Sports

Softball Player tries out to be a Phillies Ball Girl

      On Jan. 11, Sabrina Thomas, an Eastern University softball player, tried out to be a ball girl for the Phillies baseball team.

      Ball girls are women who retrieve foul balls during games as well as serve as ambassadors for the team.

      “I’m pretty sure the Phillies are the only franchise in the MLB to have ball girls,” Thomas said. “What a lot of people think that ball girls do is that they sit on the foul ball lines in the stadium and retrieve foul balls and give them to little kids, but there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes than what meets the eye of the average fan.”

      According to Thomas, when ball girls are not handling foul balls, they are selling 50/50 raffle tickets, attend charity events in the community and play on their own softball team that plays in charity games.

      “You have to have some sort of softball skills,” Thomas said . “But on top of that you have to have people skills, you have to know how to interact with the fans and represent yourself well.”

      Thomas has been playing softball since she was five years old, when she started out on little league teams. In the fifteen years since she began, Thomas went on to play for high school teams, travel teams and was even recruited to Eastern to play the sport.

      “I’ve always wanted to be a ball girl, since I was younger, and I never realized until I looked it up how simple the process would be,” Thomas said. “I thought you had to be some kind of big star, but it was just normal, regular, everyday people that can do it. That’s what inspired me, and as I looked further into it, I liked that they did things for their community, and I liked the idea of being able to represent myself in my community and do something bigger.”

      Though the application process was easier than Thomas once expected it to be, there are still many rounds of try-outs to go through.

      “At first I had to give them all of my information, and after they told me I could try out I had to send a resume with all of my softball and career experience, and I also had to make a skills video,” Thomas said.

      After making it past the first couple rounds of applying, Thomas was called into the Phillies stadium for a group try-out.

      “When I got there, there maybe a little over thirty girls there trying out with me, and I didn’t know any of them. They broke us down alphabetically into a couple different groups, and there were three different sections of that try-out,” Thomas said.

      The applicants were then brought into the Phillies batting cages and to field grounders, as well as hitting a few balls from a pitcher. Then, the women were brought to the Phillies media room for the interview portion of the try-out.

      “They had somebody one-on-one interview you in front of a camera, with a panel of judges behind you. It was kind of like you were actually getting interviewed, they had a fake microphone and it was set up like you were in a press conference,” Thomas said.

      As the contestants were waiting for their chance to be interviewed, Thomas says they were instructed to complete a quiz of knowledge about the Phillies, their history, and Citizens Bank park.

      “They asked about the Phillies Phanatic too, which was funny,” Thomas said.

      Because the contestant went into interview in alphabetical order, Thomas was the last to be called in. In the time she was waiting though, Thomas was able to meet and talk with the ball girls who are returning from the previous season.

      “I got to ask them questions, but they’re regular, everyday girls. They have other jobs, they all play softball, they all go to college,” Thomas said.

      Though there is still one more round of interviews to go through, Thomas eagerly anticipates finding out if she is one of this season’s Phillies ball girls.

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