Being a batboy at the All-Star game did have some perks. Besides the great people and awesome times, I walked away with a couple of choice items. It's not every day that someone gets their own bat made for them!
Both Louisville Slugger and Adirondack custom made commemorative bats for me as the batboy for the National League. Although the relationships I forged I'll never forget, I did get a couple of nice things from some of the players.
I went from player to player getting autographs from the entire National League All-Star team on the official 50th All-Star game ball. That ball is loaded with baseball greats, you can find the list of All-Stars in my previous post here.
After the game, the clubhouse was a zoo. Reporters, hacks, groupies and anyone else who could sneak in trolled through the clubhouse. Players rushed to get back home and enjoy at least a day off. In the hustle, George Foster from the Cincinnati Reds called me over. I thought I had done something wrong. Instead, he said, "Good job batboy." With a pat on the back, he handed me his game used baseball cap.
This trend continued with other players, most handing out monetary tips. However, Keith Hernandez, the batting-title winner from the previous season while with the Cardinals and later a Met's legend, gave me his game-used bat.
The All-Star week was a chance of a lifetime … but exhausting. I was going on about six hours of sleep over the past three days. After the players left, we sat down for our own July version of a Thanksgiving dinner (the post-game spread.) With stuffed bellies we cleaned the clubhouse and headed home.
This began one of the scariest moments in my life. I was driving home on I-5 the major interstate in Washington. I was tired. Dead tired. I hadn't slept but for a few hours each night for the past three nights. I thought to myself, I've got to stop for a Diet Coke. Yes, I was addicted to the stuff even back then.
The last thing I remember was that thought. The next thing I remember, I was sitting in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant with the car running. I don't remember the three of four miles of driving to the next exit or even pulling into the parking lot. I must have driven on autopilot. Needless to say, that sure woke me up! I got my Diet Coke and made it home safely!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!