Fans stood holding signs and taking photos as players from the Pensacola Blue Wahoos walked off the plane and into the terminal at Pensacola International Airport Sunday afternoon.
The flight the team was aboard touched down in Northwest Florida just after 4 p.m. on Easter. The Blue Wahoos were flying in from spring training in Arizona.
“It’s really cool to see the way the city embraces this team,” third baseman Josh VanMeter said. “Seeing the fans come out gets you excited for the season.”
The Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds are coming off a memorable 2017 season, which was capped with the team winning a share of its first Southern League championship.
Pensacola swept Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs, but because the league canceled the championship series due to threat of Hurricane Irma, the Blue Wahoos were declared co-champs with the Chattanooga Lookouts.
The team opens its season Thursday in Mobile and will play its home opener April 11 against Chattanooga. Pensacola will be under the direction of Jody Davis, who is entering his first season managing the team. Davis spent the last two seasons as the hitting coaching in Louisville. Former manager Pat Kelly is now at the helm at Triple-A Louisville.
Read more about the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the April 5 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.