Pensacola is a baseball town.
The City of Five Flags has produced Hall of Fame football players, professional basketball players, boxing champions and world-record-setting runners. But Pensacola’s affair with baseball is older, richer and more ingrained in the city’s history than any other game. (PHOTO: Author Scott Brown)
And, like most long-standing relationships, the city’s interest and participation in the nation’s pastime has waxed and waned. But the opening of a new stadium and the return of affiliated professional baseball has rekindled Pensacola’s passion for baseball, and the sport’s local champions believe the future is bright.
“We’ve got this incredible facility,” author Scott Brown said Friday during an interview at Bayfront Stadium, the waterfront home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. “We have a phenomenal team associated with the oldest team in professional baseball. But we haven’t been connected to the game’s rich past in Pensacola. To get anywhere, you need two points…you need to know where you started from, and you need to know where you’re going.”
Brown has played an integral role in bridging the gap between Pensacola’s baseball past and present. He is the author of “Baseball in Pensacola: America’s Pastime and the City of Five Flags,” released last month by The History Press of Charleston, S.C., and a major contributor to the WSRE-TV documentary “Baseball in Pensacola.” He also is a distant cousin and executor of the estate of Hall of Fame pitcher Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown (1876-1903) who accumulated a 239-130 record and 2.06 earned-run average in 14 seasons in the National League (12 years) and defunct Federal League.
For the complete story, see the April 4 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.