Big league dreams

Humans of West: Jacob McCrery


Ryan McCrery

McCrery (Left) and Parcel (Right) converse on the field during a River Bandits game. McCrery learned substantial amounts of insight while being a bat boy and was even taught some Spanish by some of the players. “Jake loved his time as a bat boy and gained knowledge and experiences about baseball,” R. McCrery said.

Alec Shipley, Reporter

Most kids dream to do incredible things in their life. For instance, playing professional baseball is a dream common in a lot of kids. All of the hard work and dedication, for a chance that it may pay off and your dreams will come true. For junior Jacob McCrery, he is living that dream while being a student at West, but not in the way you might think.

McCrery is not a player, he was actually a bat boy for the local Quad Cities River Bandits for two years. It was an eye-opening experience for him, as he got to see what it was like behind the scenes of a minor league baseball team. On a typical gameday, he would arrive at the stadium before gates would open to the public, and he would leave long after the game was over.

“I got [to the stadium] about an hour before the game, filled the water jugs, made sure the player’s jerseys were clean, and made sure everything was ready for the game, and I would stay about an hour after [the game] to clean the towels and other things,” McCrery said.

Along with the pre-game and post-game tasks, McCrery also had an important job during the game, making sure it ran smoothly and efficiently.

“During games, I would get players’ bats if they got a hit or I ran up to the umpire to give him baseballs,” McCrery said.

There were also benefits of being a bat boy. McCrery was given tickets when he worked that he could give to his family or friends. Along with the tickets, there were also other benefits that McCrery was able to obtain, in a more mental aspect. McCrery’s father, Ryan McCrery, believes that being a bat boy had an impact on his own baseball skills.

“He loves baseball, and being a bat boy allowed him to be around the games he loves. Also being around the players and interacting with them allowed him to learn more about the game,” R. McCrery said.

Former River Bandits bat boys are a common sight at West. He was actually informed about this job by 2020 West High graduate, Adam Parcel, who worked for the River Bandits for six years. Surprisingly, Parcel said that the River Bandits were in desperate need of bat boys, thus he informed McCrery about the position. Parcel saw traits in McCrery that made him qualified for the job.

“I enjoyed working with [McCrery], he’s a hardworking guy and always did his job well,” Parcel said.

Although McCrery has a new job working at Hyvee, he would still like to return to being a bat boy, if he could. Even if he isn’t able to return, he still has memories that will last him a lifetime.

“Maybe someday I will be in the MLB and I can say that I met and know the players,” McCrery said.