The flight was short, but Scott Pose will never forget it. The Marlins had just concluded their exhibition season in Jacksonville and were headed south. On April 5, 1993, they would play their inaugural game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Outfielder Scott Pose spent the hourlong trip seated next to fellow rookie Trevor Hoffman.
"We were pinching ourselves, happy that we made the roster number one, and we were doing it together," said Pose, who came up with Hoffman through the Reds' minor league system. "The initial excitement was unreal. When we touched down at the Fort Lauderdale airport they had the fire trucks out creating an archway of water for the plane to go under. There was all kind of pomp and circumstance with it, and you knew the community was very excited to get baseball in South Florida. Everywhere we went there was just that excitement."
Twenty years later, as Marlins' fans brace for what most baseball observers anticipate will be a rough season, the excitement has waned. Yet Pose still speaks about that April 5 with enthusiasm and takes pride in his role cultivating the seedling franchise.
"It's hard to believe it's been that long," he said. "There were five of us making our debuts that day, and it was really special to all of us, but I was really excited to just be part of bringing baseball to South Florida and Miami because they had been waiting for it for so long. The fact that we won the game and started out well, it was just an exciting day and there was so much going on, and it was over so fast it seemed like."
Pose went on a hitting flurry that spring to crack the 25-man roster. He finds it ironic that his seminal moment came with the glove.
The first web gem in Marlins' history was in the seventh inning, when Jose Offerman drilled a pitch toward what would become known as the Bermuda Triangle in center field. Pose, who was demoted to Triple-A after 15 games, raced toward the ball and made an overhead grab in front of the 434-foot sign.
"I can still see the ball in the air and I vividly remember not hearing anything until after I caught it," said Pose, who also logged his first major league hit that day in his second at-bat off Orel Hershiser. "The ovation after the inning was over, I honestly thought it was because of the seventh-inning stretch. I had no idea it was because of the catch. I was fairly ignorant of what was going on."
So was Pose's father, Bob, who was at the concession stand purchasing a drink for his wife when Pose made the grab.
A resident of Raleigh, N.C., Pose these days spends much of his time tracking his kids. His 17-year-old son is a junior catcher on his high school team. His 13-year-old daughter is active in cheerleading.
"I love doing it," said Pose, who's entering his seventh season with the Bulls. "If I could do it year-round I would."
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