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For the love of the game: Couple has been recording spring training for decades

A lifetime of love and working together
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Posted at 11:24 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 13:25:21-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A couple has been recording spring training games together for decades.

For more than a quarter of a century, Larry and Mary have been traveling down from Philadelphia, carefully recording and logging down to the last second each time code that could be a highlight.

“We have a system where we make it look like we have three cameras,” said Larry.

“I watch the player and watch what he did, the event and Larry gives me a code, sometimes,” said Mary.

Larry got into this when he was the chief news photographer at a TV station in Philadelphia during the days of film and was assigned to cover the Phillies' spring training in Florida.

The reels had to be flown back to Philadelphia to make good on the news anchors' promise.

As camera technology changed, so did their challenges.

“I could edit in the car. She would drive, I would edit and I’d be yelling at her all the time, 'don't stop at the yellow light, go through it, we're running tight on time,'" said Larry.

But they always made it and still do. They've received no complaints from the big leagues.

“Apparently, they like the work we do, they keep us. We've got them fooled all these years, so it works," said Larry.

They've still got what it takes even carrying their gear at 86 years old.

Many might wonder how Mary got into this. Long before she was standing on her toes to see the action from the press box alongside Larry, she was swept off her feet by him. He was a dashing photographer who'd served in the Army, making training films in World War II. She was a nurse. They've been married for 64 years.

“We're a typical husband and wife team. She does the work, I get the pay,“ said Larry.

It helps, they say, that as a couple, they're constantly challenging their bodies and their minds.

“I don’t know if we'll come back next year," said Larry.

They may not know where they'll be next spring.

“Yes, I think we're going to stick together for a while, despite baseball,“ said Larry

Although Larry and Mary might be a little partial to Philly, since that's where they're from, most of the games they record now are of the Braves, Twins, and Red Sox who hold their spring training in Southwest Florida.

This story was originally published by staff at WFTX.