The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Class AA; Southern League) earned some good PR karma by signing 95-year-old John Appleyard, a prominent businessman and historian, to a five-year no-cut contract as a Sunday color radio commentator.
“Mr. Appleyard is an incredible storyteller who has great knowledge of Pensacola baseball history,” said Blue Wahoos owner Quint Studer in a press statement. “He will be a great addition to our award-winning broadcast team.”
He will join Blue Wahoos broadcaster Tommy Thrall in the middle innings of every Sunday home game.
“Mr. Appleyard joined us in the booth for a game a few weeks ago and we had great feedback from our listeners,” Thrall said. “He adds so many great stories to the broadcast that I have to remind myself to keep focused on the action on the field. Quint and I discussed adding him to our team and are thrilled to have him at Sunday games.”
New Wahoos owner Derrick Brooks commented, “I worked for Mr. Appleyard during the summer of my senior year at FSU. I look forward to my time with him listening to stories about Pensacola. He is a great storyteller who knows the history of our hometown.”
The Wahoos radio broadcasts can be heard on 97.1 The Ticket and Sunday games are simulcast on Blab TV.
“I’m honored to be asked to join the broadcast team. Quint is known for his visionary thinking, and if I fulfill the 5-year contract, I will be 100 years old and broadcasting Wahoos games in their 10th anniversary year. When you negotiate a contract at age 95, your biggest concern is parking and I’ve been assured I will have a good parking spot,” Appleyard said.
Appleyard launched his own Pensacola advertising agency in 1959 and launched a writing and history research career upon retirement.