- Sam Gilman
Life of A: Batboy
12 year old Julius Racek is the official batboy of the Bonn Capitals in Germany’s Bundesliga North.
Racek comes from a baseball family. In addition to his dad being the team’s official grill master, his mom helps in concessions and his twin brothers are players. Philipp and Kilian, who work as a battery when Philipp is on the mound, are both on the team.
At just 17 years old, it was their younger brother Julius who beat them to the big league bench. Julius has been the team’s batboy for three years now, arriving a season ahead of his brothers.
He is also a player. Racek has been playing for four years and splits his time between both his older sibling’s positions as well as hanging in the outfield.
The batboy shared with us the benefits he receives as a player from his time on the Caps bench. While the team’s coach for all of his years as batboy, BJ Roper-Hubbert, shared with us some of the reasons Julius gets to stick around.
“Julius is the most popular person on the field, almost every time, and it is just like an innocent desire to help in any way possible. He brought this air of youthfulness, and of passion, and actually empathy too. He’s young, but he picks up on so many things very, very quickly and then just says the most appropriate thing, in a kid’s way. That affects everybody. He’s very cool.”
Coach says that Julius is an invaluable member of the team. He came in with the energy and was coached to use it to the team’s best advantage.
Do you think having that youthfulness helps players remember their core inner child’s attraction to the game?
For me, yes.
As a coach how did you harness that youthful exuberance into a really productive member of the team?
"I demanded it of him, and let him know that he’s there to do a job. I think he takes it seriously and he wants to do his best all the time. Whatever he can do to help out. He grew up because of being around it, the intensity and all of the expectations of the team. That’ll help kind of mature him. He just wanted to help out. That was it. He didn’t want to be there just to be there. That wouldn’t do and we demanded more of him."
After 3 years on the bench, this batboy is a seasoned pro and ready for any responsibilities coach, his teammates or the world would like to toss his way.
EBSM caught up with Julius between games over the summer to discuss his experiences on the field, and how they affect him, both as a player and a person.