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Labor Officials Say Firing Batboy Was Off Base

May 29, 1993

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) _ Firing batboy Tommy McCoy was off base, labor officials ruled.

U.S. Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich and the Georgia labor commissioner said Thursday that the minor league Savannah Cardinals can rehire the 14-year- old. They did.

To celebrate his return, Tommy threw out the first ball Friday for the Cardinals’ South Atlantic League game against the Augusta Pirates. Afterward, Tommy said he was glad to be back and wanted to thank the people who had helped him regain his job.

″I think the win over the government was great,″ he said. ″If they would just change the law and make an exception then they’re not that half-bad.″

Tommy lost his job May 20 after the Labor Department told Cardinals general manager Ric Sisler he was violating laws that prohibit any child under 14 from working and stipulate that 14- and 15-year-olds must not work past 7 p.m. on school nights or 9 p.m. on other nights.

″After a preliminary review, the current child labor policy, as it has been applied to batboys and batgirls, seems off base,″ Reich said Thursday night.

″While we consider revisions, I am today suspending the enforcement of this federal regulation for the remainder of this baseball season.″

The case brought nationwide publicity for Tommy, who said he was tired of being hounded by reporters.

″It’s been a pretty long week,″ Tommy said. ″I’m glad it’s over.″

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