The Pensacola Blue Wahoos today announced that two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson has purchased ownership in the Minor League baseball team located on Pensacola Bay. Born in Pensacola and raised in nearby Bagdad, Watson has been a big fan of the Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, since they moved to Pensacola. In honor of the partnership, the team will begin selling co-branded merchandise, a Bubba Dub Grilled Cheese, a double decker grilled cheese sandwich with crispy hash browns inside, and the restaurant and bar behind home plate will be renamed Bubba’s Sand Trap. Per team rules, the financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Ever since I went to my first Blue Wahoos game I have been a big fan of the team,” Watson said. “I love the atmosphere, it’s such a great place to go with friends and family. I wish Pensacola had a team like this when I was growing up. There’s something special about pulling for the hometown team. It’s great that Quint and Rishy were willing to let me be a part of it. I look forward to a long and exciting partnership with them. I just hope Quint doesn’t get tired of my crazy ideas because I have been known to have a few. One thing I know for sure is that you won’t see me out there in a uniform playing. I already asked, and they said I can’t do that even if I own part of the team.”
Bruce Baldwin, president of the Blue Wahoos, made the announcement Monday afternoon at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. Following the announcement, Watson took two ceremonial swings from home plate – one with his signature hot pink shafted driver and the other with a Louisville slugger. Jamie Walczak, who pitched for the Wahoos last season, threw to Watson. He’s no stranger to the team’s home field, throwing out ceremonial first pitches and greeting Wahoos players and fans in 2012 and 2014 after each of his Masters wins. In 2014, he even wore the famed green jacket while throwing out the first pitch.
“We are thrilled to welcome Bubba Watson into the ownership and to have Bubba’s family, Angie, Caleb and Dakota, as part of the Wahoos family, enjoying the Wahoos Life,” said Quint Studer, Blue Wahoos majority owner with his wife, Rishy. “Over the years many have been touched by Bubba beyond golf. His work to make life better for others is what attracted Rishy and I to him. Bubba sends a message of belief and giving, always striving to be the best he can be. Rishy, Bubba and I all view the Wahoos as an investment in improving the quality of life for people. Together we will continue to create great experiences for all ages, make lifelong memories for our fans, be a super place to work and now, with Bubba’s leadership, we will gain a national and international awareness for the Blue Wahoos and Northwest Florida.”
As a professional golfer, he has twice won the Masters, golf’s most prestigious tournament, and is a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour. Watson and his wife, Angie, are committed Christians who share a passion for philanthropy with a focus on faith, families and the U.S. Military.
The first game of the 2015 regular season at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium is on Thursday, April 9, against the Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee Brewers) at 6:30 p.m. All Blue Wahoos 2015 tickets packages are available now at the Hill-Kelly Dodge Pick-Up Window and by calling 850-934-8444. Follow the Blue Wahoos at bluewahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos, and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall.