They call him “Lo Mo.”
The baby-faced sweet-natured hitting machine had a breakthrough campaign in 2008 for the Florida Marlins, winning Florida State League MVP honors with the Jupiter Hammerheads, hitting a league-best .332 with 13 homers, 74 RBIs and nine steals.
He followed that up in the Arizona Fall League as his organization’s lone Class A representative and vied for the batting title right down to the wire, finishing third with a .404 average and tied for second with 29 RBIs as he helped lead the Mesa Solar Sox to the best record in the league (26-12).
A military kid (his dad was in the Coast Guard) who has lived all over the country, moving from Kansas City to Key West, Florida, to Virginia, to Wilmington, N.C., back to Kansas City before finally settling in his current home of Slidell, Louisiana, maybe that has contributed to his gregarious nature and ability to make everyone feel like his new best friend. I’m guessing he never suffered from the “outcast new kid” syndrome. In fact, his happy-go-lucky demeanor reminds me a lot of another big friendly first baseman with a live bat that I met back in his Minor League days in 1996 named Sean Casey.
I suspect Marlins fans can look forward to seeing LoMo at first base in Miami in the not-too-distant future.
And thanks to the amazing Camralady, Barbara Jean Germano, for saving my sorry butt with this picture of LoMo.
GotMiLB: Everyone has a “hidden talent.” What’s yours?
Morrison: I’m pretty good at alliteration.
Maybe she hadn’t had that second cup of coffee that morning, but for some crazy reason GotMiLB didn’t have the wherewithal to actually follow this answer up by asking him to alliterate for her.
GotMiLB: Complete this sentence: It would surprise people to know that I …
Morrison: … am a romantic at heart.
GotMiLB: Do you have other hobbies or creative outlets aside from baseball?
Morrison: I like to watch football and basketball and go to sporting events, so, no, pretty much none.
GotMiLB: Of what accomplishment, on or off the field, in your life are you the proudest?
Morrison: Winning the Marlins’ Minor League Player of the Year award this year.
GotMiLB: What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Morrison: Hitting a walk-off home run here (AFL) was pretty cool because I’d never hit a walk-off before.
GotMiLB: What do you think you’d be doing now if you weren’t playing baseball?
Morrison: I’d probably still be in school trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life.
GotMiLB: What one item have you found you cannot live without on the road?
Morrison: My computer. I need my laptop.
GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors do you find to be the biggest challenge and why?
Morrison: The daily grind.
GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors has surprised you the most, in comparison to what you might have imagined before you turned pro?
Morrison: I’m surprised at how many people are willing to help out with your career.
GotMiLB: What is the biggest misperception that people outside of baseball have about life in the minors?
Morrison: That we have a lot of money.
GotMiLB: Who is the most unusual character you’ve met in your pro baseball career?
Morrison: Casper Wells (a Detroit Tigers outfield prospect who was his teammate on Mesa in the Arizona Fall League). He’s just an unusual character, you just have to know the guy.
GotMiLB fans will get a chance to do just that later this month when Wells is featured in a Beyond The Boxscore Q&A of his own.
GotMiLB: Which coach/manager have you had that you think should be in the big leagues?
Morrison: Brandon Hyde, my manager at Jupiter this year.
GotMiLB: What is the one question you hope you never hear again?
Morrison: “How’d you miss that pitch?”
GotMiLB: If you were commissioner for a day, which one rule would you change?
Morrison: I would make it mandatory that on a checked swing the home plate umpire had to appeal to one of the base umpires.
GotMiLB: Where have you played in the Minors?
Morrison: Jamestown, N.Y; Greensboro, N.C. and Jupiter, Florida.
GotMiLB: On your current or most recent club, what was your favorite thing about playing there? And is there anything you would change?
Morrison: In Jupiter, the lights are really good out there and you can see the ball pretty well. I’d change how big it is, maybe shrink it down a little bit.
GotMiLB: What was your favorite restaurant there?
Morrison: Jumby Bay
GotMiLB: If family or friends were coming in to visit, where would you take them on a day off?
Morrison: The beach and then go down to City Place (a shopping center and social mecca near Jupiter).
GotMiLB: In your career, what has been your favorite road trip and why?
Morrison: Greenville, S.C. is pretty sweet. The stadium is awesome and the area around it is pretty nice.
GotMiLB: What’s your favorite road restaurant?
Morrison: Domino’s! It’s not really my favorite but we get it all the time.
GotMiLB: What has been your least favorite visiting act or promotion?
Morrison: The one I never want to see again is in Jupiter we did one where little kids had to change into the player’s uniforms and race down and race back and I don’t really like that one.
Or maybe it should be CORNY-ucopia since this is one of my more self-indulgent columns … but hey, sometimes you just need to sit down and remind yourself why you have the best job in the world and thank the people who made it happen …
So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you’ve read this far, CHECK OUT MY PERSPECTIVES COLUMN at MiLB.com!!! (and yes, that was the link, just in case I didn’t make it clear enough) …
I’m not cutting/pasting it here because it’s loaded with oodles of links that would take me hours to recreate …
But that said, here is one link not included … www.myspace.com/waynewilentz which will allow you to listen to the music of my amazingly talented husband
… AND NO, THAT IS NOT HIM WITH THE MIC … the singer is actor Harry Dean Stanton … my better half is the one at the piano, at Caffe Roma (I think I spelled that right) in Beverly Hills during Christmas week of 2006 … (thanks, Bon!) …
So … wishing all of you a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving season, and to my international readers and friends (like in Australia and stuff), well, it’s always a good time to give thanks even if you don’t get the sweet potatoes with candied marshmallows!!!
Tune in again on Friday afternoon when I’ll be posting my newest “Beyond the Boxscore” questionnaire with Florida Marlins prospect Logan Morrison!