day make the majors," said Frederick Keys ballboy Danny Ease, 18, who started working at the age of 15. "You only get paid around minimum wage and the hours aren't great, but it's worth it. I guess it's worth it -- I've stayed here for three years."

The jobs are not easy to get. When Ease interviewed for the job, he was among 50 other boys and girls, ranging in age from 14 to 16.

"We have the same batboys from Memorial Stadium last year," Baysox general manager Keith Lupton said. "We added two more who will be in training. But we still get phone calls and letters. So many, I couldn't even guess a number."

The best advice is to be persistent and reliable, because baseball clubs look for batboys and batgirls to be hard-working and responsible.

If you're interested in becoming a batboy or batgirl, contact either the human resources department of the Orioles at (410) 685-9800, Lupton of the Baysox at (301) 805-6000 or Joe Luksic of the Keys at (301) 662-0013.

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