A batboy or batgirl is the person who carries the baseball bats around to a baseball team. A batboy may also lay out the equipment and mud the baseballs to be used in the game.
Mascots and batboys had both been part of baseball since the 1880s. Perhaps the most famous batboy was Eddie Bennett, who was hired as a mascot by the Chicago White Sox at the urging of Happy Felsch in 1919. After the 1919 World Series scandal, he was hired by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1920. When the Dodgers lost the 1920 World Series to the Cleveland Indians, some suggested the four straight losses on the road were due to leaving Bennett behind. He then served for almost 12 years as batboy.
Batboys in the news
On June 30, 2000, police discovered steroids and syringes in the glove compartment of the Mercedes-Benz that had been loaned to Boston Red Sox batboy Carlos Cowart by infielder Manny Alexander.
In 2005, a Florida Marlins batboy was suspended six games for accepting a dare from Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, a former Marlin, to drink a gallon of milk in less than an hour without vomiting.
Matthew McGough described his batboy experiences with the New York Yankees in Bat Boy: My True-Life Adventures Coming of Age with the New York Yankees, a book published by Doubleday in 2005. McGough's book served as the basis for Clubhouse, a prime-time television show that aired on CBS in the fall of 2004 and now in reruns on HDNet.
On April 27, 2007, former New York Mets batboy (1985-1995) Kirk Radomski pleaded guilty in United States district court to money laundering and illegal distribution of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, Clenbuterol, amphetamines and other drugs to "dozens of current and former Major League Baseball players, and associates, on teams throughout Major League Baseball." He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
In a pregame ceremony on May 5, 2007, Stan Bronson, Jr. received recognition by the Guinness World Records as the "Most Durable Batboy" ever. Bronson, known as "Stan The Man", has served as the batboy for the University of Memphis baseball team since the 1958 season. His 50 years of service will be recognized in the 2008 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
Dominick Ardovino wrote about his batboy experience with the New York Mets in The Bat Boy (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967).
- Morris, Peter Eddie Bennett via baseball biography project
- Excerpt from Matthew McGough's book Bat Boy (Part 1)
- Excerpt from Matthew McGough's book Bat Boy (Part 2)
- Grossfeld, Stan (April 27, 2005). Batboy finds it tough to pick up his life. Boston Globe
- ESPN (August 25, 2005). Suspended batboy mulling two offers.