Becoming a Bat Boy
From shining cleats and collecting bats to chugging milk and chasing balls, Kidzworld looks at the world of a bat boy.
What Does a Bat Boy Do?
A bat boy does much more than just pick up the bats of overpaid baseball players. A bat boy or bat girl is also responsible for many other tasks, including cleaning the players' cleats, washing the batting helmets and "mudding the baseballs" before the game starts (mudding the baseballs involves rubbing the game balls with a special mud before the game to take off their shine). Bat boys may also be asked to do a ton of other stuff for players like washing their cars, ordering them pizza and cleaning their uniforms after games.
How Do You Become a Bat Boy?
To become a bat boy for a Major League Baseball team, you need to be at least 14 years old and in decent physical shape. The waiting list to become a bat boy for most teams is quite long and you often need to know someone who works for the team or have some sort of "inside connection." Sometimes teams post notices looking for bat boys or bat girls, so phone or email your favorite team during the off-season to find out if they're taking applications. Being a bat boy can be a lot of hard work with long hours and not much pay. They often arrive two or three hours before the game and stay until well after the last pitch has been thrown. But, there are some pretty good perks to being a bat boy as well, including the chance to meet players and get autographs, as well as watching your favorite team play for free!
Did U Know?
- In 2002, Darren Baker, the San Francisco Giant's three year-old bat boy and son of the team's manager, Dusty Baker, wandered into a play at home plate and was nearly bowled over by a baserunner who was charging home. After that near-collision at the plate, Major League Baseball made a rule that all bat boys and bat girls must be at least 14 years old.
- In 2005, a Florida Marlins bat boy was offered $500 by pitcher Brad Penny to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without vomiting. The bat boy was able to drink the milk, but couldn't keep it down. He didn't get the $500 and was suspended six games by the Marlins for accepting the dare.
- The daily pay for a bat boy for the New York Yankees is $21.50 for six hours.