It never hurts to have friends in high places, or at least those held in high esteem.
Being a fixture in the Mobile, Ala., sports scene for two decades, you’re going to have some pretty good connections. The list of athletes who hail from the Port City and its surrounding area is about as impressive as one can get.
So, it’s not a shock that someone such as BayBears general manager Chris Morgan, who previously handled game operations and corporate sponsorships at the Senior Bowl, would have ties with AJ McCarron’s family. But it’s another matter altogether that the United States Sports Academy alumnus would be able to convince the 2013 Heisman runner-up to appear at Hank Aaron Stadium on March 6 when his alma mater, the University of Alabama, begins a three-game baseball series against Lipscomb in his hometown.
Sure, it was as simple as reaching out to gauge interest that led to this nifty marketing/public relations coup. But Morgan actually went ahead and did that, and now McCarron is set for a meet-and-greet, photo-op session with fans once the gates open at 6 o’clock that night. He’ll also toss out the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.
One of the winningest quarterbacks in college football history, McCarron was part of three national championship squads, serving as the starting signal-caller for two of them. A beloved figure throughout the state, his appreciation for Mobile and Alabama certainly paved the way for this opportunity. Morgan – recognizing it and realizing what it would take – then went about making it happen.
McCarron, who grew up going to BayBears games, is a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, having been selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. His appearance March 6 coincides with the Crimson Tide baseball team’s first visit to the stadium since 2004. The series itself will be the first three-game, weekend one they ever hosted there.
Call that a win – three times over – for Morgan, not to mention the entire Mobile sports scene.
- Jack Kerwin is the Director of Communications for the United States Sports Academy. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.