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In most sports-themed movies and TV shows for kids, a child will typically score the winning goal by Act 3 or magically ascend to pro sports status, Lil' Bow Wow-Style. But Disney XD is calling in a different play on April 5 when it airs Batboy, a reality special about Daniel Chelgren, a real-life teen batboy for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Major League Baseball, which opens its season on the same day, is producing the series as "a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be part of an MLB team." But I think it also represents something even more positive.
From what I can tell, batboys are to baseball teams what caddies are to golfers. They wear official uniforms and help the big-leaguers; the most public thing they do is throw foul balls into the stands. That said, most young red-blooded MLB fans would probably go vegetarian for a chance at the job (I smell a potential kids' reality show: "Survivor: Batboy")
But while playing in the World Series is a sky-high fantasy for 99.9% of the population, becoming an official batboy falls within the strike zone of reality. Considering all of the hyper-real programming on kids TV -- kids who throw 90 mph fastballs, sing in perfect pitch, and spend more time in screening rooms than classrooms -- a dose of real-world inspiration now and then is a good thing.
In other words, sometimes "ordinary" can still be extraordinary -- words to grow by if you're still in life's little leagues.
Do you think your kids will be inspired by a batboy? Chime in below?