ESPN still plans to feature the tour on their show “E:60”. The segment was scheduled to broadcast this spring, but ESPN changed their schedule and
moved E:60 to the fall. The producer still plans on completing the story and will likely have camera crews follow me at any/all MLB pitch opportunities
this season. I’ll keep you updated on the broadcast date.
There is now a Pitch for Awareness page on Facebook. Check it out and “like” us.
Fans also created (community) pages to try and drum up support to bring the PFA to their hometown. Check them out and add your “like” to help their
Bring Tom Willis to Target Field (Minneapolis)
Bring Tom to Nationals Park (Washington, DC)
San Diego Magazine
The PFA tour is featured in this month’s issue of “San Diego Magazine” (April 2012)
In closing, I’ll leave you with these words of encouragement I received on Facebook….
“Tom, I was so touched by the e-mail you shared on your website. He [the author] is living proof that the message you are trying to get across is making
a difference to people. You can't ask for more success than that! Who knows how many others who have seen you and talked to you, or who have seen
various videos will take your message and pass it along. Your Tour has planted many seeds, and from them knowledge will grow. What a legacy!”
-- Jodi H. (via Facebook)
Jodi’s words say it all…
I’ll keep you up to date as the season progresses. Hopefully I’ll have lots to report.
Take care – sit back – and enjoy the season.
Go (your team name) here!
Pitch for Awareness National Tour
It’s finally here – Opening Day 2012! That is, of course, if you don’t take into account last week’s games between the Mariners and the Angels in Japan…
or last night’s game between the Marlins and the Cardinals. Otherwise it’s Opening Day – take 3!
I wish I had better Pitch for Awareness news to report as the new season starts, but my efforts to secure first pitch invitations have once again stalled.
The good news – I was invited by the Seattle Mariners to throw out a pitch at Safeco Field this season, although we have yet to confirm a date. After
this I will have pitched at 15 of the 30 MLB stadiums – half the league! I must admit this is many more than I ever dreamed possible when I first started.
Other good news – I finally broke through the voicemail barrier and spoke with a live person at every team. Unfortunately these new contacts added
The bad news – all 15 remaining teams said “no thank you” or told me “We have your information if something becomes available.” (I applied for
enough jobs in my career to know I won’t be waiting by the phone for a call.)
But all hope is not lost!
Keep in mind, for these 15 teams I went through the front door. I started by calling each team’s main phone number, asked who schedules first pitches,
and then made my pitch (for a pitch) to that person. But even though these team reps said no, it doesn’t mean the end of the road.
For example, this is how I got invited to pitch for the Dodgers last season… In response to my requests for pitches for both the 2010 and 2011 seasons,
the team rep said “no”. Last January (2011) I met a lawyer in L.A. who is involved with disabled persons. He saw my Tomsfeet website and reached out
to me. When discussing the PFA tour he said he might be able to help. His law partner knew the son of the (former) team owner and submitted a
request to him on my behalf. Within days I was invited not only to pitch, but to pick the date I wanted to appear. None of these new discussions
involved the team rep who initially turned me down. My new acquaintance made it all happen. Remember the old saying, “It’s not what you know but
who you know.”
So even though the remaining 15 front doors were closed to the tour, there is still an outside chance of getting pitch invitations through other
channels. I’m looking for the proverbial friend of a friend of a friend who might be able to open that closed door for me.
So if you have any ideas or connections, please share them with me. The glass may be half full (15 pitches) but there’s still room for many more.
The Off Season
My off season started the day after the World Series ended. I called the team contact for the Washington Nationals to remind him of my interest in a
pitch “next year”. Being a DC native, I really want to pitch at a Nats game so friends and family can see me in person – especially my 85-year-old mom
who taught me the love of the game when I was a boy.
In the following months I mailed materials to all of the remaining team reps and followed up with phone calls. I also started following up on leads I
received from friends and fans. Some didn’t pan out, but others are still brewing behind the scenes.
|Tom meets Pat Sajak at UCLA.
His son works for the
Univ. of MD baseball team
First pitch – College
Back in February I threw my “first” first pitch of the season. The University of Maryland Terrapins (my
alma mater) played the UCLA Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium on the UCLA campus. I made a few
phone calls and soon I was invited to throw a pitch before one of the games. What a great way to get
my season started and to share my message with young ballplayers and fellow alumni who attended the
game and a team reception that evening.
|Photos compliments of Vizzible