The 4th Annual TSI Lead-Off Banquet was held on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa in Short Pump. This year’s keynote speaker was 7-time Cy Young Recipient, 11-time All-Star, and 2-time World Series Champion Roger Clemens.
2019 TSI Lead-Off Banquet Keynote Speaker
Mr. Clemens was engaging and spoke of his “teammates” impact on his ability to succeed. He began his speech advising the young athletes that “HUSTLE TAKES NO TALENT!”. He recognized that he was able to win over 300 career games not because of his arm, but because he played the game with heart.
He stressed the need to be a winner in all aspects of the game, recognizing those that helped him reach his goals, and how he supported those that were willing to “lay it out” to help him win a game. Speaking about his return from retirement at 45, he knew that he also had a role as a leader in the locker room to encourage his teammates to do their best.
During the autograph session, he even took the time to share his pitching grips with our athletes.
2019 TSI Lead-Off Banquet Slideshow
2019 TSI Lead-Off Banquet Guest Speaker
Keith Parr, head softball coach for Christopher Newport University also spoke and he stressed that athletes “be true to yourself” and “working hard is your responsibility”. Although he had a chance to try out for the Major Leagues after a successful collegiate pitching career, he stated that he was glad that he didn’t make it as he loves his role as a coach!
He is a long time Roger Clemens fan and told a story of how he had the privilege of seeing Mrs. Clemens watch her son pitch, while he attended a game as a young boy. He joked that he thought she was taking notes to share with Roger after the game!
The Short Pump Hilton provided the backdrop for 530 guests who came to share in the celebration of all that was achieved in the past year. From community service to leadership to recognizing Eric Hill, John Larson, and Savannah Couch as 2019 Coaches of the Year, we had a lot to celebrate.
The night began when Chris McKnight, Vice President of Baseball & Softball, referenced recent organizational achievements including the investment in Diamond Kinetics, a new partnership with New Balance, and a renewed partnership between TSI and Tuckahoe Little League.
Lesa Williams, Executive Director, then shared that over the past year, projects such as improved LED lighting, new turf in TPA area, and safety batting cage equipment were the result of $100,000 of investment by TSI back into the facility.
The new Tuckahoe Sports website was also announced at the 2019 Lead-Off Banquet to provide the backdrop for TSI as an organization. New training center scanning procedures were also announced to confirm activity in the venue (in January, we had approximately 3,500 visitors – a measurement that will allow us to attract new partners looking to reach our audience).
The Silent Auction offered great items with the overall leaders including Fortnight Royale, a Derek Jeter scouting report, and Diamond Kinetics equipment. The night ended with each youth receiving an autograph from Mr. Clemens.
What a great event that continues to set the bar year over year!