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Girls baseball is alive and well thanks to the efforts of many Rhode Island volunteer organizations, such as the Pawtucket Slaterettes Girls’ and Women’s Baseball Team. I have gotten to know several of the coaches and board members over the past few months since interviewing Deb Bettencourt last fall. (read more here Slatterettes Baseball) Deb and I communicate via Facebook a lot and she mentioned a Slaterettes baseball player had just taken part in the Red Sox Fantasy Camp. That player is Tina Trahan and I caught up with Tina via email this past week. Tina was kind enough to give me some insight on this Red Sox Fantasy Camp and provide some awesome photos as well. And thanks to Deb, Tina, and all the volunteers who make Girls and Womens Baseball a reality here in Rhode Island. Here is more from Tina:
RIBBE – Was this Red Sox Fantasy Camp something you had to try out for?
Tina – I was “recruited” for Red Sox Fantasy Camp (RSFC) in March of 2015. I took my dad to Red Sox Spring Training and opted to take batting practice on the field at Jet Blue as part of my travel package. After the event was over, two of the staff members came up to me and said we are having the first ever women’s fantasy camp next year and you have to come. The rest is history; I’ve gone all four years they have had women’s camp. Players at camp vary in talent from people who have never picked up a bat before to people like me who have been playing since 1977.
RIBBE – Was this co-ed or girls baseball only?
Tina – The Red Sox have two camps. The Women’s camp is solely for women and the Big camp is co-ed. I attended the Women’s camp.
RIBBE – What types of activities were included in the camp?
Tina – We have an optional workout day the day before camp officially starts. This day starts with the rookies being let into the locker room first, then the veterans. After we have gotten changed, we have lunch. We are then broken up into four groups and rotate workout stations: infield, outfield, base running and pitching. That night there is a welcome reception which is when we find out what team we have been drafted to. We also have a team dinner night where each team takes their coaches out to dinner and everyone gets to know each other. There is also karaoke after dinner at the hotel. There is another social event where there is a Q&A with the women from the AAGPBL (Maybelle Blair, Shirley Burkovich, Mary Moore) and other female coaches (usually team USA players). The final night we have a closing ceremony with dinner and awards. All meals are provided with the exception of team dinner night. Most nights you will find the majority of the players in the hotel bar/restaurant catching up and talking about the day’s events. Many players also get to the clubhouse early every morning to take extra batting practice before the day’s activities start. We have a camp meeting every morning where each team names their MVPs for the prior day’s games and camp announcements are made. We also have kangaroo court every morning. This is where players, coaches and camp staff receive fines for various camp infractions. These could be wearing something for a team other than the Red Sox, missing a belt loop in your pants, have your pocket hanging out, not taking the tag off your hat, leaving something behind, wearing your helmet onto the field, etc. We also get to play a reunion game at Fenway, usually in May. That was an unreal experience. Playing at Fenway where my heroes play, no words can describe how that feels.
RIBBE – Who was there to run it?
Tina – Fenway Sports Management runs the camp and their staff is top notch. They have camp down to a science and are there to listen to any concerns/complaints/comments. (See contact details below for Fenway Sports Management)
RIBBE – Any games played or just activities?
Tina – Each team plays 6 games (2 per day): one shortened scrimmage, four regular games and then either the consolation game or the championship game. The two teams that win the first games on Saturday, play for the championship, the other two team play the consolation game. I’ve made it to the championship game three years in a row and we have lost it three years in a row ☹.
RIBBE – How was the weather?
Tina – The weather was great this year. High 70s to lower 80s. The first year of camp we lost a day because a tornado touched down about a mile from Jet Blue. When the tornado warning came, we were all pulled into the locker room and had an impromptu autograph session and Q&A.
RIBBE – What did you think of Jet Blue Park?
Tina – I love Jet Blue Park and all the facilities there. We play most of our games on the back fields but each team is guaranteed one game on the stadium field. We get our own lockers with locker tags like the Red Sox have.
RIBBE – Any highlights from the week?
Tina – There are so many highlights from being coached by the likes of Luis Tiant, Rich Gedman, Lenny DiNardo, Trot Nixon, Brian Daubach, Bill Mueller, Victor Rodrigues. In prior years we also had Rico Petricelli and Alan Embree. You can also catch glimpses of current Red Sox players who are down there working out. I didn’t see anyone this year but I saw JBJ (Jackie Bradley, Jr.) a couple of years ago.
RIBBE – What does baseball mean to you?
Tina – I just enjoy the game of baseball immensely. I have been playing since 1977, missed a few years when the Slaterettes didn’t have an adult division and retired from league play when I was 45. It’s a great sport and has done a lot for me. The opportunities I have gotten because of baseball are things I will never forget. I’ve played in a 24-hour baseball game at Tucson Electric Park, I’ve played on Double Day field at the Baseball Hall of Fame, I’ve played at McCoy, in tournaments all over the US and Canada. I’ve met countless friends, some of my best friends have come as a result of Fantasy Camp.
RIBBE – What does girls baseball mean to you?
Tina – I grew up playing baseball, didn’t start playing softball until I was in high school. I feel bad for other girls and women who don’t have the same opportunities that I did. If a girl wants to play baseball, she should be able to play baseball.
A huge thank you to Tina Trahan for taking the time to answer my questions and provide incredible first hand knowledge of the Red Sox Fantasy Camp experience. Her photos are incredible and her passion for baseball is off the charts. Tina is an outstanding representative of girls and womens baseball, not only here in RI, but nationwide. If you would like to learn more about girls and womens baseball, visit the official website of the Pawtucket Slaterettes Girls and Women’s Baseball League at www.slaterettes.com or check them out of Facebook at Pawtucket Slaterettes.
And for more information Red Sox Fantasy Camps, you can contact Fenway Sports Management at www.fenwaysportsmanagement.com. In addition to the Womens Only Red Sox Fantasy Camp, they offer a week long Red Sox Fantasy Camp for both men and women. And thank you to Mackenzie Gillis for providing additional information about the Red Sox Fantasy Camp experience.