WASHINGTON – For a few hours on Wednesday, Baltimore Orioles players Chris Davis and Darren O’Day traded in their spikes to punch in as Southwest Airlines employees.
After checking in passengers at the gate, loading bags onto the plane and guiding an aircraft to the runway, they say they will gladly stick to their day job.
“We fly a lot, so I think we kind of take for granted all the hard work these guys do for us. And we really appreciate it,” says Davis.
Davis had a bit or a rough time getting his 6-foot-3-inch, 230-pound frame inside the cargo space under a plane to help unload bags.
“I didn’t put the knee pads on, so my knees are kind of sore,” said Davis.
He and O’Day both worked in their orange jerseys with “Orioles” in black cursive writing across the chest, and black numbers on the front and back.
Davis wore jeans, while O’Day showed up in black shorts, black shoes, and no socks – a decision the 6-foot-4-inch pitcher soon regretted when he scrunched himself in the baggage space on a separate jet to take bags off. He, too, did not use knee pads.
“You would think they would hook us up,” O’Day said.
But he still made it through without any scrapes or scratches.
Though he’d never done such a job, O’Day is familiar with the work ramp agents do.
“Two of my uncles used to throw bags for United Airlines,” O’Day said, “So, it was good to get in there, and see what they do.”
Overall, they got a thumbs up from ramp agent Victor Hopkins.
“I think they did pretty good out here. They have the right mentality,” said Hopkins, who served as Davis and O’Day’s “supervisor.”
At Southwest gate 3 inside the terminal, the two shook hands with and thanked passengers while checking them into their outbound flight to St. Louis.
“Ladies, take your time. I know you’ve never seen a boarding agent with bigger muscles, but there’s room on the plane for all of you,” O’Day chimed over the public address system.
“That’s right,” Davis replied.
Southwest Airlines is the official airline for the Orioles. After getting everyone on board, Davis put an offer on the table during his welcoming speech to passengers.
“I’m willing to give suite tickets to tonight’s game for anybody who gets off this flight,” Davis said over the intercom.
Sadly, his ploy to help boost attendance had no takers with passengers, but one a flight attendant was ready to take the deal.
She joked it was because “they’re hot.”
O’Day jumped on that theme too, critiquing the job he did guiding the jet onto the runway.
“I wasn’t really guiding anything. I think I was just there for show,” said O’Day. “Eye candy for all the young ladies on the plane.”
The Orioles are currently in second place in the American League East, and in the mix to make the playoffs.
Davis, with his 23 homeruns, and O’Day chipping in with a 6-1 record, are two key players on the team.
So, after their day at “work,” Orioles fans will be happy to know neither player was injured.
Check out the video of O’Day guiding a plane on the runway.