If you’ve ever gone to a baseball game, you’ve probably seen them. These are the youngsters that toss out T-shirts from some sort of sling shot contraption, conduct kiddy contests, and even scoot around the sidelines in all kinds of getups. They’re the interns – young hopefuls either majoring in a sports management course, some relative of a stadium owner, sponsor, and so on.
In any event, generally, they’re nice kids, well-meaning and eager to please. Now combine all that with the haphazard nature of a roaming general public, oblivious to what’s going on around them, and nothing in the box score can even come close to recording the actions of these young men and women prior to and during game time.
I would help out sometimes with interns, mostly because no one else would or could do it. This wasn’t in my “PWA” (permanent work assignment) but then, it was work, such as it was. So let me pass on some observations of working with interns – just in case you happen to go down that road.
Tossing T-shirts into the bleachers using an oversized slingshot kind of thing was a staple crowd pleaser that started around the 80’s (I think). Any who, a meeting was held prior to game time on the do’s and don’ts of rocketing a rolled up T-shirt. Some of the don’t were – don’t aim at babies, don’t aim at the elderly, don’t aim at fans eating, don’t aim at the announcers, don’t aim at the cops (they’ll shoot back), and above all don’t aim at fans walking the down the ramps. Enough said! Nope! Invariably a Johnny Unitas spiral will knuckle a guy slugging down a cup full of Schlitz beer, another will be sent like a howitzer round right into a group of Golden Agers right in the front box seats, and yet another will find its way into the top rack of the cotton candy vendor in the upper deck.
“Sideline shorts” as we called them had kids placing their foreheads on a bat, turning around so many times, and then running to slap the hand of an intern, oh, twenty feet away. Not a good idea in the later innings when the kids are stuffed with hot dogs, pop and Mike & Ike Jelly Beans. Watching two youngsters leave a trail of hot dogs, pop, and Mike & Ike is not a crowd pleaser.