Winter Meetings: Wrap Up
What a week! My first Winter Meetings are in the books and I had a great time in Orlando. I hope you had a chance to read my reports over the past few days. There are more on the way!
On Monday I sat through numerous meetings and really soaked up my first full day in Orlando. The weather was beautiful, the Swan & Dolphin Hotel was awesome, and being in Disney was great! I didn’t see Mickey or Minnie, but I did see tons of former players, friends, and colleagues.
On Tuesday, I obtained a media credential, as the Charlotte Knights and Chicago White Sox had the floor for a few minutes in the media room for our press conference. It turned out great as we announced our six-year extension of our Player Development Contract with the White Sox. It’s nice to know that our players will be supplied by the White Sox through the 2020 season.
Over my two years in the White Sox organization, I have enjoyed my time with the White Sox players and staff.
On Wednesday, I moderated the International League’s PR/Media Relations session. When I learned that I would have the opportunity to host this, I was ecstatic. Wednesday was an important day for my career and I’m truly blessed to have been given this opportunity. I enjoyed talking to other PR people from around the International League and I took away a number of great ideas from the session. I’d like to take a moment to thank International League President Randy Mobley and his assistant Chris Sprague, who gave me the opportunity. I hope to be able to host next year’s event as well.
Also on Wednesday, I had the chance to spend time with one of my long-time friends, who now lives in Orlando. It was great to see him and catch up. Sometimes in life, work gets in the way of family and friends, so it is always good to be able to make time for someone who has played key role in your life. Joey and I grew up together, played Little League together, and went to Penn State together. Wednesday was a lot of fun.
And, speaking of Wednesday, I did have the opportunity to say hello to two
people who I have always been big fans of over the years. Being that I am Italian and my first name is Tommy, it’s obvious that Tommy Lasorda is someone who I have always looked up to. Although his Dodgers were a threat to my Mets in the 1980’s, Lasorda was still an icon and someone who I respected. So, when I had an opportunity to say hello, I took it.
Later in the day on Wednesday, I came across former Mets pitcher and current analyst on SNY, MLB Network, and TBS — Ron Darling. As a Mets pitcher, Darling had a stellar career.
In 1986, he was nearly untouchable. That season, Darling went 15-6 with a 2.81 ERA. He went 10-2 at Shea that year! He was one of many fan-favorites on that team in 1986. Later that year, the Mets did the unthinkable and won the World Series — with a little help from Bill Buckner, of course.
All and all, this past week in Orlando was amazing. There wasn’t a dull moment for me. I spent the week working, attending meetings, chatting it up with colleagues, and meeting people I have always wanted to meet. I have tons of other stories that I would love to share, but being the PR person that I am, I’ll hold onto those special conversations that I had with numerous people over the week.
Now, with the Winter Meetings over, and the holidays right around the corner, down time in my world is close to over. After the holidays, it’s full steam ahead. While it has been one of the busiest offseasons of my life, things are about to ramp up. With BB&T Ballpark about 90% completed, my dream ride continues. I’m fortunate to be able to call Charlotte home. I’m fortunate to have such great people in my life. My family — especially my mom, has been there every single step of the way. While I may vent more than I brag, life is good because of people like her in my life.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my week in Orlando. I enjoyed living it and I certainly enjoyed writing about it. There will be more blogs about Orlando, but this was one that I wanted to write. Every now and again, it’s great to just speak from the heart.