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Back page: Tigers bat boy falls for oldest trick in the book

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — This rookie got caught looking. Eager to do well, Braeden Ward reported to the Detroit Tigers on Monday to work his first day as a bat boy. It didn’t take long for the college freshman to fall prey to a clubhouse prank that’s been around forever. “They asked me to get the key to the batter’s box,” he said. Despite his best efforts — oh, and plenty of help from the Tigers, New York Mets manager Terry Collins and the umpires — the 18-year-old nicknamed “Bugsy” never got it locked down. “The oldest trick in baseball,” Ward said, laughing. “Yes, sir. They got me good.” He won’t be the last one, for sure. Every year, stories grow about teams sending earnest, young employees on searches for nonexistent ballpark items. It’s a playful rite of passage throughout the majors and minors.


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