Lovullo recalls dad's job as TV producer

D-backs skipper got to know country legends through variety show 'Hee Haw'

Lovullo recalls dad's job as TV producer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It wasn't until the fifth grade when new D-backs manager Torey Lovullo realized that his father, Sam, had a unique job.

Sam, who passed away last month at the age of 88, was an executive producer for "Hee Haw," a TV variety show that featured country music. The show ran from 1969-71, and then for 21 years in syndication.

"I had as normal an upbringing as you could possibly imagine," Lovullo said. "I didn't know what my dad did until I was in fifth grade and my schoolteacher called me over and asked me what I did for the summer."

Lovullo told her that he played baseball, and she pressed him for what he did when baseball ended.

"I said I went to Nashville, Tenn., and I got a chance to sit down with my dad and visit with some of the people he works with," Lovullo said.

"Do you realize who those people are?" his teacher asked.

"Yeah, Buck Owens and Roy Clark," Lovullo said as a fifth-grader, referring to a pair of country legends.

"It was like nothing to me," Lovullo said Saturday, "because I'd sit and play cards and laugh and tell jokes with those guys. They were my friends. She was the one that told me that my upbringing might be a little bit different."

While Sam dealt with celebrities on a regular basis, met presidents and visited the White House during his career, his son said Sam became like a 12-year-old kid when he got to meet baseball players during Torey's career.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.