Fourteen-year-old Sydney Wiesehan has an answer when people ask her what she’s doing this summer.
“I tell them I am working here,” said Wiesehan.
“Here” is Dozer Park. It’s where she gets baseballs ready before first pitch, stocks trays of gum and sunflower seeds for players and does a variety of things as the first bat girl in Peoria Chiefs history.
“I knew boys mainly did this but I thought it would be cool if I did it,” Wiesehan said of her role with the Class A St. Louis Cardinals affiliate in the Midwest League. “It’s cool to be the only girl.”
If fans don’t notice her as the team’s only bat girl, they do notice how she does her job. Quickly and efficiently.
Moving like bullet on the field to retrieve bats, balls and stray helmets. She moves faster than the players sometimes.
“I try to hustle to get the game running as smoothly as I can,” said Wiesehan, who is a track star at Concordia Lutheran School. “It’s fun to run. I love running.”
And the Chiefs love the job she does.
“She’s by far the hardest working person on our team,” said Chiefs manager Chris Swauger. ” A lot of times at the end of an inning, I’ll try and grab a helmet of a guy on base, she beats me out there.
“She, for sure, beats me off the field. I’d like to get a clock on her to see if she’d be available to pinch run at some point. She’s impressive.”
Wiesehan says she doesn’t have any plans on pinch-running. But she says she loves her fast-paced job and plans to keep it for awhile.
“I love baseball,” said Wiesehan, who’s parents have been season ticket holders for years. “I have been coming here since I was six months old. It’s really cool that I can do this.”