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Minimum bat boy age likely to be 14

Posted: Monday December 16, 2002 4:00 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Darren Baker will have to wait even longer than he thought to get back into the dugout as a bat boy.

Commissioner Bud Selig will issue an edict next month requiring bat boys to be at least 14 years old. That comes in response to the near-accident at home plate in the World Series involving Darren Baker, the 3-year-old son of former San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker.

"The minimum age for bat boys will be either 14 or 16 years old," Sandy Alderson, the executive vice president for baseball operations in the commissioner's office, said Monday. "The commissioner will make that ruling."

At last month's general managers meetings, Alderson said he expected the minimum age to be at least "double digits." But after looking at labor laws and discussing the issue with the GMs at the winter meetings, he said the age would be higher.

Selig is expected to announce his decision at the owners meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan 15-16.

While Dusty Baker left San Francisco to become the Chicago Cubs' manager, the Giants still have several young bat boys who are the sons of players, and Baker hoped to have his son be a bat boy for the Cubs.

"It will be 4 for us, 16 for everybody else," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry joked before turning serious. "Whatever it is, it will affect us."

During Game 5 of the World Series, Darren Baker wandered into a play at the plate and almost got run over before J.T. Snow scooped him up.

Darren Baker was allowed to work the last two games of the Series, but Selig decided he would change the rule for next season.

Earlier at the winter meetings, Dusty Baker said he hoped that his son would be allowed to remain in the dugout.

"I hope one mistake doesn't spoil it for a lot of kids," he said. "I don't want it to go down in history as the Darren Baker Rule."


 
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