Terry “Big Show” Scroggins is indeed one of the Bassmaster Elite Series’ larger physical specimens. His appetite for food is legendary among his fellow-competitors, his shoulders are broad, and his physique generates warm thoughts of a guy who loves to share a good plate of home cooking with his buddies once the weigh-in concludes.
Hence, it’s hard to imagine Scroggins ever being a 146-pound high school baseball hurler. But dial back 23 years to the Florida High School baseball Class 4A state semi-final games, and there stood a scrawny Scroggins atop the dirt mound.
“I was a junk pitcher, I wasn’t big enough at 146-pounds to throw super hard, but I could mix it up pretty good. Pitching is like golf. You don’t have to be huge to put the ball where you want it, but you better have great form. So as a pitcher, I focused on form — and that gave me great control,” said Scroggins, a 1986 graduate of Palatka High.
“Big Show” wasn’t allowed to bat. “Coach wanted the starting pitchers to focus solely on pitching. Plus, by not batting, we were able to rest between innings,” explained Scroggins who wore uniform #8. “The Palatka Panthers were pretty strong back in the day. My junior year we made it to the regionals, and then my senior year we made it all the way to the Florida state semi-finals. Being a part of that team taught me how to compete and win in many different aspects of life – including fishing.”
Competing for a State baseball title in Florida is admirable considering the vast talent perpetually brewed in the Sunshine State. “I played against Chipper Jones in a summer league, and there were several guys from north central Florida that made it to the big leagues,” said Scroggins, who owns the honor of catching the second-largest 5 bass stringer in the 41-year history of BASS®.
Speaking of Chipper Jones, Scroggins says he used to track the Atlanta Braves on hotel TV sets while on the road fishing tournaments, but his interest has waned as the Braves’ success has declined in recent years. And as far as missing his own playing days – the always comical Scroggins quipped, “I don’t miss playing because a lot of my physical conditioning required me to jog five miles a day – I don’t miss that at all.”