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Joliet Slammers Looking for a Few Good Homes to House Their Players

Anyone who provides a comfortable place for a team member to stay during the season is rewarded with tickets to every home game and other perks.

Here's a question for you: Do you have a spare bedroom or finished basement that's not being used?

Here's another: Would you love to have free tickets to every Joliet Slammers home game this summer, discounts on Slammers gear and VIP treatment at special Slammers events?

Hand, meet glove -- have we got a deal for you.

The Frontier League team needs "host" families willing to house one or more players on Slammers 2013 team and, in exchange, the aforementioned perks will be yours.

The only obligation, said Kelli Drechsel, Slammers assistant general manager for promotions, is you provide a comfortable place for a player to spend the night and his hours away from the ballpark. Families don't have to cook meals, do laundry or provide entertainment, although many love to do so, she said.

Once the season gets rolling in mid-May, players don't have a lot of down time given that practice at Silver Cross Field starts fairly early and night games can keep them at the park as late as 10 or 11 p.m., she said. There will be times when the team is on the road for a week or longer.

"This is so important to what we do. Some of these guys are from California, Cuba, they could be from anywhere, and they need a place to stay," Drechsel said. "We usually have anywhere from 10 to 15 guys who need houses."

A host can be an individual, a couple without children or a family. And there's no requirement that the home be in Joliet. In the past, they've matched players with families in Shorewood, Plainfield, New Lenox, Romeoville, Channahon and Minooka, Drechsel said.

Most hosts might house one player or two, but some have taken as many as four, she said.

Applicants contact Drechsel, who conducts interviews, does in-person visits and reviews what kind of things -- smoking, drinking, having visits from girlfriends or wives -- the families do not want in their homes. Typically, it's a positive experience for both sides, she said.

"The coaches make sure the players understand," Drechsel said. "They tell them, 'Treat this person with respect. Treat them like you would your own mother, like you'd treat your own family.'"

It helps, too, that most of the players are older, usually in the 21 to 27 age range. Frontier League rules say a team can only have one player who's 28 and none who are older; very few are not college graduates or older, she said.

Drechsel said she's accepting host family applications now in the hopes having all of the arrangements made by early- to mid-April. The players arrive in early May to train, and the season begins May 17.

For more information or to apply, contact Drechsel at 815-722-2287 or kdrechsel@jolietslammers.com.

John Roberts February 02, 2013 at 03:54 PM
Your being real again..according to people your not supposed to do that...I mean bringing up something so horrific is not supposed to be discussed,what "can" happen is not supposed to be looked at for real..we're supposed to keep that stuff buried way in the back of our conscious thinking...how do they say it..."your being extreme" lol...to me your making a great point...the truth of how Joliet really is...watch it people on the patch do not like the truth..we're supposed to think Ike everyone else..
Outlaw February 02, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Watch john roberts grammar. He is a college graduate
anonymous February 04, 2013 at 03:19 AM
Can't they stay w/giarrante or in one of the magnificent joliet fire stations where they can lounge around with the firefighters and watch flatscreen tvs and work out in the state of the art excercise rooms?
PfieldJim February 04, 2013 at 02:32 PM
I was a host family for the first four seasons with the Jackhammers. It's a great experience for any area family who has an extra room or two. The players were always very respectful, and appreciative of the opportunity. The players are actually paid very little (most less than $900 per month before taxes). Host Family lodging (they provide their own meals) is vital for these players to be able to continue playing and is commonplace for all minor league teams, affiliated or independent. At the time, my boys were playing baseball in junior high and high school, and the minor league players served as excellent role models for hard work and determination. Often, they even worked with my boys on their throwing or hitting and took them to the stadium for batting practice. Getting free tickets is also a great benefit and having that personal connection with the time made the baseball season even more enjoyable. I highly recommend being a host family to anyone who has the extra space to provide to these young ballplayers working hard to try and achieve their dreams.
Jack White April 01, 2014 at 09:42 PM
That is a fun way to get some good tickets. I bet they give you some very good spots. I would think it would be fun to get to know the players a little bit like that too. http://www.cresthillfamilydental.com/Plainfield-Dentist/

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