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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Dustin Avila had fun as SB bat boy: Baseball Profiles

Dustin Avila loved being a San Bernardino bat boy, his grandfather told The San Bernardino County Sun in June 1988.

Avila simply called it fun, The Sun wrote.

"You get to know a lot of the guys, a lot of famous people," Avila, then 11, told The Sun. They treat me like one of the guys."

Avila then was in his second season as bat boy for the single-A Spirit. He went on to see at least two more - and get on a baseball card.

Avila's baseball card came two seasons later, in the San Bernardino Best set with fellow bat boy Steven Zinn. 

Neither Avila, nor Zinn are actually identified on the card, only as batboys. However, an April 1990 team photo in The Sun appears to include both. 

Both are identified as bat boys and their photos appear to match the card, Avila bottom, left, Zinn top, right. (A third bat boy, Bob Harvey Jr., who also got a card is not pictured or referenced.)

Avila appears to have gone on to play some baseball himself, at least on the high school level. A Dustin Avila is listed as going 2 for 3, with a run scored and an RBI in an April 1993 game for San Bernardino's Aquinas High School.

A LinkedIn profile that actually references work as a Spirit bat boy indicates Avila has gone on to stay in the spirit business, as a sales rep for a wine and spirit company. 

In the listing for his work as a bat boy, Avila references the famous people, at least one in particular. 

"I was a bat boy during the inaugural season of the San Bernardino Spirit Baseball Club and continued there through the 1990 season," the listing reads. "I was able to interact with several Major League Baseball players and one Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (1988 season)."

Dustin Avila 1990 San Bernardino Spirit card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,359
Made the Majors:1,403-32.2%
Never Made Majors:2,956-67.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:571
10+ Seasons in the Minors:352

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