BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
During the course of the 2021 Season, I’ve had an opportunity to go down memory lane with different match-ups.
This story is much different than the other ones.
The reason why is it’s been an ongoing on practically all levels, since it’s happened all-season long.
It actually began during early July as Candy Ebling and I spent a few days working with the Miami Marlins AA Team, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Blue Wahoos Owner Quint Studer was a Man Of His Word and I had the opportunity to do play-by-play announcing with the opponent being the Cincinnati Reds AA Team, the Chattanooga Lookouts.
It was neat putting on the headsets again for the first time since 1987 doing Play-By-Play especially calling the names of future major league players for both teams.
I realized that the fire was still there and I will continue my quest during the off-season to get back behind the microphone in this capacity.
During this trip, we had an opportunity to work three games. I wore the headsets for two contests totaling 4.5 innings.
In addition to play-by-play, Candy and I also did a pair of videos promoting baseball in Pensacola, FL., in what we felt was the “Panhandle’s Team.”
On August 13, 2021, in what I considered to be the Minor League Trip of the year, our travels took us to Daytona Beach, Florida, the home of the Tortugas, which is the Class-A Affiliate of the Reds.
They faced the Jupiter Hammerheads, Miami’s affiliate.
Ironically, the Blue Wahoos were once affiliated with the Tortugas, and that was the first time that I knew Pensacola had a professional ball club.
We accomplished a lot on this trip as there would be interviews with former MLB shortstop Dick Schofield, Co-owner Bob Fregolle Jr and aspiring Play-By-Play Announcer Justin Rocke, who also handles the team Media Relations.
So now we’ve seen the Reds at the Class-A and AA levels.
There would be no AAA stop, but we did see the Reds face the Marlins in Miami on Sunday, August 29 at LoanDepotPark.
Miami would win this game 2-1 behind a stellar pitching performance by hometown kid, Jesus Luzardo, who tied a career high with eight strikeouts in six scoreless innings.
Luzardo improved his record to 5-7 and he was acquired from the Oakland A’s at the trade deadline for Starling Marte in late July.
The game was played in 2:36 minutes and it was an early night for us.
There was a sentimental moment during the game as the Marlins Communications Department announced over the PA System, the retirement of long-time Associated Press Writer, Steve Wine.
Steve worked with the AP for 34 years.
It was nice taking a photo with a guy that I got to know during Zoom Calls in 2020.
When you’re treated as well as we were in Daytona, would there be a return trip to historic Jackie Robinson Park, aka, “The Jack?”
Candy Ebling and I returned over Labor Day Weekend where we would do more videos in Daytona’s series vs the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (Minnesota Twins).
We did one with Rocke, General Manager Jim Jaworksi and stumbled onto another great opportunity with the club’s Entertainer, “The Young Professor” which would be the most colorful video that you’ll ever listen to and watch.
The videos with Rocke and Jaworski were neat because we talked about the relationship between the Tortugas and Daytona International Speedway.
It was great connecting NASCAR to Baseball since in many ways, and both epitomize the American Sports Landscape.
During a time when getting great content has been difficult because of COVID-19, that would never be an issue with the Daytona Tortugas!
You couldn’t ask for two better organizations than the Miami Marlins and the Cincinnati Reds.
All year long, I’ve documented the incredible memories that I’ve had with the Marlins through the years. I encourage you to look at all of them on the website.
But I’m very proud of the history I’ve had with the Cincinnati Reds.
From 1984-86, I covered the Tampa Tarpons for the Tampa Tribune when they were the Class A Affiliate in the Florida State League.
I also did free-lance work with RedsVue Magazine in Cincinnati.
Not only did I enjoy writing about the teams prospects, but I worked during Spring Training and covered Cincinnati’s Fantasy Camp.
I also had a chance to cover the Reds three-game series at the now demolished Riverfront Stadium along the Ohio River when they faced the Los Angeles Dodgers after I graduated from USF in 1986.
That would be yet another memorable weekend in Cincinnati as I spent time with my favorite manager of all-time, the late Tommy Lasorda.
In 2021, it seems like all of those relationships came full circle.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.
You can watch his broadcasts by Subscribing to The South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel for free.