Friday, September 04, 2015

Breaking the Ball Barrier

At U.S. Open, the Ball Boys and Girls Are Grown-Ups:

Before Steven Slater, a 47-year-old stay-at-home dad, tried out for a part-time job this summer, he had to get ready. He added miles to his runs. He started doing yoga three times a week. Then he went to a park near his apartment in Manhattan and threw tennis balls against a wall.

At this year’s U.S. Open, Mr. Slater is a rookie ball person, a job that requires a rocket arm. The Open is the only one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments where the people who fetch balls between points also throw them to each other, rather than roll them.

From the Seinfeld episode The Lip Reader:

Kramer: You got it. Hey Jerry, do me a favor. The next time you see that lineswoman ask her how those ball boys get those jobs. I would love to be able to do that.

Jerry: Kramer, I think perhaps you've overlooked one of the key aspects of this activity. It's ball *boys*, not ball men. There are no ball men.

Elaine: Yeah I think he's right. I've never seen a ball man.

Kramer: Well there ought to be ball men.

Jerry: All right I'll talk to her. If you want to be a ball man go ahead, break the ball barrier.