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Matt McCay, first basemen for Illinois’ Joliet Jackhammers, doesn’t seem to mind that his teammates keep trying to put dents in his home.
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, McCay, 26, is living in a travel trailer parked on a hill about 60 feet from the left-field foul pole at Silver Cross Field, less than 400 feet from home plate.
The housing arrangement is part of a promotion between the minor league baseball team and Rick’s RV Center of nearby Shorewood. Part of the deal is that a video presentation of McCay’s life inside the trailer is featured on the left field video board as an in-between inning promotion.
McCay said that before every home game, he and his teammates use their last few batting practice cuts to swing for the trailer.
“I try to hit it everyday in BP,” he said, laughing. “Everybody tries. All you do is turn and try to hit it dead foul.”
McCay has one home run this season – hit to straightaway center field. But as far as he can remember the trailer has only been hit during batting practice.
“It has been dinged a few times on bounces,” he said. “But it hasn’t been absolutely drilled.”
McCay, in his sixth season in the minors, grew up in Alabama and North Carolina, where his family often camped in the mountains. The trailer reminds him of home.
“I thought this is going to be a great summer,” he said of staying in a home where he could not only walk to work but also enjoy such comforts as a home entertainment system. “I’d love to have one of these after my career ends.”
Living in the trailer has also produced an unexpected benefit, he noted. “I usually don’t do too well at being on time. So, I have not missed a bus trip, and I haven’t been late for batting practice,” he said. “It has been a lot of fun.”