Tracing the path to what ‘MLK Day’ means to me—and my career

When I was around 15 or 16, I met Patrick Miller. I still cannot remember how we met because the reason we connected was because of baseball. He was white and lived in Cobb County; I was black living in Bankhead.

I remember he had a house with cars in the garage. He had fruit on the table to grab and go, and a dog. All of this was new to me. I considered it to be a white way of living.

Fast-forward many years later, I am 46, married to my beautiful wife, Kelli, and we have two beautiful daughters, Mackenzi and Mackenna. We lived in Cobb. We always have fruit to grab and go, and our dog, Bose, lives in the house with us.

That experience with Patrick helped shape my future.

This past Monday, Jan. 16, we celebrated another “MLK Day” in America. Although legislation for a federal holiday was introduced in Congress as early as 1968, there was sufficient opposition, on racial and political grounds, to block its passage. In 1983, legislation making the third Monday in January a federal holiday finally was passed, and the first observance nationwide was in 1986. (

“MLK Day” was a day on, not a day off experience for me. I was able to serve families in the Dallas, Texas community with the Players Alliance.

I am grateful for all that Martin Luther King, Jr., did for mankind. I am also grateful to Hosea Williams for being one of the first to introduce legislation for the “MLK Day.”

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C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an associate scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, C.J. has more than 22 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J. Stewart has a proven system of development and a track record of success that can work for you.