By: Dana DiBerardino
When people think of the Philadelphia Phillies, some names that come to mind are Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, or Shane Victorino. Yet one name many people don’t know is Rob DiClementi, the Phillies Batboy. While the baseball players get the glory, it is DiClementi who does a lot of the dirty work without any acknowledgement.
DiClementi, 19, from Lindenwold, NJ, is a Sports Management major at Camden County College. He has always had a passion for baseball. He played first base, just like Ryan Howard, on his high school’s baseball team and has always been a Phillies fan. So when the opportunity presented itself, he jumped at the chance for the position. DiClementi started his batboy career in April 2007 when he was a sophomore at Lindenwold High School. He describes his first day as “exciting, seeing all the ball players. It was a cool feeling.” Yet, being batboy is more than it appears to be.
For a 7:05 p.m. game, DiClementi has to be at the ball park by noon. “I do a little bit of everything,” he said. He sets up the bench for the players before the game, helps with batting practice by 3:00 p.m., helps the umpire and players during the game and then cleans up and does laundry when the game is over. By the time he’s all done, he doesn’t leave the stadium until midnight. “It’s my life. I get home, go to sleep and then head back to the ballpark,” DiClementi said.
Although it is hard work, there are some advantages. DiClementi has travelled with the team several times to places like Pittsburgh, Miami, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. He was also present when the Phillies won the 2008 World Series and even received a World Series ring. Yet, his most memorable experience to date was when the team came home to the parade for their World Series win. “It was great coming together with other Phillies fans… and I saw a lot of boobs,” he said jokingly.
Moreover, some of the other advantages DiClementi has are the relationships he has gained with the players and management. “It’s a family because you’re with them so much,” he said. He also hopes to work in the office of the Phillies in the future and knows the people that can help with his career later on. “[It’s like an] opening door for people I might want to intern with in the future.”
Although it is hard work, DiClementi believes the hard work he puts in evens out in the end for all the benefits he receives. To get a better idea of what it’s like to be the Phillies batboy, DiClementi will be featured on the Disney Channel where viewers will get to follow his routine for an entire day.