Diamond darlings in full swing
Group anchors behind-the-scenes Olsen Field support system
Published: Friday, February 14, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 14, 2014 00:02
By the time Aggie baseball players hit the field Friday, the Diamond Darlings will already be in full swing, selling programs, working alongside the marketing team, assisting fans with any questions, and as “bat girls” for the home and visiting dugouts.
Diamond Darlings — one of the oldest organizations led by women in Texas A&M — was founded in 1972 by Willowdean Chandler, wife of former Texas A&M baseball coach Tom Chandler, with the goal of supporting Aggie baseball.
“Diamond Darlings was the first women’s organization to be started here at A&M, so being a part of something that brought women together as a distinguished group is an honor of its own,” said Bree Smith, senior health major.
The organization takes on responsibilities beyond cheering for the Aggies. Once the baseball players hit the field, the 20 members of the Diamond Darlings are in full swing.
“Being chosen to be a part of this organization has been such a privilege so far,” said Hannah Stayart, senior kinesiology major. “The passion these ladies have for baseball and volunteering their time and efforts creates an awesome atmosphere at Blue Bell Park.”
Outside of Olsen, the Diamond Darlings volunteer by participating in the Big Event, running equipment drives for the local Boys and Girls club and promoting involvement in their main philanthropy — the Cypress ECG project, which provides heart screenings to student athletes.
“We help raise awareness about ECG testing and sudden cardiac arrest, especially in young athletes, along with financially giving back to them to help pay for discounted testing that they allow for students,” member Shelbie Futrell said.
A&M baseball games are full of traditions that the Diamond Darlings take part in and help create.
“The Diamond Darlings traditions go hand-in-hand with the unique traditions here at Olsen,” Futrell said. “Section 203-ers are a student section that you will find at no other college baseball stadium. It is hard to describe without being there, but they enjoy yelling little phrases like ‘Tea Pot’ to the Diamond Darlings who are bat girls, in hope that we will ‘act’ as if we were the little tea pot — like the nursery rhyme.”
Diamond Darling veterans like Smith said understanding the atmosphere of the games is easier to explain through experience rather than through words.
“The only thing I think describes an Olsen Friday night game would be the quote, ‘From the outside looking in you can’t understand it, from the inside looking out you can’t explain it,’” Smith said. “I know its pretty cliche, but when you think of school traditions you think mostly of what you do at football games. This is different. Aggie baseball brings a whole new level of tradition to Texas A&M that can’t be explained on paper.”
The excitement of the season has the group eager to be back under the stadium lights of Blue Bell Park. With the first Aggie baseball game Friday, the journey for the 2014 Diamond Darlings has just begun.
“As a first year Diamond Darling, I am so blessed to be able to share and create memories with the amazing other 19 girls in this student organization,” said Lindsey Bohl, freshman computer engineering major. “They are truly such a kind-hearted and unique group of women. With the season starting, I am super anxious to see what great accomplishments the Aggie baseball team has in store for us this year.”