Purple Nike Air Force Ones, headbands with a purple bow and black Nike shorts: This is my spring uniform. The job that went with the uniform sounds hectic to some, but I looked forward to weeks where my planner had “TCU Baseball” written on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I’d be living at Lupton Stadium, but I had no complaints.
My freshman year, I joined the TCU Diamond Darlings. I had grown up around baseball, and I’ve always loved the game. Diamond Darlings are the bat and ball girls and work all the promotions during the games. I was only required to work a small number of games, but I went to them all.
At the end of the season, we hosted the Mountain West Conference tournament. I, along with three other Diamond Darlings, worked in the dugouts the whole tournament. Little did I know it, but that was just a taste of what was to come.
My sophomore year, I got even more involved in Diamond Darlings. I found myself falling in love with my TCU baseball team. I began driving to away games to work the TCU dugout. I actually started feeling like part of the team.
We hosted the MWC tournament again in 2009, and I worked the games with two other girls. Working these tournaments meant being in the dugouts for three games a day, four days in a row. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my summer days. My purple Forces even became famous among TCU fans and the MWC announcers. The Mtn. did a couple pieces on my shoes and my baseball superstitions during the games. Who knew purple shoes could make such an impact?
After we took care of business in the conference tournament, I went to the team watch party to hear that TCU was chosen to host the NCAA Fort Worth Regional. Again, I found myself in the dugouts game after game, day after day for the Regional tournament.
I love reminiscing on pictures of the dogpile and excitement after we won regionals. Coach Jim Schlossnagle allowed me in the dugout when we went to Austin for the Super Regional against those blasted Longhorns. Our stay in Austin didn’t end the way we would have liked, but revenge was already on its way.
I still had no idea what was in store for me. My junior year afforded many memories that I will never forget. I was bummed that we didn’t host the MWC tournament, but there were better things to come. Again, we won conference, and we were chosen to host the Fort Worth Regional tournament once more.
By this point, I did not work other teams’ dugouts; it didn’t feel right not being with my guys. Everyone was so excited after we won this regional, and our sights were set on the Horns. Again, Schlossnagle included me in the dugout for our Austin trip. I took video from the dugout of the last out, and I captured the eruption of excitement when our boys dogpiled on that silly Longhorn in center field. “We’re going to Omaha!” is all you hear in my video for the first 10 seconds. What a sweet feeling.
I am a Texas Rangers Six Shooter as well, and I was scheduled to work Rangers games through the whole College World Series. After Matt Curry hit his grand slam against Florida State — and after my voice came back — I contacted my Rangers supervisor to tell him I had to be in Omaha for my team. He understood, and I headed north the very next morning. Words cannot describe the experience I had in Omaha, cheering on the team I love. It broke my heart to see UCLA beat us, but I could not have been prouder of what the Frogs accomplished.
That brings me to my senior year. The best way to sum it all up: Three weeks ago, I stood in the dugout during “God Bless America.” With my purple Forces on and my hand over my heart, I thought back on the memories I had made in that dugout and got a little teary-eyed. I love this game; I love this team; I love my Frogs.
Student media advertising director Courtney Kimbrough is a senior advertising-public relations major from Mesquite.