Chattanooga tragedy hits home with Lookouts announcer

Chattanooga's baseball team takes the field in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Chattanooga Lookouts took the field again on Friday against the Biloxi Shuckers, but their hearts were elsewhere.

It was the second game the Lookouts had to play after their city was rocked when a gunman killed four marines at two military centers.

While most of the players are new to the town, their hearts still hurt for their city.

And for one member of the team's organization, it was especially troubling.

Larry Ward has been a Chattanooga resident for more than 25 years. That's how long he has been the radio voice of the city's minor league baseball team.

He along with the rest of the team have been on the road in Biloxi since the tragedy in their city.

"When 911 happened, it was an unbelievable circumstance," he said. "When this happened today in 2015, it was, 'Oh-oh, they've found us. They have arrived in our own backdoor where before they had been in Boston or New York or Los Angeles or somewhere differently'."

The veteran announcer knew the area well.

"As soon as they identified where they were I went, 'Oh, my gosh. I've been in both those areas many, many times'."

He said the best thing about the city, may be to a fault.

"Chattanoogans as a whole thrive on being friendly, welcoming people to the city. Maybe in this case, too welcoming. In a way, I'm kind of sorry that the gentleman that did it expired. He needs to know just how protective we are of each other in this country."

Many of the players are first year players with the team, and aren't that familiar with the city. But that may change, as residents will likely look to the team as a way to escape and get a sense of normalcy.

"Chattanooga's welcomed us with open arms, and any time, any place - whether it was Chattanooga or not, for the people there," said Chattanooga manager Doug Mientkiewicz. "Us being there the baseball team that's there, our world got rattled just like theirs did. Our thoughts are prayers are with everybody in that city."

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