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World Series 2001
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10/30/2001 02:49 PM ET
Live savers: Six questions with the BOB's lifeguards
By Heather Reader
Left Field
Wanted: Certified lifeguards for a sparsely used 4 1/2-foot pool in a huge park.
Must be available for at least 81 nights a year, possibly more.
Must be able to handle an occasional tattooing by a baseball.

Without whistles around their necks or zinc on the noses, Erik Swan, a 15-year lifeguard veteran and a 6th grade teacher, and Eric Steen, a pool construction worker who has been watching waters for eight years, keep fans alive at the Bank One Sun Party Pool for the Diamondbacks during each home game. These guys watch the pool area, which is rented out for $5,000 per game and may contain up to 35 people. They answered our six burning questions without taking their eyes off the H20.

Can you tell some of the less experienced readers of the rules of your pool?
STEEN: You cannot have any food or drink in the pool, you cannot use any inappropriate language toward us or the players. No thongs.

Wait. Who gets to invoke the thong rule?
STEEN: I do. The suit has to be fatter than the ID card.

Who are some of the more famous fans you've had out here?
The Cardinals and Jake Plummer. Matt Williams' wife had a birthday party out here for his kid. ("Sports Illustrated" columnist) Rick Reilly was out here for Game 1. He just floated around in his own inner tube that he brought.

Do the players ever come out here after the game to frolic?
STEEN: Nah, never. The players tend to stay away. The visiting teams come up and ask questions and want to shoot the basketball, but the Diamondbacks -- maybe if nobody were here they'd come out.

What are some of the hazards of the job?
STEEN: Getting nailed by fly balls. I got hit in the head by a home run during a game. I don't remember if it was a Diamondback home run or not, but it hit me right in the back of the head. A girl that doesn't work here anymore got hit in the calf. I've almost been hit like 50 times. You have to be careful.

Are guys allowed to wear Speedos?
STEEN: Yes, unfortunately. I've only seen one guy, though. SWAN: The European custom that we cannot ban.

Heather Reader is covering the World Series for She personally digs a good curveball.