Saunders holds court with his own billboard

OF played in front of 'Michael Saunders & Company' sign in game

March 13th, 2017
Michael Saunders played directly in front of a sign for a company bearing his name. (Philadelphia Phillies)

SARASOTA, Fla. -- ' alter ego is not a real estate tycoon in Sarasota.

He plays baseball and only baseball. But the Phillies right-fielder found himself positioned in front of a billboard bearing his name Monday afternoon in a 6-4 loss to the Orioles in a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium.

Saunders played a few feet from a blue and white "Michael Saunders & Company" advertisement. The company sells real estate in the area.

"This is actually my hobby and that's my real job," Saunders joked.

Saunders said it is the first time he played in front of the company's signage.

"I knew there was one, though, because I've been asked before whether or not I'm actually a part of it," he said.

Asked if he noticed the billboard immediately upon his arrival Monday, Saunders said yes.

"Everybody else noticed it as well," he said.

Jen Horvat is the chief marketing officer for Michael Saunders and Company. The other Michael Saunders attended an Orioles game last spring. She founded the company 40 years ago.

"It's funny," Horvat said, "I set up Google alerts so I'm notified whenever somebody mentions our company. Because her company shares the same name as the other Michael Saunders, I know a lot about the baseball player."

Horvat said Sarasota is a big market for people from Toronto, Ontario, looking to move to Florida. Saunders played with the Blue Jays the past two seasons.

"We get fun comments about that constantly from people looking to move here," Horvat said.