Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ballclub equipment manager nice gig

Visiting Pat Hagerty Tuesday at Pirate City, I marveled at the good vibe around the clubhouse he oversees as the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor league equipment manager.

Players come and go over the years.

Managers and coaches, too. Especially managers.

Yet the 49-year-old Bradenton resident remains, holding down a fascinating gig on familiar turf for the past 16 years.

Despite the long hours, having to pick up after ballplayers, and making sure the organization's minor league ballclubs have enough bats and balls every month, you're an indispensable part of the big picture.

The game of baseball.

How does one aspire to such a lofty position?

It ain't something you learn in college.

Try driving a beer truck.

That's what Pat did before he hooked up with the Pirates.

"I hung out with some retired ballplayers," he said. "Then one day they told me this job had opened up. They said I'd be good at it. So I went down, applied for the job ... and I've been here ever since."

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