By Emma Taylor
Do you remember the sweet smell of hotdogs and cheesesteaks, the sun leaving streaks of pink across the sky and that view of the lights of Philadelphia as the evening began? At 7:05 p.m. on the greens of Citizens Bank Park, all summer long the Philadelphia Phillies entertain many kids, leaving the young boys longing to play ball on that field and the girls dreaming to be one of the girls who catch those fly balls.
Although many children eventually forget these goals, junior Moira DiSandro never gave up her dream. Now, at age 19, DiSandro lives the life many young girls admire from the stands as a ball girl for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Similar to many children who grow up in the Philadelphia area, DiSandro’s family raised her to love the Phillies.
“My family is crazy about them and my dad is just an insane Phillies fan. I remember we’d be at the ballpark all day on Sundays and go to the field all the time,” DiSandro says as she remembers back to when she first became inspired to be a ball girl.
With a brother who works for the Phillies, it was practically a family tradition for her to get involved.
“When my brother heard about applications he told me and I immediately applied,” DiSandro says. “It was always a goal of mine.”
As a freshman, DiSandro attended the University of Delaware. This put her about an hour away from Citizens Bank Park, but the distance did not stop her. She applied for a position as a Phillies ball girl as soon as she turned 18 and became eligible for the job. After a long but worthwhile application process of compiling resumes, personal DVDs and interviews, DiSandro secured the job.
DiSandro’s favorite memory came shortly thereafter.
“The first game I was on the field and I was announced at the pregame ceremony was amazing,” she says.
Although she had been accepted as a ball girl months before, DiSandro says, “The first time I walked on to the field to be announced as a ball girl, it finally hit me, my dream had come true that I was a ball girl for the Philadelphia Phillies.”
The coveted job is not as easy as one would think.
“Our primary job is to get the foul balls that come down the line,” DiSandro says. “We also interact with the fans.”
That sounds easy enough, but the real work comes when the girls are off the field.
DiSandro’s passion for the team and game shines through when she explains the lesser-known aspects of her job and how hectic her schedule is.
“It’s a year-round job. There are obviously the days when the Phillies are home and I’m at the game,” she says.
Since it’s a year-round job and baseball is not a year-round sport, DiSandro’s job involves a lot more than working at the Phillies’ home games. “I think people think I just work when the Phillies are home, but I’m busier when they’re away,” DiSandro says. “That’s when people schedule appearances with us. We spend more time off the field working than we do on the field. I have at the very least one or two things a week. Some weeks I have something every day.”
Off the field, DiSandro explains how the ball girls attend many events and represent the Phillies.
“When the Phillies aren’t home, we have all these different charity events and interactions with the fans,” she says. “We work closely with Macy’s as one of our sponsors. I actually just got done doing a fashion show with them and getting to be a judge. We get to do a lot of fashion shows and other events with them.”
Phillies ball girls also do events such as spelling bees and school visits where they interact with kids.
While it’s considered a job by most, DiSandro feels differently about being a ball girl.
“It’s a hobby,” DiSandro says. “It’s just a bonus that I get paid. I would do it for free.”
She continues to say, “It is a job when I have to email my professors and work out my schedule, but everyone here is so nice and flexible about it.”
The payoff for the hard work comes in more ways than one. Many guys would kill to work with people such as Jimmy Rollins or Carlo Ruiz. For DiSandro, it’s a normal thing.
“We work with the players all the time,” DiSandro says. “We’re not like fans to them, we’re just working with them. It’s all very professional.”
She has a few favorites, though.
“Jimmy Rollins is my favorite to work with,” she says. “He’s extremely personable. He’s a big jokester. He’ll crack jokes with you like he’s nobody, you’re nobody. He’s just very personable and very friendly.”
DiSandro enjoys all the perks of being a Phillies ball girl, but overall she says her favorite part is “being a part of something I’ve always loved. Being such a big fan, just being involved with the Phillies organization is like a dream come true.”
She continues with, “I love being involved with the charity. It’s like I’m going to work and I’m doing my job, but at the end of the day I feel good about what I do. We get to witness a lot of giving back, and it’s nice to feel like I’m a part of that.”