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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Cayla Kalani enjoys being a Phillies ball girl

Courtesy Photo Hammonton resident and Philadelphia Phillies ball girl Cayla Kalani.

While the Philadelphia Phillies continue to be the hot team in Philly sports, getting to see the action live gets to be a treat. Hammonton resident Cayla Kalani gets to enjoy the team thanks to a unique gameday job opportunity.

Kalani is a pre-med student at Thomas Jefferson University with a goal to be an anesthesiologist. A softball player at Thomas Jefferson University, Kalani also works on the field at Citizens Bank Park as a Phillies ball girl. Her passion for the Phillies inspired her to become a ball girl.

“Growing up, I’ve always loved sports and grew up playing sports and softball was obviously my number one,” Kalani said. “When I saw that they were having tryouts and applications, I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I have to do this. Like, this is like a once in a lifetime kind of thing.’ So, I applied and here I am.”

Even though it is a fun job, Kalani and the other ball girls are constantly busy on gameday, with 20 ball girls constantly rotating on and off the field. About an hour before the game, the ball girls might be asked to help with events. Other times, they might be preparing for the game.

“Basically, you’re just in charge of getting like all the foul balls, we do jacket runs for like whenever there’s a pitching change,” Kalani said. “We run out to the bullpen, grab whatever they have jackets, sunglasses, hats and we run it back to the dugout.”

One of her favorite parts of the job include interactions with little kids.

Courtesy Photo Cayla Kalani interacts with two fans by the right field level seats at Citizens Bank Park.

“If anything happens, we’re there to help, but one of the best parts about that is when you get a ball, you’re handing it out to the little kids,” Kalani said. “They’re just like, ‘Oh my god.’

They’re so excited and just sitting there smiling like makes my day.”

Besides the work on the field, ball girls are involved in their communities.

“The ball girls are really big on giving back to the community and we do a lot of community events,” Kalani said. “Playing softball, and at a collegiate level, I love being able to give back to the younger girls about everything that I know. So, I think being able to teach them like what I know is something really special to me and I think that it kind of goes a long way with everything.”

Another thing Kalani enjoys as a ball girl within the community is helping girls who might not have the opportunity to go to college clinics. The Phillies host a program where the ball girls teach other girls infield and outfield position drills as well as hitting drills.

“it’s just so cool being able to see them improve because we’ve worked with them for weeks and weeks to see them improve and learn different things so I think that’s like really cool,” Kalani said.

Growing up in the Philadelphia sports scene and attending Thomas Jefferson University, Kalani’s time so far as a ball girl only enforced her love of Philly sports that much more.

“Philly sports are very crazy, but very fun, and being able to be a part of one of the teams in the Philly area is just crazy,” Kalani said. “Like I’m still involved even when I’m not at the ballpark. You just have people like coming up to you, talking to you about whatever and it’s just like so fun to like meet everyone and like just being in that atmosphere of Philly and the sports.”

Courtesy Photo Cayla Kalani celebrates after the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres in Game 5 to clinch the 2022 NLCS and advance to the World Series.

In her second year as a ball girl, Kalani was a part of a lot of excitement. One of her favorite memories as a ball girl thus far was in the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

“I was on the field for the NLCS Game 5 last season and that was probably the best game I’ve ever been on the field for,” Kalani said. “The whole stadium was electric, like the atmosphere was crazy. Everyone was excited and being on the field for that was like a really good game close game the whole time.”

Something that Kalani likes even more than the small ice cream helmets is the opportunity to be a role model to the youth.

“I always had mentors growing up so to be able to be a mentor for other younger girls and be a role model for them, it’s just like one of the coolest things ever,” Kalani said.


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