|Photo Op outside the Kingdome|
After my selection as a Batboy for the Seattle Mariners, there was an onslaught of media coverage. Here I was, one day a mild mannered high-school kid, the next day, interviews, photo ops and more. It was a fun time in my life, for sure. Most of this was before I even set foot on the field for the first time.
In addition to the job, I received a $500 savings bond for winning the contest. The Mariners also selected a Ball Girl from the contest. I guess you could say life was looking up.
Over 30 years ago, there were no 24 hour sports stations (actually ESPN came into existence the year I was batboy) and media coverage was limited at best. To say I was unaccustomed to the media blitz was an understatement. They made me feel as if I was really in the Big Leagues.
As a perk for winning the contest, my entire school, Auburn High School, attended a Seattle Mariners game. I remember it like it was yesterday, my high-school peers in the stands while I was roaming the field before the game in a Yankee's uniform.
As the visiting clubhouse batboy, I wore the uniform of each team that came to town. I was nervous that day because many of my friends were in the stands. A few had come down to say hi and I tried to act like it was no big deal.
Then Reggie Jackson, Mr. October, calls out, "Hey, Batboy. Warm me up."
I grabbed my glove and barely got my hand in it because of all the sweat running from my palms. My heart raced as Reggie rocketed a baseball toward me…
Now realize this, I was no slouch at baseball, I'd played catch with ballplayers dozens of times before games. But, this was Reggie Jackson from the World Series Champion New York Yankees and my entire high-school was in the stands.
… with a snap, I caught the ball and breathed a sigh of relief. We played catch for about 10 minutes without any catastrophes. The next day at school, everybody that was at the game was talking about me playing catch with … Reggie Jackson. If they only knew how nervous I had been!
Needless to say, I had many experiences while working in the clubhouse and on-field. While many of those times would ultimately end up in the pages of THE CARD, looking back, I realize that these mini moments helped me develop confidence and self-esteem for my life ahead.
Jim Devitt is the author of the #1 Kindle Bestselling Young Adult novel, The Card. He's also a healthcare consultant specializing in helping healthcare companies and practices develop a social media marketing platform, and maximize cash flow. You can find him posting weekly to Indies Unlimited and occasionally as a contributor on Yahoo!