(WFRV) – It’s many kids’ dreams to play sports at a high level, and for Notre Dame Academy’s bat boy, he has a head start to a bright future thanks to his father.
Tritons’ head baseball coach Jared Barker once suited up for his brother’s team as the bat boy many years ago. Now? His son, Maddax, is getting to follow in his footsteps.
The 8-year-old is in his second season as Notre Dame’s bat boy. He attends every game wearing that blue and green Tritons jersey and has the same seat each game – right next to his dad, Jared.
“He would ask, and ask, and ask, and it was ‘okay, what age do you start letting him in there?'” Jared said.
Whether it’s getting the bats in between hitters or handing the lineup card to the umpires, Maddax is experiencing what it’s like to bond as a team as the bat boy.
“I’m loving it, really, a lot,” said Maddax. “Because I really do get to hang out with all of the baseball players.”
Not only is he getting to know the players and creating role models each season, but he’s also getting to learn the game firsthand with his dad next to him.
“He gets to learn stuff from just watching these guys on a daily basis. He lives at the ballpark and now in the dugout,” Jared explained.
“He’s always running around. He’s always making sure we’re up in the dugout. He’s always getting the bat,” Tritons’ senior Jackson Spejcher said. “He’s always a joy to be around. He’s just that guy.”
While the upperclassmen on the varsity team chew on sunflower seeds – Maddax keeps his animal crackers right by his side for energy because you can’t do the job on an empty stomach.
As Jared shares this unique experience with his son, he tells Local 5 just how special these moments are as Maddax learns the game. It’s a bond both are sharing because of their love for baseball.
“It’s really neat. It’s special. This is what he wants to do. He wants to be here,” Jared said. “He’s planning his days at school around when mom can go pick him up to get him here. He has it all figured out.”
As Maddax continues to follow in his father’s footsteps, he dreams of being a baseball player when he grows up. Simply because of his role model.
“Because my dad used to play it, and I want to be just like him,” Maddax said.
The Notre Dame Tritons currently have two wins as they embark on the early part of the team’s schedule.