Dominic Frost all season has faithfully maintained one of baseball’s time-honored traditions — never mess with a streak. The Minnesota Twins batboy pledged not to cut his hair while the team strives for its first post-season spot since 2010.
“I haven’t cut the top of my hair the whole season,” said Frost.
Frost has had company in the dugout this season — Torii Hunter, Aaron Hicks, Byron Buxton and first-year First Base Coach Butch Davis joined him as the only U.S. Blacks in Twins uniforms.
“It’s nice this year having more Black people around,” noted the young man. “Byron and I are the same age. It’s nice to have young men your age in the clubhouse to talk and relate to.”
Hunter and Davis have been mentors as well, continued Frost. “Torii and my mom are friends. When he found out I had this job, [he said], ‘That’s crazy. I’ve known you since you were a baby. You probably don’t remember me back then.’ Butch Davis told me whenever I need help, just ask him.”
In his fifth year, Frost’s job is virtually nonstop once he arrives at the ballpark nearly eight hours before game time. His duties include laundering team uniforms, setting up team meals, and running errands.
During the game, he’s running out of the dugout to replenish baseballs for the home plate umpire and retrieving players’ bats and other equipment. After games, he’s collecting equipment among other post-game duties.
“I’m still here doing the same thing this year,” he explained, adding that he had hoped for a promotion to clubhouse assistant when a vacancy emerged after last season. “Someone actually quit last year…but someone else ended up getting hired.”
When time permits — a break in the action, so to speak — Frost often plays catch with players during batting practice. “I’m actually thinking about trying out for the St. Paul Saints next year,” he declared.
But until then, Frost will be busy preparing for some new duties as he and his girlfriend are expecting their first child next February. He had moved to Georgia to attend a small college and be closer to his mom, who had relocated south from Minnesota. Now he’s back home to attend a local school and soon will embrace fatherhood.
“I want a boy, but if it’s a girl, I’m not going to be mad,” said Frost.
The Twins wrap up their regular season this weekend at home. At press time, the team still is in the hunt for a wild card berth. Frost hopes that for the first time in his tenure his season will extend further into October.
“I’ll probably be back next year, hopefully,” surmised the batboy. “It’s nice being here. They really treat me well.
“I’m just hoping we make the playoffs. Then I’ll cut my hair.”
Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.