On a sunny and peaceful Friday afternoon at Tradition Field, I sat in the area behind home plate while I watched the Mets face the Cardinals. In the second inning, I thought I’d get up and find a hotdog to satisfy my hunger. Little did I know, that hotdog trip turned into my second consecutive day as the New York Mets bat boy.
I was walking down an asile when a clubhouse staff member saw me and said “There you are. Let’s go, bat boy again.”
Before I even was able to say hello, I was in the dugout.
The clubhouse staff member told me that he assumed I was bat boy because he saw me down on the field prior to the game when I had a field pass. As the first pitch approached and as I made my way up to the bleachers, he was forced to find a younger Mets fan, a boy who was 11 years old, to be the bat boy for the day.
The staff member knew I was older and had done it before, so he had me guide this younger boy as far as when to get the bats, how many baseballs to bring to the umpire, etc.
The plan was for him and I to switch up with retrieving bats after each player’s turn at-bat. Well I did away with that idea in a hurry and took advantage of my one opportunity to simply watch the game from the dugout without having to worry about running out following every at-bat.
It was a win-win situation because not only was I able to sit back and enjoy the game, but I was able to give him a chance to do something every kid dreams of: Being a part of a major league team.
Being in the dugout, especially the end of the dugout where the coaches sit, is about as close as you will ever get. The players are so laid back, which stems from several reasons, including the fact that the reporters aren’t stalking them. Also, these are Spring Training games, not late-September pennant race division matchups.
In the end, I was able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the game from a major leaguer’s prospective with the best seat in the house.
Not that it matters, but… I never did get that hot dog. Maybe I should go eat one right now.