When the Florida Marlins began their now-28-season journey, they had a guy named Scott Pose leading off and playing center field.
"I never got chills all over my body like I did today when they announced, “and now, the Florida Marlins.” It was one of the greatest moments I ever had. Call it a rush. It was spectacular. – Pose, quoted by Josh Grogan in the Sun-Sentinel (subscription required)"
Scott Pose reached base in the Florida Marlins first-ever plate appearance, in the bottom of the first inning of a 6-3 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 5, 1993. He grounded a 2-1 Orel Hershiser pitch to Dodgers second baseman Jody Reed, who made an error and was unable to make the relay to 1B Eric Karros for the out.
In Pose’s second plate appearance, in the next inning, he drove Walt Weiss home to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead with a single through the left-side of the infield. In the sixth inning, Pose added an RBI-groundout to give the Marlins a 5-3 lead.
Scott Vernon Pose was born on February 11, 1967 in Davenport, IA. A five-foot-11, 165 lb. outfielder, he was taken in the 34th round of the 1989 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. Pose split his college years between the University of Iowa and the University of Arkansas.
In his first professional appearance, with the 1989 Billings Mustangs in the Rookie-level Pioneer League, Pose showed a real knack for getting on base by drawing a league-leading 54 walks versus only 31 K’s in 60 contests. It helped him to a .352/.485/.405 slash line, with league-second marks in OBP and 26 stolen bases.
Promoted to the Single-A Charleston Wheelers in the South Atlantic League in 1990, Pose again led his respective circuit with some impressive figures. His .435 OBP, 114 walks, and 0.49 K/BB ratio all led the league. In 135 games, he stole 49 bases in 70 attempts while hitting .298 with a SAL-leading 106 runs scored.
The season before making his major league debut, spent 1992 at the Double-A level with the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Southern League. It would see Pose hit .342/.414/.429 in 136 games. Despite Pose’s promise, and his making it through the expansion draft the month prior, the Reds left him unprotected for the rule 5 in December 1992. That’s where the newest baseball team poached him from the oldest.
After his one-for-five debut with two RBI for the Marlins, Pose went on to go seven-for-21 over his next five games, starting his major league career with a six-game hitting-streak. That includes two multi-hit games, when he collected both a single and a double in both a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers on April 6 and in a 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres on April 10.
After going one-for-four on April 11, Pose would never again reach base safely for the Florida Marlins. Over the following nine games, Pose went 0-for-15 with a pair of strikeouts before getting optioned to the Marlins Triple-A affiliate, the Edmonton Trappers in the Pacific Coast League. Pose hit .284/.353/.334 in 109 games in the Pacific Northwest, but never came back to the sub-tropics with Florida.
"They knew Scott Pose’s limitations, and waited for them to surface. It didn’t take long. Sixteen days. Sixteen at-bats without a hit, the precise line drives of March turning into the desperate dribblers of April. – Gordon Edes with the Sun Sentinel (subscription required)."
In fact, Pose didn’t work his way back to the major leagues until 1997, after minor-league hitches with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Dodgers, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Yankees. For the Bombers in 1997, Pose played in 54 major league games and hit .218/.292/.264. He followed that with a campaign at the Triple-A level for New York, with the Columbus Clippers in the International League in 1998.
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Pose actually resurfaced for a second time and remained in the majors for two full seasons with the Kansas City Royals in 1999 and 2000. In 133 games, Pose hit .259/.352/.276 with 27 walks and 33 strikeouts. He then spent two more seasons in the minors, in the systems of the Houston Astros, the Dodgers, and the Texas Rangers.
So why were the Marlins so quick to cut bait with Pose after such a promising start?
"We saw the best of Scott Pose and the worst of Scott Pose. You can call it a snap judgement if you want, but it was a judgement. The more he came off the bench, the more he pressed. We weren’t doing Scott Pose any service or ourselves a service by keeping him here. – Marlins manager Rene Lachemann, quoted by Gordon Edes in the Sun Sentinel"
In the end, Pose hit .240 in 202 major league games. Pose could have given up after getting sent down to Edmonton, but his grit and dedication were too great to keep down forever.