Hey Phillies Fans!
Hope you enjoyed yet another gorgeous summer weekend. While the Phillies are out on their roadtrip, we wanted to fill you in on what has been happening back here in Philadelphia. We are finally done training our rookie ballgirls! This has taken a couple months to do because we had 11 new girls to get prepared and trained to take the field. I had the rookies write a little bit about what it is like to train and what to expect when you step onto the field for the first time, it is pretty incredible!! So, without giving away too many of the ballgirl secrets, here are our rookies!
Becca: The training experience is an adrenalin fueled/exhilarating/nerve racking/completely and entirely awesome experience…all at the same
time! During my first game, when I was just observing from the sidelines, I asked a million questions. I probably thought of every situation that could possibly happen and drilled my veteran trainer, Fehran. Surprisingly, by the 7th inning I was itching to go in. I thought I would be a nervous wreck my first time on the field but as soon as I sat down, I was completely comfortable! Must have been all the great trainers I had! I love working the foul lines and talking to all the fans. I guess our seats aren’t half bad either :)
Patti: I’ve been asked A LOT ‘why would a ballgirl need training?’ What do they do, tell you when a ball is fair or not?’ ha…ha. Hopefully this blog serves as a means to clear up and lay to rest some of the misconceptions with our training.
I would say the most necessary part of training is just to get acclimated out there. There is a lot going on! Between fans chanting your name, people telling you it’s their grandmother’s birthday today and they would really like a foul ball as a souvenir, everyone asking what’s your take on tasing, jacket runs, and let’s not forget a professional baseball game, it’s easy to step out on the field your first day and not know which way is third and which is first. To have someone who knows your slight state of panic is refreshing, and entertaining (as you can see from our pics).
Although my days of training were an awesome experience and I spent most of the time glaring up at the 45,000 people, had nothing but exciting extra inning games and kids running out on the field (not once, but twice), and more importantly wins, I have to say nothing compares to your first game out on your own. Like a bird leaving the nest…your wished well, equipped with the necessary tools, and left to your own devices…nothing left to do but sit back and watch some great baseball in the best seat in the house :) …and then quickly pick up your chair and get out of the way!
Bonnie: After tearing my acl right before baseball season, I was extremely excited to finally get cleared to be on the field. I found it pretty ironic that one of my first training games was the night J-Roll came back from his injury and hit his first walk-off homer of his career. Now that’s a game I will never forget for so many reasons! One of my favorite parts about being on the sidelines is running out to my seat and almost feeling like I’m playing in the game. Another part of the job that I love is getting to meet so many great fans. I enjoy hearing people’s stories about how much they love the Phillies or how many foul balls they’ve caught over the years. The energy from the crowd definitely makes every play of the game exciting, and I hope that with every foul ball that comes my way, one more kid will have something to put in his/her room to remember that special Phillies game.
Kami: When I was training, everyone (the vets training me, the grounds crew guys and the fans) poked fun at how quickly I ran for both baseballs and jackets. I didn’t mind it at all – it’s my trademark. The most defining moment of my ballgirl training occurred, coincidentally, on my first game alone and I was glad for that speed. This past Saturday I was on the first baseline when a Reds player (I think it was Cabrera or Bruce) ripped a line drive off of Halladay that tipped off of Ryan Howard’s glove. Since Howard was in fair territory, the ball was obviously live. I saw it come off of Howard’s glove right at me and I didn’t even have time to think about it. I just turned, picked up my chair and sprinted as fast as I could. As soon as I turned around I saw Jayson Werth running full-force right at me. I still had no idea where the ball was. I can only imagine the terrified face I made when we looked at each other for a split second. Luckily the ball bounced off the cement wall right next to where I was sitting and ricocheted into right field nowhere near me.
That leads me to my Top 3 Ballgirl Tips: 1) Pay attention, 2) Run fast and 3) Stay out of Jayson Werth’s way.
Brittany: Well, I am officially done training and I am so excited!! During my first training game I thought there was so much information that was thrown at me that I would ever be able to remember it all, yet that all changed when it was my turn to take on the field. Before I stepped on the field to sit in the official ballgirl chair I was so nervous, I had so many thoughts floating around in my head. After the first 10 minutes I changed my mind set and I felt like a lot better. Even though I had some crazy foul balls that loved to bounce on the concrete on the first base side and ended up in a completely different spot that I had anticipated, I still loved every moment! Thanks so much to my lovely trainers, Fehran, Katie, McKenzie and Lindsay for all the great tips and encouragement you gave me!
Katelyn: I had excellent training experiences! I was lucky enough to be able to train with 4 wonderful veteran Ballgirls; Perrin, Lindsay, Katie, and McKenzie. Each girl offered helpful tips and made my 4 training experiences enjoyable and comfortable. The first time I stepped onto the field was surreal! I couldn’t believe after all the years of hoping to become a Ballgirl, it was finally happening. I stepped onto the field in the middle of the 7th inning on June 4th while Jamie Moyer was pitching a complete game. I was fairly calm because I believed I wouldn’t get many foul baseballs while only being on the field for such a short period of time. I was wrong! Chase Utley fouled a baseball right to me! Luckily for me it was easy to field and I handed it to a young Phillies fan. I was happy to field Chase Utley’s foul ball because the veteran who trained me, Lindsay, had fielded a Chase Utley baseball as her first as well! Each training experience got better and better as I became less nervous. I love being on the field and being able to interact with fans. By far, the best part of being a Phillies Ballgirl is the smile on the children’s faces when you hand them one of their favorite players’ foul baseballs. Nothing is better than making someone else’s day.
Bridgette: Training on the field as a ballgirl is a really exciting experience. My first few games took place back in the beginning of April when the Phils took on the Pirates during the year’s first home exhibition series. Like most fans, I had never set foot on the actual field prior to this point, and so walking up the stairs and onto the field for the first time was a breathtaking experience. Training me was Katie, Lindsay, Perrin, and McKenzie, whom all shared their tips, words of wisdom, and advice on how to handle every situation. Once I was on my own for my first solo game, I was somewhat nervous but after the first few pitches my nerves gave way to excitement. Sadly, I can’t remember who I received my first foul ball from because it all happened so quickly, but I do know that Sarge and T- Mac commented on my lightening speed when dodging a bullet that was hit my way.
Jess: Training was so much fun! I’ve never had the opportunity to even sit in the stands close to the field so actually being on the field was awesome. I was one of the last rookies to be trained so I got to gain a lot of helpful information from the other rookies as well as the vets. Everyone has been very helpful. I thought I was going to be very nervous to be on the field. In fact, my first game that I knew I would have some innings on the field, I made sure not to drink a lot of water so I wouldn’t have a nervous bladder (thanks for the advice Linds!) but I was actually more nervous just sitting in the stands waiting to be on the field. I haven’t been able to be on the field by myself yet so maybe then I will be more nervous. Overall, the whole experience has been awesome! I’ve loved being so close to the game and meeting the fans sitting by me. The only part I don’t like is fetching the pitcher’s jackets, but that’s probably because my second training game on the field, I had to run like 4 times for Florida because the Phillies were giving them a beating!
Kristina: Ballgirl training was such an awesome experience because I didn’t truly understand how exciting it is to be on the field until I stepped on it for the first time. The field is so beautiful and when you look around to see the sold out crowds that are at every game, it’s breathtaking. During the my games of training I had four great trainers, Fehran, Amanda, McKenzie, and Katie. Each of the girls were very helpful in answering a ton of my questions and made me feel extremely comfortable. I’ve included a picture Amanda took of me in the first inning I was on the field. As you can tell I have a huge smile on my face. That is something I distinctively remember, I could just not stop smiling. The first game I trained was against the St. Louis Cardinals and the first ball I ever fielded was from Albert Pujols. As the ball rolled my way I could hear so many fans yelling my name for me to hand it to them. I remember giving the ball to a young boy and his face lighting up, I’ll never forget his expression!
Victoria: For those of you that aren’t aware each year the rookie ballgirls must spend 4 games training before we can be on the field by ourselves. With the help of our 6 veteran ballgirls each of us were trained to be able to make quick judgments on the field. The best part about training for me was sitting on the field for the first time, I won’t forget how nervous I was. I could literally feel every muscle in my body and how tense it was. I was so worried I wouldn’t know which way to go when I tried to move out of the way. By my fourth game training (3rd time being on the field) I felt very confident. My trainers were Lindsay, McKenzie (2 times) and Fehran, thanks to them I feel completely confident on the field and I know how to handle pretty much every situation. Now that I’m all finished training being on the field is something that just comes naturally, I always just seem to know where to go when there’s a foul ball and I need to move.