Saturday, February 7, 2009

2009 First Pitch Celebration a success !!!

I just got home from the 2009 First Pitch Celebration, and it was a great evening. Fans and families, players and alumni gathered to celebrate the start of a new season.

Several former Tiger players were in attendance. A contingent from the teams of the 30s , 40s and 50s held down a table in the center of the crowd: Kent Kurtz (50-52), Carl Miles (38-40), Frank Graham (40-42) and others. Also in attendance were several players from the Tim Jamieson years. Max Scherzer (04-06), now of the Arizona Diamondbacks, came in to town for the event.

Coach Jamieson introduced the players on the 2009 team and recognized the returning players as well. In his remarks to the crowd, Coach unveiled new architects' drawings of the Taylor Stadium renovation (more details on that tomorrow here at, and spoke a few words about coaching at MU.
"For me, it's about the players, the legacy with the players, the relationship with the players. It's about the players that played here; it's about the players that play here; and it's about the players that will play here. That's why I stay here."
The guest speaker for the event was motivational speaker John Cassis (Luke Cassis' father). His speech drew rave reviews from all in the the crowd. He emphasized six characteristics for success, both as a team and in life:
Mental Strength
Zest for everything you do
Ownership of your life
He grabbed the crowd's attention early on with a great story about his son, Luke. I can't begin to tell it the way he did, but I can't resist repeating it here:
Luke was 4 years old at the time. I was preparing for a Father's Day talk and was reading a book called How to Be an Effective Father.

Luke comes walking into the room and stops about 8 feet from me. He's wearing a Chicago Bears shirt, a California Angels cap; he's got a wiffle ball in one hand and a softball in the other; he saunters in with his min-athletic walk; he's got two toy guns strapped around his waist ... and he's totally naked from the waist down.

He says, "Dad, lets play ball."

I said, "Where's your pants, Luke?"

"I dunno."

So I explained to him that I can't throw the ball around, I'm too busy.

"I'm trying to read this book on how to be an effective father." And I put the book back in front of my face and went back to reading.

Luke - 4 years old - winds up and throws that softball - that hard softball - straight at my face. It hit s the top of the book and ricochets and hits me straight between the eyes.

"Bulls Eye, Daddy!" shouted Luke.
Of course, he put down the book and went to throw the ball.

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