The Philadelphia Phillies hit it out of the park when they selected freshman sport management major Madeline Scepansky Jan. 15 as one of the 17 Phillies Ballgirls for the 2013 season.
The ballgirls, all from universities in the greater Philadelphia area, went through an intense tryout process lasting months. Including Scepansky, nine new ballgirls were added to the roster, joining eight returning ballgirls from the 2012 season.
“We were so impressed by the candidates this year,” Michele DeVicaris, manager for the Phillies Ballgirls, said in a Phillies press release. “The women selected to be Phillies Ballgirls are terrific additions to the 2013 team and will serve as tremendous role models both on and off the field.”
The ballgirls made their first official appearance Jan. 19 at Citizens Bank Park for a photo shoot.
“Our uniform sets were waiting for us inside our lockers, which felt pretty surreal. When I saw my name on the back of my jersey hanging in my locker, that’s when it kind of hit me that I was about to begin an amazing experience with the Phillies,” Scepansky said.
Once the women changed into their uniforms, they got their hair and makeup done and proceeded to the individual and group photos.
“This was the first real photo shoot I have ever done, so I was a little nervous, but the photographer was great, and all the veteran ballgirls made us rookies feel really comfortable,” she said.
“After all the fun with the photos, we sat down with Michele DeVacaris, who explained the duties, responsibilities, expectations, and all the ins and outs of being a Phillies Ballgirl. It was so fun and really got me excited for baseball season!” she said.
Scepansky officially met the other ballgirls during the photo shoot, though she did meet some of them during the second part of the tryout process. The first part of the process required hopeful ballgirls to submit home videos of themselves showing their softball skills and love of the Phillies.
The videos were due in November, but it wasn’t until a few days before the deadline that Scepansky decided she would try out for the position.
“They said, ‘In a few minutes try to explain why you should come in for our tryout,’ and you had to show that you had some softball skills,” she explained. “So it came together really quickly.”
Originally from Drexel Hill, Pa., Scepansky said, “I grew up with the Phillies, and I always wanted to have the job, but it wasn’t until I started applying that I knew how much I actually [wanted it].”
Scepansky was one of 35 women picked from the video submissions to make it to the second round of interviews, which were held in person. The candidates went to Citizens Bank Park for an on-site interview, a history test and a physical tryout in the batting cages.
“I was just excited to go to the tryouts at the ballpark,” Scepansky said.
Scepansky played softball for 10 years up until high school and will have many opportunities to sharpen her softball skills during the Major League season. The position as a Phillies Ballgirl requires more than athletic skill.
“You kind of just work for the Phillies to give a positive Philly presence. I think it’s great because I really like volunteer work,” Scepansky said.
The ballgirls serve as ambassadors for the Phillies and make over 150 off-field appearances, according to the Phillies Ballgirl website. In addition to playing at least 10 softball games for charity, the ballgirls will also work in Phillies environmental initiatives, including captaining the Red Goes Green team.