This story will be updated with new stories from other bat boys throughout the tournament.
For many, a bat boy is someone you see but never really think about as contributing to the team. These are the stories of bat boys at the Cal Ripken World Series and what they do to help their team.
Middle Atlantic’s two bat boys have been bat boys longer than they can remember.
Matthew and Jacob Ruddy have helped their dad with getting bats, guards and other equipment for the team.
“This is really exciting,” Matthew, 9, said.
In pool play, Middle Atlantic went 3-0. This is the first trip to the World Series for both of the boys. Joey Ruddy is the older brother who plays on the team and Matthew and Jacob enjoy all that they have seen so far.
“It was really cool for the team to go 3-0,” Jacob, 10, said.
As group play ends, Matthew wants to see Middle Atlantic take on New York as a rematch from a regional game, and Jacob wants to see a match up against Japan.
“They’re the defending champs, so it would be a really cool game,” Jacob said.
Being a bat boy means much more than just getting bats for 6-year-old Ike Kennedy. Ike’s older brother, Aiden Kennedy, plays for Alabama. For Ike, it’s a chance to do a job that he describes as really fun.
“I like getting them water when they come back,” Ike said.
He says he gets water for them after they bat and when they come in from the field. It’s a job you have to do fast because you have to be able to get the bats and make sure all the players have water.
“I probably run like six miles an hour,” Ike said.
Aiden plays third base and is a catcher for Alabama. Alabama went 2-1 in pool play to advance to bracket play, and Ike helped out at every game. He contributed to make sure the team was hydrated and ready for the game.
While in Branson, though, Ike and his family did other activities including hiking and putt-putt golf. In his game of putt-putt, Ike said he got two hole-in-ones. It was his favorite thing he’s done so far.
With only six years until he’s eligible for this World Series, Ike is already preparing.
“When I get older, I’m gonna be in the world series,” Ike said. “I really like baseball.”