NORFOLK -- Before every baseball game in the minor leagues and the major leagues, there is someone who has to rub a coat of mud on each and every baseball.
It has to do with grip, control, and even glare. For the Norfolk Tides that means eight dozen baseballs - every game!
"How long did it take you before you were comfortable doing this?" asked 13News reporter Joe Flanagan.
“Actually rubbing the balls, probably a couple cases,” answered Brandon Halberg.
Brandon Halberg is a junior at Old Dominion University. Last year he worked for the Tides as a bat boy. He got promoted this year to clubhouse worker, and among his jobs is baseball mud-rubber. As he watched Joe try this job, he made a comment.
"I think the guy last year had never rubbed balls before, and they were almost as dark as the mud in the bucket,” laughed Halberg. “
Our boss is Mark Bunge who’s title is Visiting Clubhouse Manager. He respects his staff and credits Brandon for his work ethic. At the same time, he knows he will never get rich at this job.
"Later in life, he will probably look back on this job and say 'it was the best job I had but it was the least amount of money I ever made in my life,'" added Bunge.
The Tides will go through nearly 10,000 baseballs in a season. Multiply that by all the minor league teams and all the major league teams and you are talking hundreds of thousands of baseballs.
By the end of "Joe’s Job," at least boss Bunge liked his work.