Morrow’s Sonoma County hometown is Rohnert Park, Calif., a pop fly south of Santa Rosa, one of the hardest-hit communities of the Wine Country fires that have killed at least 31 residents and destroyed thousands of buildings and homes in Northern California this week.
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Morrow said his parents, who still live in the house where he was raised, are safe. But he spent much of the day on group chats this week reading harrowing tales from friends who narrowly escaped the firestorm.
“Your mind’s in two places at the same time,” Morrow said after Thursday’s team workout. “You see all the other disasters that have been going on, and you try to empathize and sympathize with those people, but it’s hard until you really know people who are experiencing that, and they’re going to have to send in a lot of help.
“A girl I went to school with, they lost their home,” he said. “My parents know a lot of people who lost their homes. I’ve got friends who were evacuated. They sent videos of the flames coming over the ridge. There’s a satellite photo, and you can see everything that’s wiped out. My buddy’s brother’s apartment building burned down, and he was running out with embers raining down around him. He had two minutes to get out, in the middle of the night.”
Santa Rosa Community Hospital, where Morrow was born, was evacuated. One of the high schools he played against, Cardinal Newman, burned down.
“They had a turf field,” Morrow said, “and it burned the turf and the dugout. A lot of landmarks are gone.”
There are numerous baseball ties to the area. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the winery he co-owns with former teammate Rich Aurilia escaped damage. Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver fled his winery on Wednesday when officials ordered Diamond Mountain evacuated. Jack Winery, owned by D-backs catcher Chris Iannetta and former big leaguer Vernon Wells, is believed to have been lost.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.