Longtime volunteer prepares Alex Box Stadium for opening night
BATON ROUGE - It takes hundreds of people to make opening day, and every game, at Alex Box Stadium a reality. One volunteer has devoted his life to the LSU baseball experience, working for nearly 40 years.
Ted Stickles' job is a bit unconventional. It includes rubbing mud from the Mississippi River onto game balls.
“It takes the shine and slickness off of the new ball,” said Stickles.
He also makes sure bat girls, the away team and umpires have everything they need before and during the games.
“Mark will be the crew chief tonight, he'll be on the plate, so I put balls in his locker to start,” explained Stickles. “Of course I meet them on the field and bring them in.”
Since 1980, Stickles has called the ballpark his second home.
“It's just a great atmosphere,” he said. “All we have to do is make sure we don't play the bottom of the ninth and we've won the game!"
He started as the event manager. Now, he's retired, taking on these roles as a volunteer.
“I just enjoy coming over here,” said Stickles. “I like to come early and make sure everything is set up."
Through the years, Stickles has seen some interesting things. Including the time a streaker ran through the old baseball stadium.
“We got on the field and got him, tackled him,” said Stickles. “That was very much a surprise."
But normally, he stands in between home base and the away team's dugout.
“Umpires, I can see them, if the coaches need anything, I'm here,” he said.
He's a man behind the scenes to whom everyone goes to make sure the game is a home run.