April 9, 2019


Why This Conservative Loves Baseball (JOHN DUNCAN • April 8, 2019, American Conservative)

Sometimes you can be in the right place at the right time.

For me, it was in the middle of the summer of 1958--a few days short of my 11th birthday.

I was at Bill Meyer Stadium to see our minor league Knoxville (Tennessee) Smokies, wearing my little league uniform as I had come straight from my own game. In a strange turn of events, Joe Seymour, the visiting team batboy, fell and broke his arm running to get a stretcher for a visiting team pitcher who had been hit in the head.

Very bad for them, very good for me. I took over as the visiting team batboy for that game and then the remaining half of the 1958 season. The next year, I became the home team batboy. Johnny Pesky, the Boston Red Sox icon, was the manager and the Smokies won the league championship.

I spent five and a half seasons as a batboy. I have jokingly said I should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, because I don't know of anyone else who was ever a batboy longer than I was. I hung on as long as I did because I didn't believe the team could have found anyone else to work as cheaply as I did. I worked for free in the first season and a half, and for $1.50 a game for all the remaining years.

Posted by at April 9, 2019 3:59 AM