Phillies Ballgirl Rookie Training
If you’ve been at the park recently you may have noticed a few extra girls on the sidelines and that’s because we are currently training the rookies! We get lots of questions about what it takes to be a Phillies Ballgirl so this week we hear from a few rooks who are currently going through the training process. Also, here is some slang terms/things you need to know in regards to being on the field as a BG, which is short for ballgirl of course!
Jacket Run: When there is a pitching change and the ballgirl runs to the bullpen, gets the pitchers jacket, and brings it to the dugout so they have it to keep their arm warm between innings.
Chair: Our not so comfortable seat for the game. Although our view is great, those chairs get old after about 2/3 innings.
Training Game #: Rookies go through a total of four training games. In the first game they just sit and observe a veteran. In the second game they go in at the top of the 8th. In the third game they go in at the top of the 5th and in the fourth game they go in at the top of the 2nd.
Leanne: On-field training was definitely one of the most exciting parts of being a ballgirl so far. Being able to interact with the young fans, especially, was so incredibly fun. On my first day of being on the field, the first foul ball I saw was a screaming line drive down the 3rd base line. It was quite the welcoming, considering it was only the sixth pitch of the inning. Thankfully, I reacted in time to get myself and my chair out of the way (just in case the ball was fair), but I realized how fast it can happen and that the best thing to do in that situation is to move as quickly as you can out of the way. Once my heart stopped racing, I did get the opportunity to field another foul ball and was able to give it to a little boy in the stands. When I got home that day, I got to see a replay of the foul ball and seeing how excited and proud the little boy was to be holding a baseball that the Phillies played with was incredibly rewarding.
Training with the veterans was so helpful. Each girl has a different opinion or preference when it comes to certain things like how to track the ball off the bat the best, which way to move when you’re getting out of the way, and even how to sit most comfortably in our not-so-comfortable little chairs. But, nothing beats the experience of learning on the field. Making the transition from a fan of the game to now becoming an almost active part of the game and the experience for other fans is truly exhilarating. I really enjoy talking with fans in between innings and hearing about their day or night. For some of them this is the first game they’ve ever been to, for others they come regularly, but each is equally excited to see the Phillies play which makes Philadelphia fans so special. By my final night of training, I had beat all of the nerves that were present in my first game and I now feel comfortable and confident that my training has paid off and I’ll be ready to work a game by myself. I know now that our on-field job requires a lot of attention and knowledge of the game of baseball and I’m thankful to all of the veteran girls that trained me – it was awesome to have you guys there supporting me and the other rookies training and even directing us when needed!!
Moira: Well I’m not even sure if I can describe what it was like training on the field for the first time. I will begin by saying that I will never take the fences down the first and third baselines so lightly. Those fences mean SERIOUS BUSINESS! After sitting beside a veteran with just the fence separating us for an entire game, I felt confident and prepared to finally sit in the best seat of the house and do my job. Little did I know that as soon as I stepped across that fence and onto the field, my stomach would become filled with butterflies. It was such an overwhelming feeling of “I can not believe my dream of being a Phillies Ballgirl came true” and “Moira, you better not mess up”. After doing about four jacket runs in two innings, my heart began to beat at a more normal pace and as the innings passed, I felt more and more at ease in my new position. Having the best seat/view of the stadium comes with a little nerves, but I can not wait to be back out there on my own!
Genevieve: I had the pleasure of training for two Astros and two Mets games. I was so incredibly excited for training that I could hardly concentrate during the day and kept staring at the clock as the minutes passed. Once we got to walk out on the field I still had this sense of, I shouldn’t be allowed out here and at any minute I would wake up from some sort of dream. My first game being on the field was Lee’s first debut on the mound and to see all of our fans give him a standing ovation as he was announced and for his first at bat was an amazing feeling. I got the chills! (It was also the game where Patti made that amazing catch down the 3rd base line… I know you know what I am talking about!) It is indescribable being able to look up into the stands and see the passion and excitement that comes from our fans. Everyone who works at Citizens Bank Park is so welcoming and so nice that it now feels like my second home when I am working. I can’t even count the amount of jacket runs we had to do during those 2 series but I had butterflies being able to sprint across centerfield and over to the bullpen. Again, I thought, this has to be a dream. I didn’t get many foul balls, but my first one came from Ben Francisco right before his homerun against the Mets and I made sure to give the baseball to one of my little friends I made during the game. By the time my 4th training game came around I felt my nerves calm (special thanks to Katelyn) and could not wait to get out there. It is definitely the BEST seat in the house by far and I still feel so lucky that I get to be a part of this amazing organization!
Sam: I was counting down the days until I was able to hold down the line and my first day of training was a day I will never forget. It was such a long day and I was too stoked to even eat. Finally I got on the field and I was bursting with excitement! (As was my trainer for the night, Emily!) I’ve gone extra innings, had several jacket runs, and a couple of ground balls. I also experienced freezing cold weather, and getting rained on, but all of it is so worth it!! All of my trainers were awesome and taught me really good tips! I can’t wait to start on my own. Let’s Go phillies!!!