WEST CHESTER — Ten years ago, Chrissy Devlin attempted to fulfill a childhood dream — to become a Phillies ball girl. She made it as one of five finalists but didn't get the job.
On Friday, at age 45, she gave it another go, competing with 30 other girls hoping to take the field at Phillies' home games this year. If she gets the job — and she won't know until next month — she will become the oldest Phillies ball girl.
"This is something I wanted to do my whole life," said Devlin, of West Chester, who has a son and daughter who attend Rustin High School. "I want my message to be — especially little girls — is to never give up on your dreams, keep going, keep working and do the best you can. I don't want my kids to ever give up on anything in life."
Devlin and Ashley Della Guaradia, 18, of Phoenixville, were the only two women from Chester County who tried out to become a Phillies ball girl.
Because being a ball girl takes a time commitment of 15 to 20 hours a week during the season, most ball girls are college students or recent graduates.
Devlin said her son encouraged her to take the Decade Challenge, a new fad in which people share photos of themselves 10 years apart and share it on Twitter.
Devlin said the competition was intense, but she gained confidence after she met the current ball girls, who were supportive. The candidates were put to the test with questions and trivia about baseball and the Phillies, and were hit ground balls and had to field and throw, and were given an on-camera interview.
"I was definitely nervous, but everybody was nervous," Devlin said. "Overall, it was a neat experience."
Devlin, who works as a veterinary nurse and adjunct professor at Harcum College, said she remembers going to Phillies games in the 1970s and has always enjoyed watching the team.
"All of the girls there had great personalities and encouraged each other," Devlin said. "The age difference didn't matter to them."
Della Guardia, who attends SpringFord Area High School, said she wasn't nervous until she saw the cameras.
"I enjoyed every moment of it," she said. "It was exciting. I have always had the dream of being a Phillies ball girl."
A Phillies ball girl salary during a Phillies baseball season is $50 per game, $75 per outside event, and $35 per softball game. The ball girls make more than 150 off-field appearances, including TV and radio appearances while also participating in charity tournaments and softball games.
A second, more extensive interview that will take place in the next couple of weeks. Final decisions aren't made until February.