Bigelow said, “I tell the interns there’s a good chance you may not want to do this the rest of your life but go do it for 12 weeks and start at 10 in the morning and stay there until 1 o’clock in the morning because the game doesn’t get over until then and understand that’s what these people do.”
As comparison, he offered, “But if you’re an accountant, there’s probably a period of three months in there where you’re burning the midnight oil taking care of people’s taxes.”
'A respect thing'
Some ballplayers espouse a Zen approach to baseball (be the bat, become the ball). Others have rigid rules (five swings in the on-deck circle, tie the right shoe first). Some prefer a stats game (haunted by RBIs, ERAs, etc.). All, however, believe a field should be pristine.
Grounds crew members don't keep individual stats or ritually clean the right field before going to left. But there is protocol for the crew to follow at Victory Field: tuck in your shirt; don't bend over with your rear facing the crowd; and do not, repeat, do not idly stand on the grass.
"We tell people don't run, don't point. If people see the grounds crew running or looking nervous, it might make the fans think there's something wrong or think rain's coming in. It's kinda out of sight, out of mind," said Stevenson. "For me the grounds crew should be a behind-the-scenes kind of thing."
He could have easily gone into another field, so to speak. In the past, he worked at a golf course which was a 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. job. “Unless you were working at a PGA tour event every year, it wasn't worth it for me. I like the stress of having some of the highest-paid best athletes in baseball playing on your field."