FORT MYERS, Fla. — This duo has been recording spring training games for decades. And if you know spring training, then you know Larry and Mary.
For more than a quarter of a century the duo has 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 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 tippy toes to see the action from the press box alongside this guy, 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 two. 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.
Younger and nowhere close to being ready for retirement.
“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 they're from, most of the games they record now are of the Braves, Twins, and Red Sox who hold their spring training here in Southwest Florida.