PAUL ROE HALL OF FAME SPEECH

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILSJohn “Stray” Corrado’s Introduction Speech for Paul Roe:

Paul Roe, Virginia Sluggers Owner, General Manager, and Manager, American League, 1997 – Present. Considered by many to be the best drafter and developer of talent in the Mid-West Baseball League. He was a model of consistency with an invariable accuracy both at drafting and developing. Respected by all Mid-West Baseball League owner for his renowned ability to build from within. Roe effectively combined authority, tact, and a sense of humor. He was lauded for his willingness to lend an ear to objections. His illustrious career included All-Star Coach in 1998, Manager of the Year in 2001, & the 2002 All-Star Manager for the American League. He served with great dedication to the league, and has been a valuable asset to the Mid-West Baseball League since it’s inception. It is my pleasure to introduce Paul Roe, and welcome Paul to the Mid-West Baseball Leagues Hall of Fame.

Paul Roes’ Speech:

To say I feel honored is quite the understatement. To put me in a class with Chris and Stray is like telling me I get to play catch with Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth. I just hope I don’t drop the ball.

I would like to begin by thanking the Mid-West Baseball League Veteran’s Committee for selecting me as the newest member of the MWBL Hall Of Fame. Any one of them could just as easily be here. They have humbled me with their selection. I would also like to thank Stray Corrado for giving me the opportunity to join the league at its inception. Stray has been a major influence in my participation in this league. With his strong leadership, the Mid-West Baseball League has become the premier league in the APBA/BBW community. This is a fun league. Period. I enjoy playing the games and I appreciate all the hard work Stray and others have contributed to keep this league as enjoyable and exciting as it is. Without Stray’s dedication to excellence, I would not be so honored today.

I would also like to thank the remaining original managers, Chris Douglass, Lou Solomon, Mike Roberts, Wally Walczak, Jason Kerns, Michael Fauntleroy, and Lee Welch. You guys are outstanding managers. Your continued participation in this league is one of the many reasons it is as successful as it is. Thanks also goes to all the other current managers who have stepped in to give of their talents. I enjoy playing against each and every one of you. You truly make this fun.

I would like to give a special thanks to “Slug” Morgan, the manager of the Virginia Sluggers. His ability to draft quality players in the initial draft and to compliment those players with young, budding stars was first and foremost the reason for the Sluggers success over the past nine years. The players also deserve my thanks. Abreu, Nomar, Vlady, Helton, Thome, Pettitte, Cameron, Guillen. Those guys have worked hard to make the Virginia Sluggers a team to be proud of.

Finally, I would like to thank my sons Michael and Shawn. They endured those days and nights when Dad would lean over the computer and lose himself in his little own world of baseball. They never resented my time playing the games because I never let it interfere. They both played baseball from tee ball to college, and I never missed time with them because of this game. Eventually, they learned to play the game themselves and started leagues with the neighborhood kids with Dad as the commissioner. Their support has been unparalleled.

I have been a fan of baseball for most of my life. I remember my Dad showing me box scores when I was 5 or 6 and explaining to me what all the names and numbers meant. I remember buying my first pack of baseball cards at Beany’s Soda Shop in 1957 for the un-precented price of five cents. And I remember playing the game morning, noon, and night. Day in and day out. And when there weren’t enough people to play, we made up games and used ghost players and gave them the names of our favorite players, Mantle, Mays, Snider. And we kept statistics. As I grew older, my fascination with the players and their stats grew. To simulate the feel of playing the game of baseball with my heroes, I began to play baseball board/card games. All-Star baseball, the one with the spinner and circular discs, was one of the first. Then, in the mid 1960’s, a good friend introduced me to Strat-O-Matic. We would rush home from school and play until our parents threatened us to come to dinner. Then, in 1967, I saw the ad that changed it all. It was in the Street and Smith baseball magazine. I ordered the game from APBA the next day. I’ve been playing ever since. When the computer game hit the market, I bit and paid whatever APBA asked. Add-ons?…I bought them. Price? Didn’t matter. Having played in numerous mail leagues for years, I was excited when computer leagues began to form. I joined immediately. While in the ICBL, I learned of Stray’s new venture, contacted him,…and the rest, well, you know.

I look forward to each week-end when I can sit at my computer and play the games for that week. It’s a feeling that most people will never “get.” To be recognized by my fellow managers who “get it” is simply overwhelming. You are the best. Thank you .

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