Certain obsessed NFL coaches have been known to live in their offices during the season. But they've got nothing on 51s clubhouse manager C.J. Allen, who regularly works 16-hour days and sleeps at Cashman Field during each homestand.
"It's just easier," Allen said of crashing on a couch in the Las Vegas clubhouse. "I get done about 2:30 (a.m.) and I've got to be up at (7:45 a.m.), so it's just extra sleep.
"I wish there were four more hours in a day."
Even if there were, it's likely Allen and visiting clubhouse manager Steve Dwyer would still be pressed to finish their seemingly endless daily duties, which entail virtually anything and everything a professional baseball player might need.
"Clubbies," as they're called, do a ton of laundry every day -- after batting practice and again after games -- clean spikes, prepare pregame and postgame buffets for each clubhouse, rub up 10 dozen baseballs a day with "Magic Mud," take uniforms to the tailor, vacuum and clean the clubhouses, and tend to equipment at home and away. The latter can be especially tedious -- unloading, unpacking and organizing up to 65 huge duffel bags.
"It's a lot of work. It's the hardest easiest job ever," said Allen, 30. "You're trying to please 35 different personalities. Trying to keep everybody happy is difficult at times, but it's rewarding in the end if you do your job right."
With so much to do, it can be hectic keeping up with everything, as Allen learned last season when he forgot to pack for a road trip all the bats belonging to former 51s outfielder Choo Freeman.
"Luckily he borrowed somebody else's and did well, so I got out of that one, but that's pretty important stuff," said Allen, who worked a year for El Paso, an independent team, before joining the 51s last season.
Allen, Dwyer and assistants Tim Rudloff and Josh Stone also run a wide range of errands each day, from making runs for Red Bull and fast food, to picking up prescriptions and dry cleaning, to taking care of money orders and mail, to making reservations for golf, hotels, show and dinner, to picking up family and friends at the airport, to gassing up and washing cars.
Dwyer even once acted as a dog sitter for a player.
"The more you can do for them, the more they'll do for you," said Dwyer, 28, a former Bishop Gorman baseball player who has worked for the 51s since he was a 12-year-old batboy. "We're compensated for everything we do, so we're not going to turn down many requests."
Allen and Dwyer make most of their money from daily clubhouse dues and tips from players.
Just like the players and coaches they serve, the clubbies' ultimate goal is to make it to the major leagues, where a clubhouse manager can make over $100,000 a year.
"I want to be in the big leagues probably more than any of these (players) do," said Allen, who grew up idolizing his cousin, Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake. "That's my goal. When I started, I made a bet with my cousin that in three years, I'm in the big leagues, and this is my third year.
"Right now, I'm just paying my dues like (the players) and trying to get to the next level. I'm knocking on the door; hopefully somebody will open it."
Allen, who said Blake "was like my older brother" growing up in Iowa, said he "about did a backflip" when he heard Blake was traded to the Dodgers last week.
"I was just going nuts and I called him immediately," Allen said. "My goal (also) was to get up in the big leagues before he retired. I actually wanted to see if I could work for the team he was with, and he's with the Dodgers now. That would be nice."
Dwyer, who works two jobs and is married with an infant son, also has a burning desire to reach the big leagues.
"I was never able to make it to the major leagues as a player, but I hope I can make it as a clubby," said Dwyer, who has built strong relationships with players and coaches in nine seasons as a visiting clubhouse manager at Cashman Field. "Everybody in the clubhouse, whether you're a coach, player, trainer or myself, we're all here for the same reason -- to get to the next level."
The odds are against Allen or Dwyer making it to the majors, where 51s manager Lorenzo Bundy said, "Clubhouse managers don't retire; they just die."
Then again, Bundy has high praise for Allen and Dwyer, so they might have a shot.
"I've been in this game a long time and, as far as a visiting/home combination, these guys are the best -- and I'm not just saying that because you're doing a story," said Bundy, in his 27th season of pro ball. "They go beyond the call of duty. They'll do anything you need."
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@ reviewjournal.com or (702) 383-0354.