CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Thomas Thornton, a senior at Clovis High School, handles numerous duties as baseball team manager, from fixing equipment to hitting fly balls with the fungo bat.
Major League Baseball celebrated its opening day Thursday, as managers filled out lineup cards, made pitching changes and mastered the “double switch” (National League only).
In high school baseball, the manager is significantly different. Duties range from equipment upkeep to hitting grounders for the players, and they’re usually handled by a student. At Clovis High, it’s a role filled by senior Thomas Thornton.
Thornton, who came to Clovis from Florida, is an Atlanta Braves fan but doesn’t have a favorite player to speak of.
Arrival: We’re an Air Force family. Me and my mom and my little brother moved here almost two year ago.
Time with baseball: I’ve played baseball since I was a little kid. I played left field. I miss being out on the grass and catching fly balls.
I hurt my knee a while back. I was playing football with a couple of buddies a while back. A kind of heftier kid landed on it wrong. It ripped up my ACL and my meniscus.
But I’m not blaming that. I’m just not that great. Either way (I’d be the manager).
For the Wildcats: I keep the scorebook. I just help out around here and work with some of the kids every now and then, bats and balls and stuff. I didn’t know what to expect. It’s fun to be around here.
There isn’t really a tough part about it. It’s not all fun, but it’s just not that hard.
Favorite part of the job: Going on the trips and just being around everybody. It’s my first year as manager. I didn’t play (last year). It’s nice to be around baseball again.
Why baseball: I just like the fundamentals and the fun of the game. It’s not easy, but it’s fun.
Season highlight so far: When we went to Roswell. We lost the first game in the doubleheader, and won the second one 20-0.
It’s nice to see the players quit (complaining), really, and just get on their game and do it.
After high school: I plan to probably go to college, then join the military.
— Compiled by CNJ staff photo Kevin Wilson