Alexis Busch loved baseball. She loved the Giants. And she loved AT&T Park.
So a plaque that’s set to be unveiled in the dugout at AT&T Park before Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles to commemorate Alex — the first full-time bat girl in Major League Baseball — would leave Alex feeling nothing less than “thrilled.”
“She really just thought of herself as another girl who loved baseball,” said her father Corey Busch, the team’s executive vice president for 13 years. He brought Alex to her first Giants game at Candlestick Park when she was 2 weeks old.
“She would be so thrilled with what the Giants are doing,” her father added.
Alex would have turned 31 on Monday. She along with four others died in a sailing crash near the Farallon Islands after large waves capsized their vessel Low Speed Chase during a yacht race on April 14, 2012.
To this day, those who knew Alex cannot watch a Giants game without remembering the girl who insisted women can play baseball, who was the sole person to greet former player Barry Bonds at home plate after he hit his 500th home run in 2001, whose spirit and energy was undefinable except, as her father put it, “You always knew when Alex was around.”
The plaque that will forever live in the Giants dugout are etched with Alex’s name and years of life, 1985-2012, along with: “First Batgirl in Major League History. San Francisco Giants. 2000-2001. FOREVER GIANT.”
“When they say ‘Forever Giant,’ that’s much more than a slogan,” Corey Busch said. “It really is a philosophy for [the team] and they really do embrace people who have been part of that family.”
Mario Alioto, executive vice president of business operations for the Giants, said the plaque will be placed next to the bat rack in the dugout.
“What better place to commemorate the first bat girl,” Alioto said. “Alexis did something really neat when she worked for us. To be the first [full-time] bat girl in Major League Baseball is something.”
He added, “I just can’t reiterate enough how much she was a part of the organization.
The plaque dedication also comes as the Giants plan to celebrate its “Girls Day at AT&T Park,” a tradition since the ballpark opened in 2000 that celebrates female leaders in Bay Area sports and encourages girls to get involved with athletics.
In addition to her birthday Monday, “Girls Day” perhaps makes Sunday the perfect day to dedicate a plaque to Alex, a lifelong champion of baseball who played women’s baseball in California and Australia and in 2009 received a degree from the University of San Francisco Graduate School of Sports Management.
But that’s not to say Alex would necessarily relish in the thousands of fans watching the dedication ceremony with Giants President and CEO Larry Baer at home plate before Sunday’s game.
“As much as this honor would make her so happy, I think the attention kind of would embarrass her a little bit,” her father said with a chuckle.