JOHN “STRAY” CORRADO HALL OF FAME SPEECH

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILSSteve Cutlers’ Introduction Speech for John “Stray” Corrado:

John “Stray” Corrado, the Mid-West Baseball League’s Commissioner/Web Master and owner of the Chicago Mobsters from inception in 1997 to present. Stray has been a pioneer for the Mid-West Baseball League. He continually works to improve the league from scheduled Winter Meetings to Historical Stats to the Hall Of Fame. It’s a never ending job and the enhancements are endless. His ability to motivate other owners into pitching in is incomparable. Using Draft Day as an example, John receives help from a minimum of 4 owners to pull off the Website, Disk, Trade and Draft Room Updating so he can post/produce the results within 48 hours. Most Commissioners hope to find one owner to pitch in. Speaking of Draft Day, how many other leagues can boast 8 owners participating in a draft at the Commissioner’s home. Aside from acting as the Commissioner/Web Master, he’s led the Mobster’s to a 789-507 (.609%) Franchise record, tops in the American League. Along with that he’s led his Mobsters to 3 Division Tiles plus 2 Wild Card births and along the way received Manager of the Year honors twice. His dedication and leadership has cemented his road to the Hall of Fame. He has been instrumental in the Mid-West Baseball League’s continued growth towards the best APBA league. Please welcome the Hall of Fame’s newest member John “Stray” Corrado.

John “Stray” Corrados’ Speech:

I’d like to start out with a thank you to the Mid-West Baseball League Veteran Committee, without their votes I wouldn’t be here today accept this great honor of being enshrined in the Mid-West Baseball League Hall of Fame.
The Mid-West Baseball League is such a huge part of my life. Today more than ever as the league continues to grow, develop, and be labeled as one of the top APBA / BBW Leagues in existence today. I spend more time working and playing around on the league than I do in any other project I may have going. I pride myself in it. I work hard at it, not only as Commissioner, but as an individual team owner as well. I really don’t know what I would do with my time, without this league.
You know, when I was a young boy I used to play baseball anywhere I could, in the street with my friends around the neighborhood, in the garage with a deck of cards, anywhere I could make do something baseball related. One person stood out in the early part of my baseball life, a great friend Brian Mazurek. Brian was whom I started playing baseball games of all sorts with, when both of us were only 7 or 8 years old. We made up games from every aspect of baseball that kids could think of. I enjoyed every minute of the time we spent doing it together. Maybe one day I can get Brian into the league, so we can share more baseball memories together again. So many thanks go out to Brian for our time learning about baseball, not only in my childhood, but also as my best friend today.
I’d also like to thank a few fellow APBA – Baseball friends, who helped me along the way. Darwin Campbell, who pushed me into starting the Mid-West Baseball League, Darwin’s pushing me started something that will be part of my life forever. Bill Schindel for organizing the rules, and for his involvement in the APBA / BBW community, without Bill I would have stalled in getting the Mid-West Baseball League underway, and kept up. Also I’d like to thank Hal Peabody of the Iowa Baseball Confederacy for giving me the chance to take a team in the IBC, and for showing me how much work and dedication it takes to be a good commissioner. His work ethic rubbed off on me, I hope I lived up to your expectations Mr. Peabody.
I’d also like to thank the twenty-three owners who started the Mid-West Baseball League, and got the league off the ground in 1997. I won’t name names, but that first group really started and set the tone for the future. They deserve recognition and credit for starting something as wonderful as the Mid-West Baseball League.
I’d also like to thank the eight other owners who have been part of the Mid-West Baseball League since day one. Richard “Wally” Walczak, “Sweet” Lou Solomon, Paul Roe, Mike Roberts, Lee Welch, Michael Faunt Le Roy, Jason Kerns, and Mid-West Baseball League Hall of Famer himself Chris Douglass. These guys have been around a long time, and what an honor it is to be involved with you gentleman for the last eight years.
Another group I’d like to mention is my staff, everyone who helps out with from the smallest detail to the big stuff, for the Mid-West Baseball League. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to thank them for their work. My Deputy Commissioner Steve Cutler who always double checks my work, rewrites most of my speeches, and also keeps me in check. There are others here as well, Scott Farquharson, Dave Myers, Casey Hoch, Brian Scantland, all of who share many of the duties for the Mid-West Baseball League.
I’d also like to thank my Family, including my Mother and Father for the wisdom of their ways. My mom who’s a neat freak, she taught me to keep things clean and if you want it done the right way, get off your butt and do it. Plus my father who taught me if you do it right the first time, you don’t have to come back and do it again. One of the greatest lessons I learned in my life. Many thanks go out to my significant other the last few years Stacy, for understanding my passion, along with her enthusiasm and help on draft days, from being the food coordinator to actually running the draft. She’s great about giving me my time to spend on baseball. For all you guys whose wives or girlfriends give then grief over the time we spend on this game, you really should be jealous, because my girl supports me with my hobby. I thank her so much for that.
Now I’d also like to thank some players who have given me the opportunity at a very successful record over the eight years as manager of the Chicago Mobsters. First I’d have to start with Ivan Rodriguez. Pudge was a minor leaguer when I took over the Missouri Monarchs of the Iowa Baseball Confederacy back in 1993. He’s been with me since day one, and will always be a part of my team. The first player I ever traded for back in the Iowa Baseball Confederacy has been with me from that day as well. Chipper Jones, who I have watched grow into a great ball player. Last but not least one of my favorite draft picks, someone I took with an un-carded spot and has grown into a dominant force for the Mobsters, Billy Wagner. Billy’s electric fastball back in a division three college program was something I liked, and still do to this day.
Over the years I have won and lost many games in the Mid-West Baseball League. I saw owners come, and owners go. Players start their careers, have great seasons, off years, injuries woes, retire, and everything and anything in between. The one thing I can take from this league, and say I enjoy the most, are the friendships I have made along the way. I wouldn’t recognize 75% of you if I passed you in the mall, or on the street, but I feel like I know all of you in this special and personal way. It amazes me that this simple game of baseball can bring us so close together, and for us to be so passionate about. It really amazes me.
Last but not least I’d like to thank each and every owner who has played in the Mid-West Baseball League, your dedication, energy, timeliness, makes my job of being the Commissioner of this league a very gratifying job. I hope I can continue to be your commissioner for years to come, and I thank you for honoring and enshrining me into the Mid-West Baseball League Hall of Fame.

John “Stray” Corrado

2023 PROPOSALS
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WEDNESDAY 08/31/2022
AT 8:00 AM - ET!

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