Marlins' Morrison moved by trip to troops
Outfielder in awe of B-1 Bomber, smiles on soldiers' faces
Full-squad workouts for the Marlins begin on Feb. 22 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. At that time, Logan Morrison will be positioned in left field, tracking down fly balls.
Over the past few days, Morrison has tracked different objects in the sky.
As part of the Marlins' troops visit to Southwest Asia and Germany, Morrison has flown in military planes and witnessed the takeoff of a B-1 Bomber.
"The coolest thing I think we've done is we saw a B-1 Bomber take off," Morrison told MLB.com on Wednesday. "We were so close to it that the noise from the engine made your chest vibrate. It was pretty cool."
Morrison is one of two active Marlins on an eight-day trip, which began last Thursday and concludes this Friday. Catcher John Buck also is helping entertain members of the United States Military stationed overseas.
The past couple of days, the group has been in Germany.
"It's been awesome," Morrison said. "I can't explain how life-changing this has been. You get to see guys away from their families. You'd see the smiles on their faces. They are thankful that we came out, but it's the least we can do. We should do this more often, because we're doing something special."
For the second straight year, the Marlins have worked with Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) to send team representatives to interact with the troops.
Also on the trip are Marlins special assistants Andre Dawson and Jeff Conine, as well as team president David Samson. Rounding out the contingent are John Sulser (Fox Sports Florida Marlins game producer), Boris Menier (Marlins marketing supervisor), Sean Flynn (Marlins senior vice president of marketing) and three members of the Marlins Mermaids dance team.
The response from those serving has made the trip a rewarding one.
"They're in a different land," Morrison said. "They call it the 'Land of Not So Right.' We're spending two days in an area, and that's not a lot of time. But when we're there, we're having a good time, because that's what we're here to do -- to try and entertain them. We're trying to help brighten up their day."
The Marlins' contingent experienced some of the harsh reality of military life on Tuesday when they visited wounded soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
During the hospital visit, Morrison was moved by the courage and composure of a soldier who suffered an Achilles tendon injury.
"We saw a guy who had blown out his Achilles," Morrison said. "He got a call from home and was asked, 'Can you play basketball?'
"He said, 'Not right now. We have to wait a little while.' That kind of got me a little bit."
On the go throughout their trip, the Marlins had one stretch where they stayed up 42 straight hours.
"You're dead tired going everywhere, trying to take five-minute naps when you can," Morrison said. "But I'd do it all over again if I had to."
During the trip, the Marlins interacted with the troops, signed autographs, watched the Super Bowl and shared stories. The team also ran two baseball clinics for youth players.
Many in service asked Morrison about being in the big leagues and what the Minor Leagues was like.
"They'd ask what we do, and they will talk about their eight-hour shift on a boat with two people," Morrison said. "It was good to talk to them and give them a little bit of an escape."