This past Sunday January 26th, the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago hosted their annual banquet honoring and celebrating the game of baseball. For the 68th time, the evening was a home run knocked out of the park. With over a dozen speakers on the night, the common theme among them all was family support and a pure passion for the game. If someone was ever unsure as to why the game of baseball is referred to as "America's Favorite Past Time," the speakers on hand confirmed that it is by leaps and bounds.
The banquet also showcased quite an impressive bullpen with the players in attendance. Leading with the special guest speaker Mitch Williams, also on hand was All-Star fan vote winner Steve Delabar, Neal Cotts, and Luke Gregerson. Delabar was given a Courage Award for his journey back to professional baseball. If you are not familiar with his story, check it out, as it is one that truly speaks volumes of never giving up the dream of being a professional baseball player. In addition, a special Youth Courage Award was given to Chicagoland high-schooler Danny Hyde, who was able to beat cancer and get back onto the diamond to play the game that he loves. A tip of the cap goes to him for sure for what he was able to accomplish.
Another award went to Comcast Sportsnet Chicago for their fantastic documentary about the 2003 Chicago Cubs coming within five outs of the World Series. CSN Chicago sportscaster Todd Hollandsworth was also recognized with an award. Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez also was in attendance along with All-Star outfielder and truly great guy Curtis Granderson. Granderson grew up in the Chicago area, and with his foundation does outstanding things in giving back to the community. His projects and foundation allow youths to enjoy the game of baseball and develop their skills at a young age.
This is just a small sample of the night that was. Once again, the Pitch and Hit banquet represented a great start to another baseball season on the horizon. As echoed by the roster of speakers on hand, the game is in great shape when great people are involved. Congratulations go out to all of the award winners as they are truly all deserving. Here is to another great season on the field, and the countdown is officially on for the 2015 Pitch and Hit Club annual banquet. Play Ball!