Here's a question for you: Do you have a spare bedroom or finished basement that's not being used?
Here's another: Would you love to have free tickets to every Joliet Slammers home game this summer, discounts on Slammers gear and VIP treatment at special Slammers events?
Hand, meet glove -- have we got a deal for you.
The Frontier League team needs "host" families willing to house one or more players on Slammers 2013 team and, in exchange, the aforementioned perks will be yours.
The only obligation, said Kelli Drechsel, Slammers assistant general manager for promotions, is you provide a comfortable place for a player to spend the night and his hours away from the ballpark. Families don't have to cook meals, do laundry or provide entertainment, although many love to do so, she said.
Once the season gets rolling in mid-May, players don't have a lot of down time given that practice at Silver Cross Field starts fairly early and night games can keep them at the park as late as 10 or 11 p.m., she said. There will be times when the team is on the road for a week or longer.
"This is so important to what we do. Some of these guys are from California, Cuba, they could be from anywhere, and they need a place to stay," Drechsel said. "We usually have anywhere from 10 to 15 guys who need houses."
A host can be an individual, a couple without children or a family. And there's no requirement that the home be in Joliet. In the past, they've matched players with families in Shorewood, Plainfield, New Lenox, Romeoville, Channahon and Minooka, Drechsel said.
Most hosts might house one player or two, but some have taken as many as four, she said.
Applicants contact Drechsel, who conducts interviews, does in-person visits and reviews what kind of things -- smoking, drinking, having visits from girlfriends or wives -- the families do not want in their homes. Typically, it's a positive experience for both sides, she said.
"The coaches make sure the players understand," Drechsel said. "They tell them, 'Treat this person with respect. Treat them like you would your own mother, like you'd treat your own family.'"
It helps, too, that most of the players are older, usually in the 21 to 27 age range. Frontier League rules say a team can only have one player who's 28 and none who are older; very few are not college graduates or older, she said.
Drechsel said she's accepting host family applications now in the hopes having all of the arrangements made by early- to mid-April. The players arrive in early May to train, and the season begins May 17.