The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs has announced the Pensacola Blue Wahoos winners of the Community Service Award. Ray Sayre was named Groundskeeper of the Year for the fourth consecutive season.
The Blue Wahoos have consistently lead the Southern League for contributions to the community and are proven contributors to the improvement of the Metro-Pensacola area. Non-profit organizations such as the Epilepsy Foundation of Northwest Florida, Autism Pensacola, United Way, the National Alliance of Mental Illness and more have all benefited from the Blue Wahoos’ community outreach whether by in-stadium walks, participation in fundraising events offsite, raising money and awareness for charities and providing guidance for ways to improve their operations.
In conjunction with the Studer Community Institute, the Blue Wahoos have ignited a fire within the community to help raise awareness about the importance of Early Childhood Education. The Blue Wahoos’ Community Relations team are helping with this by providing schools with a Blue Wahoos-focused program, “Kazoo’s Grand Slam Reading Program,” which includes a kick-off party where Kazoo and our Flight Squad visits elementary schools. In 2016, the reading program provided a reach to students and parents of close to 9,000 people. To further support our commitment to Early Childhood Education, the Blue Wahoos provide in-stadium fun facts that ask children to identify colors, numbers, traits and characteristics of the Blue Wahoos and our stadium.
Ray Sayre, Director of Sports Turf Management for the Blue Wahoos, is this year’s Groundskeeper of the Year, as selected by the league’s field managers and umpires. This is the fourth consecutive year Sayre has won this award. Sayre has been with the Wahoos since the team’s inaugural season. Growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, he began his turf career working on the athletic fields for the University of Kentucky. Before making the move to Pensacola, Sayre worked for several minor league teams including the Louisville Bats, the Greenville Drive and the Bowling Green Hotrods.