GREAT FALLS — On any given night at the ballpark, sometimes the hardest-working people on the field are overlooked.
Just ask 14-year-old bat girl Sarah Faulk, in her third year with the Great Falls Voyagers. If she’s doing her job correctly, she should go unnoticed. But in Faulk’s case, it’s hard for fans in the stands not to notice her hustle.
“You’re supposed to make the game function more smoothly,” Faulk said. “You’re picking up the balls, you’re cleaning the dugout when it needs to be cleaned, and you’re giving the balls to the umpire. It makes it run a lot smoother the faster you do it.”
And Faulk is pretty darned good at her job. While the casual fan might not appreciate the effort, the people she works with — coaches, players and officials — definitely do.
“I feel like sometimes I could be better, but they always tell me I’m doing so great and stuff and that I really help them a lot,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’m doing a really good job and actually making an impact on the game.”
But Faulk had a pretty good example to look up to. Across the ballpark in the opposite dugout on this night, her brother Harrison is in his second year as the clubhouse manager for the Billings Mustangs. It’s the latest step in his lifelong love affair with baseball.
“I had season tickets with my family growing up,” he said. “I’ve always loved baseball, always grew up playing and watching it here. And then I worked for five years with the Voyagers as the bat boy and assistant clubhouse manager and now I’m the Mustangs clubhouse manager.”
Harrison Faulk’s duties include doing laundry for players, re-stocking the team shop and buying food for the team. He also gets to spend games in the dugout with the Mustangs, an opportunity he loves. Faulk is a passionate fan and employee and loves getting to know the players and coaches he works with — a quality that will serve him well in the future.
“My goal is to be in the major leagues or as a minor league coordinator for athletic training,” he said. “I’m studying athletic training at MSU Billings. With all my connections, I hope I’ll be able to keep working hard and work my way up.”
Both Faulk siblings are vital members of their teams. There’s mutual pride and respect between the two, but of course a bit of sibling rivalry.
“A lot of fans say she’s faster than me,” Harrison said with a laugh. “But I’m not sure about that. She does a great job and I’m proud of her.”
Sarah is less diplomatic.
“Yes, I’m definitely faster than him,” she said. “He doesn’t want to admit it because it’s true.”
Foot speed aside, both agree the ballpark is where they belong.
“It’s really fun,” Sarah said. “You’re always around professional baseball and you’re learning from the coaches and from players and you get connections, too. It’s really great to see Harrison and he set an example for me. Now that I’m kind of following in it, it’s really great”
They may work for different teams, but baseball is in the blood of Harrison and Sarah Faulk.