His long-time role as professional baseball scout often brought Kevin Saucier back home, where he relished working games in Pensacola at Blue Wahoos Stadium."I would be sitting in the stands and people I had not seen in years, people I went to school with would come down and talk to
His long-time role as professional baseball scout often brought Kevin Saucier back home, where he relished working games in Pensacola at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
"I would be sitting in the stands and people I had not seen in years, people I went to school with would come down and talk to me," Saucier said. "It was like a reunion in Pensacola."
Now, it will happen all season, each night at Blue Wahoos home games.
Saucier, 63, who rose from senior prep stardom in 1974 at Escambia High School all the way into winning a World Series game in relief for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980 - the franchise's first championship - has been hired by the Blue Wahoos for the 2020 season.
Saucier (pronounced So-Shay), whose nickname was "Hot Sauce" as a pitcher, will be spreading his knowledge and love for Pensacola as liaison for Major League Baseball scouts and front office executive, who visit to eye Blue Wahoos players and the opposing team.
In addition, Saucier will lend insight in spot roles on the Blue Wahoos radio broadcast. He will also be able to help promote Pensacola's attractions and eateries as a scouts' concierge. Blue Wahoos team owner Quint Studer helped create a position that will enable Saucier's wide connections and respect he gained as player and scout to further enhance the Blue Wahoos mission.
"It keeps me in the game," said Saucier, who retired after the 2019 season where he worked as St. Louis Cardinals scout for three seasons. Prior to that role, he rose into being a regional director with the MLB Scouting Bureau.
"I'm sure I will know a lot of these guys (scouts) coming in and I will get to revisit with them and talk and tell old stories and talk about the Pensacola… talk about the Blue Wahoos," Saucier said. "For me, once those balls and bats are going out… my blood is going to start flowing to be at a game.
"Once baseball is in your blood, it's there. I told Quint I don't want to do anything full-time, but I would like to be part-time."
Since the Blue Wahoos inaugural season in 2012, the franchise has earned a reputation as a must-visit place among MLB scouts and executives from all 30 teams.
Scouts often request Pensacola on their travel schedule so they can work games at the bayfront stadium, where they receive courtesy dinners and a gift card provided by the team.
"This stadium and baseball in Pensacola is one of the most talked about things among scouts in all professional baseball," Saucier said. "They all try to work it out where they can come to Pensacola and scout players here.
"First of all, the way they are treated here is first class. Then, look at the setting. And number three, you are talking about Pensacola, Florida. You're talking about the beach, the weather, the people here, all of those things."
The position will enable Saucier to talk up his hometown, talk up the experience at Blue Wahoos games, share his wisdom on the radio broadcasts, and engage with fans.
After Saucier helped the Escambia Gators attain success in the early 1970's where he played with Preston Hanna, who also rose into being a major league pitcher, he was a second-round pick by the Phillies weeks after graduating in 1974.
He made his major league debut with the Phillies on Oct. 1, 1978. He later pitched for the Detroit Tigers where he played his last game in 1982. He compiled a 15-11 career record with a 3.31 ERA in his MLB career.
"This will be great for me, getting to see people every night. And the best thing, I don't have to go home and pop open that computer to file (scouting) reports," said Saucier, laughing.