Commentary by Jim Serger
Every single time I go to a baseball game, adults seem to have all the responsibility. They are the ones who welcome guests, play the music, sell the hot dogs and interact with the fans. However, that’s not the case at one Carmel school. Here’s a timeline from a recent Creekside Middle School game.
4:30 p.m. to before the game even starts— Music is playing through the public address system—young hip-hop music to get the players and fans going. The lineups are handed to the announcers and the concession stands are filled and ready for the fans.
4:40 p.m.—“Good afternoon, what can I get you?” Maya says from behind the counter at the concession stand, with a huge smile on her face. With that, the 14-year-old goes into full ambassador mode. She is the first line of communication to all the fans. She is the person the opposing team’s parents, grandparents, moms and dads first meet.
4:50 p.m.—“Welcome to Creekside Middle School, home to your Creekside Wildcats,” Kyle belts clearly through the public address system. This 14-year-old not only welcomes the fans, he also plays a recorded version of the national anthem and introduces the visiting and home teams’ players.
5 p.m.—Play ball!
5:01 to until end of game – These two future leaders operate their battle station together in the concession stand with full gusto, their people skills on full display, their service to their school and community taking center stage. These two teens first represent their school, but most important, they are represent our remarkable community. Fans of all teams are welcomed not only with a smile but also with actual conversation and respect.
End of game to clean-up time – Open it up for business and close it down for the night. To Maya and Kyle and all of the other teenagers working hard for our community, I say thank you so much.
Next day at 4:30 p.m. – They do it all again.
Baseball legend Ernie Banks once said, “Let’s play two.” Maya and Kyle would even labor a doubleheader as first-rate ambassadors.
Jim Serger is a Carmel resident and author.