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By Neil D. Isaacs

From a hundred and seventy interviews Neil D. Isaacs positive factors first-hand tales of batboys who served in the course of 9 a long time of baseball. In chronicling them he exhibits how truth neutralizes illusions and the way conventions of the game implement lifelong values.

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When a bench-clearing brawl erupted during one game, Red found himself on the field squaring off with the Cubs batboy. " Not long after that came the incident that won McKercher the Batboy of the Year honor given by Coronet magazine. Resisting a holdup in a hamburger joint, Red had been badly beaten. " The importance of being a batboy is something dreamlike to Tim Buzbee, now a Long Beach firefighter. "I can remember the first time, as an Angels batboy, running the game ball and rosin bag out to the mound to start the game, just me, in front of a sellout crowd, under the lights, and I was awed by it.

Gus says that he knew something was going to happen that day, and that when it did there was no time for thought; he acted on an adrenaline rush and was a little surprised when Gene Moreno of the grounds crew, who always looked after the boys, grabbed him and pulled him out of the melee. On another occasion, instinctively running to pick up a bat in Los Angeles, he collided with Dodgers catcher Jeff Torborg. " Neil Cashen's injury came in the Baltimore clubhouse in 1973. A kid had somehow gotten in and snatched a couple of bats when Neil spotted him and instinctively took off to rescue the equipment.

Wherever I have quoted former batboys without acknowledging a source, the quotation is drawn from firsthand contacts. These contacts have taken place in a variety of ways, as documented specifically in the appendix: live interviews or conversations, telephone interviews or conversations, taped monologues of reminiscences (in part responding to an open-ended questionnaire), and follow-up correspondence. Much of the material, edited to form coherent sets of remembrances, appears in Innocence and Wonder.

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