Getting our lead and headed to 2nd base

The L.E.A.D. vision became reality the summer of 2007. We had amazing athletes on the field that were giving their all but we fell short in the win column often. The losses on the field continued to increase but the scholarships increased.  To date, 87% of our Ambassadors have gone on to compete at the collegiate level with a baseball scholarship.  Prior to the 2011 season, our Ambassadors record was 10-150.

We began the Ambassadors summer baseball program with a strategic plan in mind. We used 2007 to 2010 as our time to get from home plate to 1st base.  Head coach Duane Wilson continues to push our boys and get the most out of them. We are so blessed to have an amazing head coach and even better person.

So far in 2011, our record is 6-5 and every game has been competitive against nationally ranked opponents.  Today, we hosted the East Cobb Patriots at our home field Perkerson Park. Very seldom does nationally recognized teams travel to the inner city of Atlanta to play games but L.E.A.D. is earning respect.  As an organization, we are getting our lead and headed to 2nd base with your continued support.

We have several games coming up. Join our L.E.A.D. Tailgate Club at and support an organization that is “Winning At The Game of Life!”

A day of service with Deloitte

How much money would it take for you to sign a Major League Baseball contract and forgo a college education? This is a very difficult question that my L.E.A.D. Ambassadors was able to answer today with the help from professionals at Deloitte ( in Atlanta.

Throughout the United States, Deloitte declared today as Service Day and made an impact in several communities.

I remember 1994 like it was yesterday. I signed my National Letter of Intent with Georgia State University in the winter and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the summer. I was the only graduate at Westlake High School faced with the opportunity to attend college or turn pro and it was a difficult decision but I chose to attend GSU.

Deloitte made the process so simple today for my Ambassadors by adding real numbers in an Excel spreadsheet along with sound advice.  The reality is that as an 18 year old, you don’t have as much money as you think that you do when you consider the things that you need to be successful and the things that you want to be happy.

Being exposed to Deloitte today allowed my Ambassadors to also see yet another industry leader right here in Atlanta. They were all able to do some powerful networking. For some of them, they will be working in the 191 building on Peachtree Street and some of them will hire a professional from Deloitte upon graduation from college.

Special thanks to John Sadoff and Deloitte for serving us today. The “E” in L.E.A.D. stands for Exposure and Deloitte didn’t let us down.

Hope Full

I write this blog asking God to keep me strong to do His will day to day. I’m hopeful that He will continue to bless me while I bless others. To be hopeful is to trust. To trust in God. I remain hopeful that He will continue to use me to do big things.

There is a man sleeping on the streets of Atlanta that will close his eyes tonight with dreams of success just as clear as mine. He will rise tomorrow undefeated because of hope. He will remain strong because of that hope. 

There is a child that will take her last breath tonight in an Atlanta hospital dying from a terminal illness. She will go to sleep with a smile because of hope. To be absent from her body is to be present with the Lord. 

There is a mother that will cry herself to sleep tonight in Atlanta worrying that she may never see her only son alive again. Hope will wake her and remind her that He is in control. 

Hope is very under appreciated. I guess it’s because you can’t pay bills with hope. I guess it’s because hope doesn’t bring reality into plain sight as quickly as we would like. Hope has kept me sane as I have developed into a responsible man that cares a lot about others.  Hope makes me believe that I can continue to make a difference in the world. Hope has allowed us to graduate every Ambassador in our L.E.A.D. organization and send them to college while haters say that it can’t happen. 

Hope along with integrity, passion and genuine concern for others has been my peace in a selfish world. I hope for the best and continued success to you.  

The International City

The world had it’s eyes fixed on Atlanta, GA when we hosted the Olympic Games in 1996. I was playing my second year of baseball in the Chicago Cubs organization and didn’t get a chance to be a part of history.

We are the proud home of Coke, Delta, Chick-Fil-A, UPS and many other corporate powerhouses. We are considered an international city by many people throughout the world.

I went to Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta on Monday and saw thousands of people there enjoying the beautiful weather. Families holding hands.  Guys teaching their dogs new tricks. My family played 4-square for at least an hour inviting strangers to participate in the fun.

It wasn’t until we got over to the Olympics rings and found out where the action really was. There were kids of all ethic backgrounds playing in the water as it shot up in the air and cooled off the crowd during a hot Atlanta day.

My eyes were fixed on two African-America boys that appeared to be in the first or second grade. Not passing judgement but it made me realize that the Atlanta Public School System only graduates 34% of it’s African-America males from high school. Without consistent mentors in their life like I had, the evils of this international city can soak them up like the sun does the water from their bodies on that hot day and they will be lost forever.

The only reason that I was able to get a good sleep last night is because by the grace of God, we have L.E.A.D.  School will start back in August and I believe that I will see these young men again giving them an opportunity to play catch like Coach Joshua Butler did for me.

I wake up everyday being open to others pouring themselves into me to make me great. I also look for opportunities to help others in their life journey. It is that attitude that makes Atlanta so attractive to the world.  It is called the “Atlanta Way”.

I see the future

The future looks great for inner city baseball in Atlanta through the efforts of L.E.A.D.  I see 100 APS student-athletes furthering their education in colleges across America by 2020 using baseball as the vehicle.

To date, L.E.A.D. has graduated 100% of our Ambassadors from high school and placed 87% of them in college with a baseball scholarship. We achieve success using the L.E.A.D. P.R.O.C.E.S.S.

We PREPARE our Ambassadors for practices and games with sound information. Our coaches REINFORCE the fundamentals taught with OPPORTUNITIES to learn which often times involve failure.  Reinforcement is most effective when we COMMUNICATE with a patient voice.  EXPOSURE to high level baseball competition presents struggles yet it allows our Ambassadors to adjust and gain SUCCESS.

Our Ambassadors are willing and able to learn. Our coaches are capable and competent. The development process has worked thus far.  Atlanta, do you see what I see?