Emily Bolton has a sweet seat for Baltimore Orioles games this year — and an even sweeter job.
Bolton, a 2009 Smithsburg High School graduate, is working as an Orioles ball girl this season at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.
“It’s awesome, I love it,” she said. “I really appreciate the opportunity. I’ve been an Orioles fan my whole life.”
Bolton works at about a half-dozen games a month, seated in foul territory on either the first- or third-base line, waiting to field foul balls. She also assists with pregame ceremonies, such as the first pitch and the national anthem.
“I got to work opening day, and that was awesome,” said Bolton, who will be a senior at the University of Maryland. “The stadium was packed and I got to carry out Nick Markakis’ Gold Glove Award as it was presented to him, so that was very neat.”
She also felt the pressure as her career in the big leagues got off to a monumental start.
“I was nervous. When they gave me the Gold Glove Award, it weighed a lot, and I was scared to death that I was going to drop it,” she said. “But luckily, I didn’t.”
Her sure hands are what helped her get the job in the first place.
Bolton — who played varsity softball in high school and continues to play on a club team in college — was one of about 50 people, male and female, who attended an open tryout for the job in early March at Camden Yards.
“They had us go on to the field and sit on a stool and field ground balls,” she said. “And they had us lead the ‘Charge’ cheer, and I had to give a 30-second answer as to why I wanted to be a ball girl.
“They called me back the next day and told me I made the next round. Then I went to the warehouse at Camden Yards a week later and got interviewed. About a week after that, I found out I got the job.”
She was one of only six to make the final cut, and two of those six work at each Orioles home game.
When Bolton comes up with a foul ball during a game, she instantly is the center of attention as she scans the crowd to select the recipient of the souvenir.
“Everyone screams at me,” she said. “Normally I look for kids and Orioles fans.”
She also has to pay close attention to the game.
“Probably my third or fourth game, Chris Davis hit one so hard at me, but somehow I caught it,” she said. “I haven’t made too many errors yet.”
This likely will be Bolton’s only season as a ball girl. She is majoring in elementary education at Maryland and hopes to begin a teaching job after graduating next year.
But she picked a good season to work at Camden Yards as the Orioles, for a change this year, have done more winning than losing.
“It’s been really exciting watching them this year, and Camden Yards is getting more and more fans,” Bolton said. “It’s always exciting when the stadium is packed. ... I’m hoping that we get to play in October.”