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The clubhouse attendants do it all!

  

By Gordy Jones

 

You may have noticed, as you’ve watched the Twins home games this year, that there’s a new young man retrieving the bats and supplying the home plate umpire with game balls.

Longtime batboy Adam Hanson has moved up the ladder and is now a clubhouse attendant. He still shares many of his old responsibilities with the new batboy, along with a few new ones.

The biggest change is that his work hours are not so grueling as they once were. There were many days that Adam would arrive at the ballpark at noon, and not be able to leave until 1 a.m. That’s a long day, especially when you are a full-time law student. Hanson once told me about his aspirations not only to practice law, but to one day practice politics and run for office.

Now Adam and new batboy Dominic Frost work closer to what resembles a regular eight-hour shift. Their responsibilities are far more than retrieving bats and giving balls to the ump, though. They wash the players’ uniforms, clean the bathrooms, shine the players’ game shoes, prepare the team’s food and make sure the players have all of the equipment ready that they might need.

When Adam was a kid, he and his late father would go to Fort Myers to see the Twins at spring training. Like typical Minnesotans, they would “talk Twins” with other fans from their homeland. They often chatted with a Minnesota transplant who was working as a Twins usher.

One day when Adam was 13, he arrived at the ballpark early. The usher was happy to see his smiling face. Unexpectedly, the Twins needed a batboy for that game, and the usher wanted to know if the young Hanson boy could answer the call. “YES!” was his reply. He must have made a positive impression, because he was substitute batboy for the next two springs.

More than two years later, in September of 2003, Adam’s dad got a call from the Twins. They were inquiring about Adam’s school work and lifestyle. After some favorable responses, the Twins popped the question: Would Adam like to be the regular-season batboy? He accepted the position and has been their batboy up until this year.

Having been around the clubhouse and knowing the guys well, Adam often goes the extra mile. He is computer-savvy, so he helps the players with their computer problems, and he even runs personal errands for them.

The batboys usually work all of the home games, and one road trip each season. The Twins supply a batboy and attendant to the visitors’ clubhouse and dugout, as do the hosting teams for the Twins when they are on the road.

I asked rookie batboy, 17-year-old Dominic Frost, how he landed such a cool job. He explained that the Twins recruited candidates through the Boys and Girls Club, where he was recommended by his baseball coach, interviewed and hired.

I asked him if he knew what he was getting himself into when he accepted the job. Most of the batboy’s work is not visible to the average fan.

He laughed and said, “I came to the ballpark thinking I’d pick up the bats, chase a few balls and help out a little. When I got here, I was surprised at all of our duties. At first it took me too long to get everything done. But then I worked hard, and got used to it, and now I’m faster and can do a pretty good job.”

I asked Dominic if it was difficult juggling school, playing ball and being batboy. He just smiled coolly and said, “I get it done.”

 

Say Cheese!

A couple of Twins have taken up a new hobby. Michael Cuddyer, a man of many hobbies, from magic to writing, is now dabbling in photography.

Michael told me, “I have the opportunity to travel and see places that many people don’t have the chance to. I thought this would be a great way to preserve the memories.”

I asked him if he had taken classes, and he said, “I read a lot about photography. I went online and studied. Now I am practicing by taking photographs.”

The other shutterbug is Joe Mauer. When I recently saw him at his family’s charity golf outing, he approached me and said enthusiastcly, “Gordy, I bought a new camera and I’m taking up photography! Maybe you can give me a few pointers.”

We looked over his new Nikon and I showed him some basic stuff.

Mauer, who was on the DL at the time, was riding in a cart with his family, and was cleared by the doctor only to putt and chip. We talked photography as we rode down the fairways, and while I shot pictures of their event — which raised thousands of dollars for St. Paul ballparks.

I asked Joe what inspired him to take up photography. He replied, “So far I’ve only taken pictures of my little nieces and nephews. I think they inspired me, because I don’t get to see them often enough.”

 

Fans! If you have any Twins related questions, email Gordy at gejones1@aol.com

 

Check out Gordy’s book at http://www.baseballguy.org. Gordy can be reached at gejones1@aol.com.