Matt’s Bats Chat with a Washington Nationals Ball Girl

Most Matt’s Bats readers who are huge baseball fans would love to be able to watch a game from the field, or even just walk around on the field when nobody is playing.  But for some lucky fans, watching the game from the best seats in the house (a chair along the 1st or 3rd baseline) is just their job.

Today I am interviewing a former Nationals ball girl.  Current ball girls aren’t able to speak to the media (I guess Matt’s Bats is considered the media!), so I was not allowed to talk to a ball girl who currently works for the Nats.  But I did interview a ball girl who used to work for the Nationals.  I am not mentioning her name because I don’t want her to get in trouble, even though she doesn’t work for the Nationals anymore and doesn’t even live in DC anymore.  I think you will enjoy this Matt’s Bats Chat!

Matt’s Bats: Let’s start with the question everyone wants to know– how did you become a Nationals ball girl?

Ball Girl:  Everyone asks us this question. I got this job like you get any other job – I applied!

I guess there’s more of a story than that. I was listening to the radio and heard that the Nationals were hiring ball girls and looking for anthem singers. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of being a bat girl (I know they don’t exist). I thought they were the luckiest kids in the world to be able to be in the dugout and on the field with the players. Being a ball girl was my opportunity to be a part of a ball club. I worked for the Nationals for one season.

MB: When did you first get interested into baseball? 

BG: I believe I was six years old when my dad took me to my first baseball game. I remember being extremely hot and complaining that the bleacher seats we were in were burning my legs. I might have not fallen in love with baseball at that moment, but that’s the day my love for sports started to grow.

When I turned 12, I joined my local softball league and learned the nuances of the sport which made me appreciate the game even more. From then on, I attended and watched as many games as I could and always paid attention to the post-season.

MB: When did you become a Nationals fan?

BG: I became a Nats fan in 2011, not long after I moved to the area and went to my first Nats game. Screech threw me a Nats shirt and I got my first game ball ever! I was so excited I don’t even remember who tossed it to me.

MB: Can you describe what it is like being on the field during every Nats game? 

BG: It’s pretty much surreal. Can you imagine sitting on the field right next to your favorite players? Every game I would pinch myself to make sure it was real. At the same time, it’s also nerve-wracking. Can you also imagine a 90 mph fastball getting hit your way? And your job is to stop it? I’m grateful for all of those years of softball training. You have to pay attention to every single pitch or you could be in trouble or seriously embarrassed. I bet my other ball girls can tell you some funny stories.

MB:  Is there any one game you have a special memory of?

BG: There are a few moments that I have special memories of:

1) Michael Morse threw a ball straight to my glove from right field (so cool!)

2) I walked right by Derek Jeter after a game one night

3) I got to go up to the MASN press booth (I always wanted to be a sports journalist when I was younger) 

 4) I was on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball for about 5 seconds when I fielded a ball hit to me. That was definitely the highlight of my ball girl career.

MB: Have you become friends with any of the players or coaches or other Nats people? 

BG: I never became friends with any of the players – I wish I did! I made the best of friends during the season with my fellow entertainment staff, which includes ball girls and Nat Pack folks. They’re so full fun. Each game I worked was always an experience.

MB: What is the craziest thing you have ever seen happen in a game or in the crowd?

BG: I can’t recall anything memorably crazy that happened during any games I attended or worked at. I think Tripp Whitbeck is always entertaining, comically singing all the songs that come on the PA. Teddy winning the last race in 2012 was amazing!

Being a ball girl must be such a cool job, but I think it could also be stressful. What if you mess up and accidentally touch a fair ball or try to field a ball and miss it? You have a crowd of 40,000 people watching you!  Or you could actually get hit by a ball, like this guy:



Otherwise, it looks like a cool job, and I would love the chance to be a ball boy, even just once!

I thank this former ball girl for spending the time to talk to me.

If you like these Matt’s Bats Chats, check out the ones I did with Dave Jageler, Amanda Comak, Heather Zimmerman, Meggie Zahneis and Matt Nadel.



 Let other baseball fans know about my blog (www.mattsbats.com) and Twitter (@MattsBats).  I write almost every day about baseball, and especially the Washington Nationals.  I love getting new followers and RTs.  If you want to receive an email whenever there is a new post you can SUBSCRIBE HERE.

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