LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE -- Fans of the Boise Hawks are used to seeing player come and go on a regular basis.

However, there has been one constant in the Hawks dugout for many years.

That will change soon, though.

If you want to know the ins and outs of the Boise Hawks, just ask Joey Lothrop. The 18-year-old has been the team's batboy for almost a decade.

I did one game in 2006, my first game. I was able to get my first game in, and just kind of never stopped, said Joey.

Day in and day out each summer, Joey takes care of the little things that help the Hawks win on the field.

I tend to show up at about 2:00. I start filling the coolers with the other batboy Gerrig, and then I get to work during batting practice. Sometimes, I help catch fungos, sometimes I'm out catching home run balls. Then I start getting the dugout ready; have to put the bats out, get the helmets ready. During the game, I'm giving balls to umpires, taking balls, getting foul balls, bringing the bats out, taking bats. Then after the game, I have to pick up the trash and empty the coolers. It's a long day, definitely, said Joey.

One of his more important duties is keeping the umpires happy.

You definitely smooze them a little bit. We bring them water bottles, try to keep them cold, give them water, have towels ready. Anything to try to sway a call in their favor, said Joey.

His reason for doing it all is simple, love of the game and the camaraderie that it brings.

I definitely enjoy it. Just a lot of things that most people wouldn't see in the everyday operations of minor league baseball. Getting to see future all-stars come through here. Josh Donaldson, Josh Harrison, Jeff Samardzija, I got to meet all of them while I was batboying. A great experience overall, said Joey.

It's good for me as a manager, when someone needs something, right away, and I can't help them, he knows where everything is at. Yeah, he's been around a long time and he knows every piece of this place, and where stuff is at. It's good to have somebody like that who's been around, that if you need something done, he'll get it done, said Gary Van Tol, Boise Hawks manager.

Now, after eight years of service, Joey is off to the next phase of his life... college.

It will be hard to get away from the Hawks definatly for me, said Joey.

Joey is heading to Arizona State University, where he plans to get an education that will lead him back to baseball.

I'm hoping to become an baseball agent, or work in the front office of a major league team somewhere, said Joey.

There will be a day when he won't be around, and it will be kind of a missing piece. Because you're so used to seeing him here. He's been here as long as I have, and this is my seventh season. It's nice to have people that have been around, said Van Tol.

So after eight years of service, the Hawks will say so long to their longtime batboy.

We're excited for his opportunity. Obviously, make the most of the time that he still has here with us, to help him prepare for his next chapter in his life. We wish him the best of luck, and so we're excited for him, said Van Tol.

It's not glamorous to most people, but how much I love baseball, it does seem glamorous to me. To get to know the guys and everything. Just a great experience over the last eight years, said Joey.

When Joey leaves for college, the Hawks other batboy, Gerrig Van Tol will take over for him.

Gerrig knows a thing or two about baseball, as his dad is Gary Van Tol.

Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/sports/baseball/hawks/2014/07/15/12705855/