Motivation; Overcoming Adversity; Achieving Success; Inspiration
Despite being born without a right hand, Jim Abbot found success at the highest level of the game, pitching for 10 seasons in Major League Baseball. Abbott pitched for the California Angels, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Milwaukee Brewers from 1989 to 1999. As a student-athlete at the University of Michigan, Abbott won the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s best amateur athlete in 1987, and he also earned a gold medal in the demonstration event at the 1988 Summer Olympics. Selected in the first round of the 1988 Major League Baseball Draft, Abbott reached the Majors the next year without ever throwing a pitch in the minor leagues. As a member of the Yankees in 1993, he pitched a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. He finished his career with 87 wins in 1999, and has since spent considerable time sharing his story of overcoming adversity with various groups across the country.
Topics Include: Motivation; Overcoming Adversity; Achieving Success; Inspiration
Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Team Building
Preceded by father Ray Boone and succeeded by sons Aaron and Bret Boone in Major League Baseball, Bob Boone’s career as a catcher is characterized by his defensive prowess and longevity. Over a 19- year career, Boone won a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980, was named an All-Star four times and earned seven Gold Gloves behind the plate. When he retired in 1990 Boone was the all-time leader in games caught with 2,225, a record that would be broken by Carlton Fisk three seasons later. The Stanford University product spent his first 10 seasons with the Phillies from 1972 to 1981, earning three All-Star selections and a pair of Gold Gloves. In 1982 Boone was traded to the California Angels, where he would spend the next seven seasons. While an Angel, Boone caught Mike Witt’s perfect game in 1984 and won three consecutive Gold Gloves from 1986 to 1988. He earned a fourth straight Gold Glove as a member of the Kansas City Royals in 1989 before retiring after the 1990 campaign. He went on to manage the Royals from 1995 to 1998 and the Cincinnati Reds from 2001 to
2003 before transitioning to a front office position. He currently serves as the Assistant General
Manager and Vice President of Player Development for the Washington Nationals.
Topics Include: Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Team Building
Overcoming Adversity; Inspiration; Motivation; Achieving Success; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Brock starred in the outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1964 to 1979, where he won two World Series, in 1964 and 1967, and also made six All-Star teams. After collecting 3,023 career hits, leading the National League in stolen bases eight times and retiring with all-time marks in career steals (938) and steals in a single season (118), he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1985. He is now second all-time on those stolen base leader boards to only fellow Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. Brock continued his success in the business world following his retirement as both a florist and as the inventor of the “Brockabrella.” He is also an ordained minister. A longtime advocate of Diabetes awareness and research due to a diagnosis of his own, in 2015 Brock’s left leg was amputated below the knee due to an infection stemming from Diabetes.
Topics include: Overcoming Adversity; Inspiration; Motivation; Achieving Success; Anecdotal Baseball
Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Faith
Best remembered for winning the 1993 World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays with a walk-off home run, Joe Carter hit 396 career home runs over 16 major league seasons. He spent the majority of his career with the Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians. A five-time All-Star, he also won the 1992 World Series with the Blue Jays. Since retiring after the 1998 season, Carter has spent time as a color commentator for the Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs and has been involved in various charitable endeavors.
Topics Include: Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Faith
Motivation; Developing a Winning Attitude; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
After a standout performance in the 1984 Olympics and an award-winning season with the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 1985, Clark was the San Francisco Giants second overall pick in the 1985 Amateur Draft and less than a year later he debuted as the Giants starting third baseman. From there, he established himself as the gold standard among National League first basemen – from 1987 to 1992 he made five All-Star teams, finished in the top-five of the Most Valuable Player balloting four times and led the Giants to a World Series appearance in 1989. After eight seasons in San Francisco he spent five years with the Texas Rangers, made another All-Star team and appeared in the postseason two more times. He retired after the 2000 season with 2,176 hits, 284 home runs and a .303 batting average. Clark has worked for the Giants front office in community relations and coaching capacities since 2009.
Topics Include: Motivation; Developing a Winning Attitude; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Philanthropy; Achieving Success; Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Humor
Spent 16 seasons in Major League Baseball as a pitcher, most notably with the Chicago Cubs and the
Boston Red Sox, with whom he won a World Series in 2013. Dempster made two All-Star teams over his
career, in 2000 and 2008. Dempster retired and took a position in the Cubs’ front office following the
2013 World Series. Through the Dempster Family Foundation, which was inspired by his daughter Riley
who was born with DiGeorge Syndrome, Dempster was and is still dedicated to improving the lives of
those and their families affected by DiGeorge Syndrome. Dempster and his Foundation continued to raise
awareness that led to greater education and advocacy. Dempster is currently a studio analyst on MLB
Network, where he provides insights on current events across the game, and he also serves as a part of
the Cubs front office. Dempster can also be heard from time to time doing impressions of the late
revered Cubs announcer Harry Carey.
Topics Include: Philanthropy; Achieving Success; Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Humor
Endurance and Perseverance; Overcoming Setbacks and Failures; Being a Man of
Impact; Christian Messages; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Through life experiences such as the loss of his daughter Kassidy to leukemia and missing out on a perfect game at the major league level by one out, Brian Holman encourages and inspires. Rising through the ranks of the Montreal Expos farm system in the 1980’s, Holman made his major league debut in 1988 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Midway through the 1989 season Holman and future Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson were traded to Seattle, and half a year later Holman was the Opening Day starter for Seattle. Later that same month Holman came within one out of baseball immortality, as he lost the bid for the fourteenth perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the first in Mariners franchise history by a single out in the ninth inning. Holman went on to win a combined 24 games over the next two seasons before an arm injury ended his baseball career. Since his retirement Holman has become involved in numerous charitable organizations, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Children’s Hospital, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and he also spent four years as managing partner and senior client advisor with the financial planning and investment management firm Ronald Blue & Co. In 2007, he was inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame. Holman’s son David, who overcame a brain tumor, was a pitcher in the Seattle Mariners organization through the 2014 season. Brian and his wife currently reside in Kansas.
Topics Include: Endurance and Perseverance; Overcoming Setbacks and Failures; Being a Man of
Impact; Christian Messages; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Motivation; Overcoming Adversity; Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Teamwork & Leadership
An All-Star on the field during his 12-year playing career, most notably for the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves, Gaston is best remembered as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays teams that won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. In 1992 Gaston became the first African- American manager in major league history to win a World Series title. He managed the Blue Jays from
1989 to 1997, then returned for a second stint at the helm for Toronto from 2008 to 2010 before officially retiring from the game. Over his managing career, Gaston collected 894 wins. In 2008, Gaston was presented with a Negro League Hall of Fame Legacy Award. He is also enshrined in the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and owns an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto.
Topics Include: Motivation; Overcoming Adversity; Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Teamwork & Leadership
Business Success; Technology; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
One of the most accomplished Jewish baseball players in Major League Baseball history, Green spent the majority of his 15-year career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers. A right fielder, Green hit 328 home runs in his career, and he eclipsed 40 in a season three times. In 2002 with the Dodgers, Green became the 14th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in one game. He was also a two-time All-Star and won Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards in 1999. Upon his retirement in 2007 he was second only to Hank Greenberg in career home runs and runs batted in (1,070) among Jewish baseball players. He has been involved with many charities, including the Special Olympics, Parkinsons Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In 2014 he founded Greenfly, a mobile-based platform that connects media companies with athletes and celebrities.
Topics Include: Business Success; Technology; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Finding Success Outside your Comfort Zone; Importance of a Higher Education; Motivation; Business Success; Anecdotal Sports Stories
Arguably the most dynamic two-sport athlete in American history, Jackson is the only professional athlete to be named an All-Star in two sports. Jackson excelled in both football and baseball at Auburn University before being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1986, with whom he debuted for later that same season. He was also drafted by the National Football League’s Los Angeles Raiders in 1987, where he was an elite running back for four seasons before his career was derailed by a dislocated hip. As an outfielder for the Royals in 1989 Jackson hit a career high 32 home runs, stole 26 bases and was named an American League All-Star. Throughout his MLB and NFL careers, Jackson routinely wowed fans and journalists alike with feats of athleticism never seen before. He became a nationwide sensation with his endorsement of Nike in the still famous “Bo Knows…” ad campaign. After his playing career, Jackson completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Child Development at Auburn, and has since involved himself in various business and philanthropic ventures, including the development of an
88,000 square foot elite training facility and developing Bo Bikes Bama, an annual cycling trip in Alabama that unites cyclists in support of the state and assists in its efforts to recover from tornado damage.
Topics Include: Finding Success Outside your Comfort Zone; Importance of a Higher Education; Motivation; Business Success; Anecdotal Sports Stories
Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Humor; Baseball Development; Faith
A four-time All-Star and one of the longest-tenured players in the history of Major League Baseball, Tommy John played for six different teams over 26 seasons before retiring after the 1989 season. A sinkerball pitcher, John induced 604 double plays, the most of any pitcher in recorded history. His career got a second wind in 1974 after a ground-breaking ligament replacement surgery on his left elbow extended his big league career by 14 seasons. Following the surgery, he won 164 games – one fewer victory than the legendary Sandy Koufax earned over his entire career. This revolutionary procedure has since been performed on countless baseball players and has paved the way for longevity on the diamond. In 1977 he first reached the 20-win plateau while pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers and two years later he won 21 games for the New York Yankees. In 1980, he led the rotation of the playoff-bound Yankees’ with a career-high 22 victories, including a major league-leading six shutouts. His 288 career wins are seventh among all southpaws in the Modern Era, and he also appeared in three World Series – two with the Dodgers and one with the Yankees.
Topics Include: Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Humor; Baseball Development; Faith
Motivation; Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Developing a Winning Attitude
Twice a World Series champion, and the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1990, David Justice was a premier power threat at the plate over his 14-year Major League Baseball career. A three-time All-Star, he made 11 postseason appearances and reached the World Series six times. In the 1995 Fall Classic his home run was the difference in Atlanta’s 1-0, Series-clinching, game six win over the Indians. Five years later Justice won his second championship, this time with the Yankees, and earned MVP honors in the American League Championship Series along the way. Always with a flair for the dramatic, Justice finished his career with the miraculous 2002 Oakland Athletics, whose improbable run to the postseason is prominently featured in Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball.
Topics Include: Motivation; Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Developing a Winning Attitude
Overcoming Adversity; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
John Kruk is best remembered for his time as the first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1989 to 1994, when he was a three-time All-Star. Chief among Kruk’s accomplishments with the Phillies included leading them to a World Series appearance in 1993 vs. the Toronto Blue Jays. Kruk was diagnosed with testicular cancer before the 1994 season and retired one season later. Since 2004, he has been a baseball broadcaster and analyst for ESPN, and is currently the lead analyst on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball team.
Topics Include: Overcoming Adversity; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Philanthropy; Importance of a Higher Education; Motivation; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012, Larkin spent his entire 19-year career as the shortstop of the Cincinnati Reds and is considered one of the best players of his generation . Larkin enrolled at University of Michigan on a football scholarship, but decided to pursue baseball exclusively after his freshman year. Following his retirement from the Reds, Larkin returned to campus to complete the Bachelor’s in Communications he began as a student-athlete – both of his parents and his siblings completed a higher education as well. Larkin started Champions Sports Foundation in the early 2000’s, which was a premier safe haven for the youth of America and their development. He later developed the Champions Sports Complex to harness the power of sport and used it to successfully develop the youth in America by targeting their social, emotional and educational needs. Since his retirement Larkin has also been in the public eye as a broadcaster or analyst on television networks, namely ESPN and MLB Network, and has also worked in the Washington Nationals front office. His son, Shane Larkin, currently plays in the National Basketball Association for the Brooklyn Nets.
Topics Include: Philanthropy; Importance of a Higher Education; Motivation; Anecdotal Baseball
Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Sports Broadcasting and Analysis
Tim McCarver followed up a 21-year career on the diamond with one in the broadcast booth that is still going strong 35 years later. Best remembered as the catcher for St. Louis Cardinals teams that won World Series in 1964 and 1967, McCarver was a favorite receiver for the fiery Bob Gibson and also tutored a young Steve Carlton behind the dish. In the Cardinals 1964 World Series against the New York Yankees, McCarver hit the game-winning home run in a pivotal game 5 that gave St. Louis a 3-2 series lead. In 1967, McCarver turned in an MVP-caliber season and the Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox in one of baseball’s most storied World Series matchups. McCarver wound down his playing career with stints in Philadelphia, Montreal and Boston before retiring following the 1979 season. He began his career behind the microphone with WPHL-TV in Philadelphia, and by the 1990s he had earned the distinction of being the only MLB analyst to have worked for all four major broadcast networks. He wound up working 28 consecutive postseasons dating back to 1984, providing analysis for a record 23
World Series and 20 All-Star Games. From 2000 to 2002, he earned three consecutive Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Sports Event Analyst” and in 2012 he was honored with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Ford C. Frick Award. He stepped down from behind FOX’s microphone on a fulltime basis following the 2013 World Series, but still works as an analyst on select Cardinals broadcasts for FOX Sports Midwest.
Topics Include: Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Sports Broadcasting and Analysis
Faith; Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Philanthropy;
Dale Murphy and legendary New York Yankee Mickey Mantle share the distinction of being the only
two centerfielders in baseball history to win back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards. By the time
Murphy was 27 years old, he had already won the National League’s MVP award twice, in 1982 and
1983, making him the youngest player to ever win it in consecutive seasons. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation, Murphy made seven All-Star teams, took home five Gold Glove Awards and won four Silver Sluggers from 1980 to 1987. At the time of his retirement in 1993, he ranked third on the Braves all-time leader board in hits, home runs, runs batted in, runs scored and walks, trailing only Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron. As a mark of his character, Murphy also won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1985, which honors the baseball player who best fits the image and character of The Iron Horse on and off the field. He also won the Roberto Clemente Award a year later, awarded to the player with high character and who makes charitable contributions to the community. Murphy, a father of eight, is also active on Twitter and broadcasts part-time for the Atlanta Braves.
Topics Include: Faith; Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Philanthropy;
Inspiration; Motivation; Faith; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Primarily a second baseman throughout his 12-year career, Reynolds has gone from turning double plays on the field to analyzing them on television. Reynolds spent 10 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, starting in 1983. In 1987 he led the American League with 60 stolen bases and added 31 doubles, which earned him an All-Star selection. Reynolds made another All-Star team the following season, and also won the first of three consecutive Gold Glove awards. An elite fielder into the early 90’s, Reynolds appeared near or atop the leader board in assists, putouts, double plays turned and fewest errors among all second baseman. After retiring in 1995, Reynolds became a lead studio analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight for ten years before joining MLB.com in 2007. Since MLB Network launched in 2009, Reynolds has been a prominent figure, appearing on various programming as an analyst and broadcaster. In 2012 Reynolds joined Fox Sports to work on its MLB on Fox pregame show and, following Tim McCarver’s retirement after the 2013 season, he joined Joe Buck and Tom Verducci to form the Network’s newest top broadcast team.
Topics Include: Inspiration; Motivation; Faith; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Overcoming Adversity; Philanthropy; Inspiration; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
One of the best postseason pitchers in Major League Baseball history, Curt Schilling won three World
Series over his 20-year career, most notably in 2004 with the Boston Red Sox, breaking the “Curse of the Bambino” and ending an 86-year championship drought the franchise had endured. In 2001
Schilling won the first World Series of his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he and fellow starting pitcher Randy Johnson were named co-Most Valuable Players in the Series win. In 2007, his final season in the majors, Schilling won a third World Series, again with the Red Sox. He retired with
216 regular season wins, 3,116 strikeouts and six All-Star appearances. Over his postseason career Schilling was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA, the best of mark of any pitcher with at least 10 decisions. After stumping for John McCain in his 2008 Presidential run and Scott Brown for Massachusetts’ vacant Senate seat in 2009, Schilling joined ESPN as a baseball color analyst. Throughout his career and into his retirement, Schilling has raised money and awareness for the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association through his own organization, Curt’s Pitch for ALS, and other avenues. In February, 2014, Schilling revealed that he had been diagnosed with mouth cancer. Six months later he announced that the cancer was in remission, and by the middle of September, he returned to the airwaves as the lead analyst on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Schilling remains active and engaging on Twitter and on his personal blog when he is not broadcasting. He currently resides in Massachusetts with his wife, Shonda, and their four children.
Topics Include: Overcoming Adversity; Philanthropy; Inspiration; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Inspiration; Motivation; Philanthropy; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2015, Smoltz had a standout 22- year career that culminated in 213 wins and 154 saves. He is the only pitcher in MLB history to eclipse both 200 wins and 150 saves. He pitched 20 seasons for the Atlanta Braves, with whom he won the World Series in 1995 and the Cy Young Award in 1996. He was named an All-Star eight times and also won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2005. Since his retirement in 2009, Smoltz has excelled as a color analyst for TBS, Fox Sports South and MLB Network. He is also an accomplished golfer and is involved in various philanthropic endeavors.
Topics Include: Inspiration; Motivation; Philanthropy; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Faith; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
The other half of an intimidating and successful pitching duo featuring Nolan Ryan in the 1970’s, Tanana won 240 games over 21 big league seasons. A first round draft pick by the California Angels in 1971, he became a rotation stalwart alongside Ryan, compiling 100 wins and earning three trips to the All- Star Game between 1974 and 1980. The hard thrower led the American League in strikeouts in 1975 and turned in the finest season of his career in 1977 when he led Major League Baseball with a 2.54
ERA and the A.L. with seven shutouts. Following a one-year stint with the Boston Red Sox and four seasons with the Texas Rangers, he pitched eight seasons for the Detroit Tigers and won 10 or more games for them seven times. The Detroit native made playoff appearances in 1979 with the Angels and 1987 with the Tigers. In 2006 he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. He has been a leader in the Christian community within professional baseball for many years, and he and his wife, Cathy, serve on the Pro Athletes Outreach Board of Directors and are involved in the Home Plate and Career Impact ministries.
Topics Include: Faith; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Motivation; Philanthropy; Team Building; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Over his 12-year career Mookie Wilson made four postseason appearances, but his first will always be the most memorable. With the New York Mets facing the Boston Red Sox and elimination in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Wilson avoided getting hit by a wild pitch during his 10th inning at-bat that plated the game-tying run. Later in that at-bat Wilson grounded a ball that trickled under first baseman Bill Buckner’s glove and allowed the winning run to score. In a victorious Game 7 two nights later, Wilson scored a run and reached base four times, cementing his World Series legacy. Wilson also played three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays before he retired following the 1991 season. A career .276 hitter with the Mets, Wilson’s 281 stolen bases and 62 triples were franchise records until 2008, when Jose Reyes broke the records. The Mets inducted Wilson into their Hall of Fame in 1996, the same year he earned a bachelor’s degree from Mercy College in New York. Wilson has worked for the Mets organization in a number of capacities since his retirement, most notably as their first base coach from
1996 to 2002 and again in 2011. Since 2012 he has served in a community relations capacity for the Mets. Recognized as a man of humility, honor and Faith among his peers, Wilson and his wife opened an educational center for girls in the 80’s. He has also released a Gospel album and written a book, Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets, which was released in 2014.
Topics Include: Motivation; Philanthropy; Team Building; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Motivation; Team Building; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Best known for his heroics in the 2001 World Series, Tony Womack spent 13 seasons in Major League Baseball, terrorizing base paths along the way. Six years after he was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh round of the 1991 first year player draft, Womack burst onto the major league scene as a rookie in 1997. As the Pirates leadoff hitter he had 178 hits, including 26 doubles and led all National Leaguers with 60 stolen bases en route to earning an All-Star selection. After another successful campaign in Pittsburgh in 1998, Womack was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to the 1999 season. He wound up leading the N.L. in stolen bases for a third consecutive year that season, swiping
72 bags. Womack would cement his Diamondbacks legacy in the 2001 postseason. With Arizona trailing the New York Yankees 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game Seven of the World Series, Womack smacked a double off closer Mariano Rivera to tie the game. Two batters later, teammate Luis Gonzalez singled in the winning run and the Diamondbacks won the Fall Classic in dramatic fashion. Womack would spend two more seasons in Arizona before being moved to the Colorado Rockies, then eventually retired in in 2006. He finished his career with 1,353 hits and 363 stolen bases. Womack currently lives in the Charlotte, NC area with his wife and remains active in the community.
Topics Include: Motivation; Team Building; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Overcoming Adversity; LGBT Inclusion and Awareness
Billy Bean played Major League Baseball from 1987 to 1995, breaking into the league with the Detroit
Tigers after he was drafted in the fourth round of the 1986 amateur draft. Bean debuted with a bang, collecting four hits in his first game, which tied a major league record. He would spend three seasons in the Motor City before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He signed with the San Diego Padres in 1993, where he spent three more seasons before retiring at age 31. In 2000 Bean grabbed national headlines when he publicly revealed that he is gay. In 2003, he wrote Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major League Baseball, which chronicled his struggles as a closeted man playing at the major league level. Bean has been a prominent role model in the LGBT community for the past 15 years . He is a founding member of the LGBT Sports Coalition, and Vice Chairman of The StandUp Foundation, the largest anti-bullying foundation in the U.S. On July 15, 2014 he was appointed MLB’s first Ambassador for Inclusion. Billy is a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.
Topics Include: Overcoming Adversity; LGBT Inclusion and Awareness
Overcoming Adversity; Inspiration; Motivation; Achieving Success; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Bouton was a right-handed pitcher who spent the majority of his 10-year career with the New
York Yankees, where he won the World Series in 1962 and was named an All-Star in 1963. He gained
notoriety for authoring the controversial and impactful book Ball Four, an insider’s look at Bouton’s baseball career and his 1969 season with the Seattle Pilots. After his playing career Bouton continued to write about baseball and also worked to develop Big League Chew, the shredded bubble gum brand.
Topics Include: Anecdotal and Humorous Baseball Stories; Business Success
Domestic Politics and Economics; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Bunning parlayed his Hall of Fame career on the field into a career as a politician. The Kentucky native won 224 games over a 17-year career, most notably with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies, and by the time he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996 he had already served nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Bunning was named an All-Star nine times over his career, led the league in strikeouts three times and threw a pair of no-hitters, the latter a perfect game on Father’s Day in 1964 against the New York Mets. After he retired in 1971, Bunning returned to Kentucky to begin his political career. As a conservative republican, he ascended to represent the Blue Grass State’s 4th Congressional District, a position he held from 1987 to 1999. In 1998 he was elected to the U.S. Senate and served two terms as Republican junior U.S. Senator before deciding not to run for re-election in 2010.
Topics Include: Domestic Politics and Economics; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Topics Include: Motivation; Inspiration; Communication; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Nicknamed “The Mayor” due to his gregarious nature, Casey spent 12 seasons in Major League Baseball, eight of them with the Cincinnati Reds. He was a four-time National League All-Star. In 1998 he helped lead the Detroit Tigers to their first World Series appearance since 1984, and he also went to the postseason in 2008 with the Boston Red Sox. Casey owns a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from the University of Richmond and is currently a broadcaster and commentator on MLB Network.
Topics Include: Motivation; Inspiration; Communication; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Overcoming Adversity; Motivation; Inspiration; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
One of the most exciting players of his generation, Davis elicited comparisons to Willie Mays as the centerfielder for the Cincinnati Reds. From 1986 to 1990 he averaged 30 home runs and 40 stolen bases, won a pair of Gold Glove awards and led the Reds to a World Series victory in 1990. Injuries limited his production for a handful of years before he returned to form in 1996 and won National League Comeback Player of the Year honors, but in 1997 as a member of the Orioles he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He returned to the field later that same season and hit a game-winning home run for the Orioles in their American League Championship Series matchup with the Cleveland Indians. He subsequently led Bristol-Myers Squibb’s national Score Against Colon Cancer public awareness and screening campaign in 1998. He is currently a special assistant to the General Manager for the Reds.
Topics Include: Overcoming Adversity; Motivation; Inspiration; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Motivation; Inspiration; Faith; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Eckstein personified getting the most out of one’s ability on the field. A two-
time All-Star and World Series champion – with the Anaheim Angels in 2002 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 – he was a walk- on player at the University of Florida before later earning an athletic scholarship. Eckstein began his career with the Angels in 2001, where he was the starting shortstop until 2004, when he became a free agent and signed with the Cardinals. He garnered back-to-back All-Star selections as a Cardinal, and won World Series Most Valuable Player honors in 2006, after they defeated the Detroit Tigers in the Fall Classic, 4-1. Since retiring, Eckstein has focused his energy on Her Universe, a company he and his wife Ashley founded that produces fashion and accessories for female Sci-Fi fans.
Topics Include: Motivation; Inspiration; Faith; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Inspiration; Motivation; Overcoming Adversity; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Garvey spent 14 of his 19 seasons in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform and played in 1,207 consecutive
games, a National League record that still stands today. From 1974 to 1981 Garvey made eight consecutive All-Star Games, won four Gold Glove Awards at first base and earned NL Most Valuable Player honors in 1974. He carried the Dodgers to a World Series victory in 1981, and is the team’s all- time hits leader in the postseason with 63. Garvey signed with the San Diego Padres in 1982 and led them to their first-ever World Series appearance in 1984. He retired in 1987 with 2,599 hits, 272 home runs and 10 All-Star appearances. He has been involved in the Dodgers community relations department since his retirement, and after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, he has dedicated time and resources to prostate awareness as well.
Topics Include: Inspiration; Motivation; Overcoming Adversity; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Importance of Higher Education; Business Development; Media and Broadcast
Journalism; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
An exceptional fielder and postseason contributor on the field, and a skilled writer and entrepreneur
off it, Doug Glanville is one of the most well-rounded men to ever play the game. A nine-year major league veteran who spent the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Glanville was valued for his defense and timely hitting. Primarily a center fielder, Glanville enjoyed his best offensive season in 1999 when he batted .325 for the Phillies and set career marks with 204 hits, 38 doubles and 34 stolen bases. In 2003 Glanville appeared in the postseason with the Chicago Cubs and in game 3 of the National League Champion Series he came through with the game-winning triple in the 11th inning. Glanville retired as a Phillie at the beginning of the 2015 season, finishing his career with 293 consecutive games played without committing a fielding error. Glanville earned a Bachelors Systems Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, and since his retirement he has stayed busy in both the business and media realms. Over the years he has served as managing partner for Chicago- based Metropolitan Development, a real estate development firm; and is currently President of GK Alliance, LLC, an Illinois-based company that provides intellectual capital for start-ups. At GK Alliance Glanville is responsible for seeking and promoting new business initiatives. On the media side, Glanville has been a full-time force for ESPN as well. He contributes to Baseball Tonight, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, and has also been a guest columnist and contributor to The New York Times and the Atlantic, and in 2014 he released The Game From Where I Stand, a book that reveals the human side of baseball and the men who play it. Glanville currently resides in Connecticut with his family.
Topics Include: Importance of Higher Education; Business Development; Media and Broadcast
Journalism; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
KEN GRIFFEY SR.
Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Overcoming Adversity; Leadership & Teamwork
Griffey, Sr. was an outfielder for the vaunted “Big Red Machine” teams the Cincinnati Reds fielded in the 1970’s that won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. Griffey also spent five of his 19 MLB seasons in New York with the Yankees. He made three All-Star teams over the course of his career, and in the early 1990’s he and his son, Ken Griffey, Jr., both members of the Seattle Mariners at the time, became the first father-son combo to play together at the major league level. Griffey, Sr. retired after the 1991 season with more than 2,000 hits and 350 doubles. In 2006 he overcame prostate cancer and subsequently became a spokesperson for Kimberley-Clark’s prostate cancer awareness campaign. He currently works for the Cincinnati Reds in an advisory role.
Topics Include: Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Overcoming Adversity; Leadership & Teamwork
Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Philanthropy; Motivation; Overcoming Adversity
An all-around great athlete who paved the road for Canadian-born athletes to follow, Ferguson Jenkins is one of the best pitchers from a generation defined by great pitching. Jenkins posted six consecutive
20-win seasons with the Chicago Cubs from 1967 to 1972, and in 1971 he earned the National League’s
Cy Young Award when he completed 30 games won 24. Jenkins was traded to the Texas Rangers in
1974 and won an American League-leading 25 games for them that season and finished second in the
Cy Young voting. He finished his career where it started in Chicago after the 1983 season with 284 wins,
267 complete games and 3,192 strikeouts. In 1991, Jenkins became the first Canadian-born player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. As a speaker, Jenkins draws from his experiences in baseball and the hardships he dealt with and overcame following the unexpected passing of his wife days after his induction into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Topics Include: Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Philanthropy; Motivation; Overcoming Adversity
Philanthropy; Motivation; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Mentioned in the same breath as Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson among standout two-sport athletes, Baltimore native Brian Jordan has won playoff games in both the National Football League and Major League Baseball. A first round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1988 amateur draft, Jordan also patrolled the Atlanta Falcons’ secondary from 1989 to 1991 while he ascended through the Cardinals’ ranks. In 1991 as a safety he helped lead the Falcons over the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round, then intercepted two-time Pro Bowler Mark Rypien in the divisional round, only five months before he went 2-for-5 with 4 RBI in his major league debut with the Cardinals. Jordan spent seven seasons with the Cardinals before signing with the Atlanta Braves in the 1998 offseason. In 1999
Jordan made the National League All-Star Team, hit 23 home runs and drove in a career-high 115 runs. He carried that momentum into the N.L Division Series – where he batted .471 with seven RBI, including the game-winning RBI double in the 12th inning of game three – and Championship Series – where he smacked a pair of home runs – to lead the Braves to a World Series berth. Jordan currently resides in the Atlanta area, where he serves as an analyst on FOX Sports South’s Braves LIVE and continues to provide assistance for community youths through the Brian Jordan Foundation.
Topics Include: Philanthropy; Motivation; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Anecdotal and Humorous Baseball Stories; Sports Broadcasting and Analysis
Predominantly a starting pitcher throughout his 25-year career, Jim Kaat’s time in the Majors spanned four decades and seven presidential administrations. In 1966 with the Minnesota Twins, Kaat won a league-leading 25 games, earned The Sporting News’ American League Pitcher of the Year honors and finished second in the Cy Young Award race to Sandy Koufax. He also eclipsed the twenty-win plateau in 1974 and 1975 as a member of the Chicago White Sox and finished his career with 283 wins, the eighth-highest total among left-handed pitchers all-time. Kaat also earned a record 16 consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1962-1977. Also a three-time All-Star, he played in the 1965 World Series with the Twins, then earned a championship ring pitching out of the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen eighteen years later in 1982. Following his playing career, Kaat spent two seasons as the Cincinnati Reds pitching coach under manager Pete Rose before transitioning into a broadcasting career that included stops at Good Morning America, NBC, CBS, ESPN, the YES Network and most recently MLB Network, where he provides stellar color commentary alongside Bob Costas. Kaat has enjoyed success in the broadcast booth, taking home seven Emmy Awards between 1997 and 2005 for excellence in sports broadcasting.
Topics Include: Anecdotal and Humorous Baseball Stories; Sports Broadcasting and Analysis
Leading and Managing Change; Leadership and Team Management; Peak
Performance; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Tony La Russa is a former Major League Baseball player and manager who is currently the Chief Baseball Officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks, overseeing their entire baseball operations department. La Russa was inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee unanimously in 2013. Prior to his baseball career, the Florida native graduated from the University of South Florida in 1969 then went on to play Major League Baseball sparingly until 1977, after which he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Florida State University College of Law in 1978 and was subsequently admitted to the Florida Bar in 1980. Instead of pursuing a career in law, La Russa followed baseball, his passion, and went on to win three World Series as manager – one with the Oakland Athletics in 1989 and two with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. He retired from managing following the 2011 season after winning 2,728 games and four Manager of the Year awards over his career. In 1993 La Russa and his wife, both life- long animal advocates, founded Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, which works to save abandoned and injured animals and also provides them as companion pets for children, seniors, veterans, and people in disadvantaged circumstances. Currently, “ARF” is renowned as a local leader in California’s Bay Area and national model in the animal welfare community.
Topics Include: Leading and Managing Change; Leadership and Team Management; Peak
Performance; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Philanthropy; Inspiration; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Leiter was one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1990’s who elevated his game when the lights shined brightest. He won three World Series rings over his 19-year career – with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993, and with the Florida Marlins in 1997. For ten consecutive seasons from 1995 and
2004, Leiter won ten or more games and never lost more than he won. In the 1997 World Series, Leiter started and won Game 7 over the Cleveland Indians, helping Florida win its first Fall Classic in franchise history. Leiter was traded to the New York Mets after this, where he spent the next seven years of his career. He won a career-high 18 games in 1998 and then led the Mets to a World Series appearance in
2000 against their cross-town rival New York Yankees. He finished his career in 2005 with 162 wins and over 2,000 strikeouts. Leiter was honored by MLB with the Branch Rickey Award in 1999 and the Roberto Clemente Award in 2000, both honors bestowed upon a player for their philanthropic efforts in the community. Since his retirement, Leiter has worked as a studio analyst at MLB Network and as a color commentator for the YES Network. He is also a board member at Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
Topics Include: Philanthropy; Inspiration; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Motivation; Inspiration; Integrity; Overcoming Adversity
Jim Morris’s improbable journey of becoming a major league pitcher at the age of 35 is best known via the 2002 Disney blockbuster The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid. Morris’s journey to the majors seemed to be impossible after he was drafted in the 1983 amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers but could not advance past the single-A level due to reoccurring arm injuries. Morris retired from professional baseball and became a high school science teacher and baseball coach in Reagan County, Texas. Following through on a bet with his inexperienced team that surprised everyone by winning their district title, Morris attended an open tryout for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and surprised scouts with his 98 mph fastball. Morris signed with the Devil Rays, ascended through the minor league ranks and made his major league debut against the Texas Rangers just three months later at the age of 35. Morris went on to make 16 major league appearances with the Rays, signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers the following season and then retired soon thereafter in 2001. Following retirement, Morris went onto release an autobiography, The Oldest Rookie, which served as the inspiration for the feature film. Morris currently travels the world as a sought after keynote speaker and has recently developed the Jim the Rookie Morris Foundation, which aims to give back to impoverished communities by hosting mini-sports camps, meals, and sports equipment to at risk youth.
Topics Include: Motivation; Inspiration; Integrity; Overcoming Adversity
Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Humorous Stories; Achieving Success
A three-time Cy Young Award winner and three-time World Series champion, Palmer won 268 games
over his 20-year career, all with the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander led the American League in wins for three straight seasons from 1975 to 1977, and was selected to six All-Star Teams. In 1966 as a 20- year-old, Palmer became the youngest pitcher to ever throw a shutout in a World Series game, and he is also the only pitcher to win Fall Classic games in three different decades. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990 on the first ballot. Since his retirement, Palmer has worked on broadcasts for ABC and ESPN, and is entering his 20th season as an analyst for MASN, the Orioles broadcast partner. Palmer has also appeared in various advertisements over the years, including for Jockey brand men’s briefs, The Money Store and Nationwide Motors Corp. He has been regarded as the “perfect gentleman” by journalists and broadcasters.
Topics Include: Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Humorous Stories; Achieving Success
CAL RIPKEN JR.
Keys to Perseverance; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Known as the “Iron Man” for shattering Lou Gehrig’s 56-year-old record of 2,130 consecutive games played in 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. is recognized as one of the most prolific shortstops in major league history. Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of Aberdeen High School in 1978, Ripken spent his 21- year career on the left side of the Orioles infield, first as a Gold Glove caliber shortstop and then as a third baseman. As a 21 year old, Ripken exploded onto the scene in 1982 when he won the American League Rookie of the Year award after hitting 28 home runs and driving in 93 runs. One year later he piloted the Orioles to their first World Series victory since 1970, took home AL Most Valuable Player honors and also made the first of what became a record 19 consecutive All-Star Teams as a shortstop. Ripken would appear twice more in the postseason in 1996 and 1997. The Iron Man’s iconic streak, which began on May 30, 1982 following a game of rest for the night cap of a doubleheader, would not end until September 20, 1998, when he sat himself down after a stretch of 2,632 consecutive games played. In 2001, his final season, Ripken was voted the starting third baseman for the AL All-Star Team. He homered in his first at-bat and went on to be named the game’s MVP. Ripken finished his illustrious career with a .276 batting average, 3,184 hits and 431 home runs. Ripken has been involved with various charitable and philanthropic endeavors, namely the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. He is also an accomplished businessman, owning several Minor League Baseball teams, and has authored over two dozen books, including an autobiography and books on coaching, parenting and motivation. He currently resides in Maryland with his wife.
Topics Include: Keys to Perseverance; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Philanthropy; Motivation; Inspiration; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Widely considered the greatest third baseman of all time, Mike Schmidt was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 with 96.52 percent of the vote, at the time the fourth highest percentage ever. Schmidt spent his entire 19-year career in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform, in which he won three Most Valuable Player awards, hit 548 home runs and won a World Series in 1980. Since his retirement in 1989, Schmidt has been heavily involved in numerous philanthropic efforts, including an annual fishing tournament he has hosted in The Bahamas since 2001 that raises money for cystic fibrosis research. He also released a branded wine, Mike Schmidt 548 Zinfindel, whose proceeds went to cystic fibrosis research. Schmidt has also supported the Janus School, the only independent non-profit day school in Central Pennsylvania dedicated to serving the needs of students with ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, dyslexia and non-verbal learning difficulties. The Cincinnati native earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ohio University, where he is still recognized as the school’s most recognizable alumnus. Since 2014, Schmidt has provided color commentary on select Phillies telecasts.
Topics Include: Philanthropy; Motivation; Inspiration; Anecdotal Baseball Stories
Overcoming Adversity; Faith; Motivation
One of the most dynamic outfielders of his generation, Strawberry played for the New York Mets (1983
– 1990), New York Yankees (1995 – 1999) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1991 – 1993) over his 17-year career. An eight-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion (1986, 1996, 1998, 1999), Strawberry and Bobby Bonds are the only two players in Major League Baseball history to amass both
150 home runs and 150 stolen bases over their first six seasons. Strawberry struggled with substance
abuse and depression during and after his career, and he has also overcome cancer. Since turning his life around Strawberry has become an ordained Christian minister and he spends a majority of his time spreading his motivational and inspirational message.
Topics include: Overcoming Adversity; Faith; Motivation
Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Developing a Winning Attitude; Team Building;
An All-Star, Gold Glove award winner and World Series champion, Matt Williams made his mark on Major League Baseball both at the plate and in the field. Drafted by the San Francisco Giants out of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in 1986, Williams made his major league debut a year later and by
1990 he was an All-Star-caliber third baseman, hitting 33 home runs and leading the National League
with 122 runs batted in. He would go on to eclipse the 30 home run plateau five more times in his career. After an exceptional 10-year stint with the Giants that featured four All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves, an NL home run crown and a World Series appearance, Williams was traded to the Cleveland Indians, where he brought them to the brink of a World Series win against the Florida Marlins in 1997. In 1999, with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Williams made his fourth All-Star team and finished third in the NL’s Most Valuable Player voting after hitting 35 home runs and driving in 142 runs. In 2001, Williams won a World Series with the Diamondbacks when they defeated the New York Yankees in seven games. Williams retired as a player following the 2003 season with 378 career home runs, which at the time were the fifth-most of any third baseman in the modern era. Williams returned to the Diamondbacks organization in 2010 as a coach under manager Kirk Gibson. Following the 2013 season, Williams was named the fifth manager in Washington Nationals history, following Davey Johnson’s retirement from the position, and led the team to its second-ever National League East Division title. Williams returned to the Diamondbacks as a coach for the 2016 season.
Topics Include: Anecdotal Baseball Stories; Developing a Winning Attitude; Team Building;
It’s a Game, a Science and your Business: Your Winning Game Plan; Live a Hall of
Fame Life: Your own Pathway to Promise; The 5 Levels: From Aspiration to Achievement
Hailed as one of the greatest athletes ever to play professional sports, Dave Winfield never spent a day in the minor leagues. A Williams Scholar at the University of Minnesota where he played Big Ten basketball and was an All-American in baseball, Winfield was voted Most Valuable Player of the 1973
College World Series as a pitcher and was then drafted number one overall by the San Diego Padres. Winfield spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Padres before signing with the New York Yankees during the 1980 offseason. In his prime years, Winfield made 12 consecutive All-Star teams, through his age 36 season in 1988. He was not only a force at the plate, as noted by his five Silver Slugger awards, but Winfield also excelled in the outfield, earning seven Gold Glove awards too. Later in his career, Winfield drove in the winning run of the 1992 World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays and then returned to his native Minnesota two seasons later and reached the 3,000-hit milestone as a member of the Twins. He retired at age 43 after 22 major league seasons under his belt with 3,110 hits and 465 home runs. In 2001, his first year of eligibility, Winfield was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with 84.5 percent of the votes. Long-known for his philanthropic endeavors, Winfield became the first professional athlete to create a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation while still an active player – something that has been copied by fellow professional athletes since. The Winfield Foundation provided healthcare services, nutritional counseling, scholarships, computer literacy, and holiday dinners to children and families in need across the country. In recognition of his longstanding work throughout the community, both during and after his playing career, Winfield has received honorary Doctorate of Laws from both Syracuse University and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. In recent years Winfield has focused his efforts on assisting organizations reach their business and charitable goals through keynote presentations and lectures. Winfield is also an accomplished author – he has published numerous books, been a syndicated columnist, and is also a frequent contributor in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He currently serves as Special Assistant to Tony Clark, the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Topics Include: It’s a Game, a Science and your Business: Your Winning Game Plan; Live a Hall of
Fame Life: Your own Pathway to Promise; The 5 Levels: From Aspiration to Achievement