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Commissioner John “Stray” Corrado’s Introduction Speech for Billy Wagner:

Born William Edward Wagner in Tannersville Virginia July 25th, 1971.  Now known as “Billy the Kid”.

I’m not sure how to start this off when I’m not only introducing you as Commissioner, but also as my all-time favorite MWBL Player.  I’m going to have a tough go of this cause it not only means your career is over it actually means I am getting really old Billy.  (Glancing to Billy Wagner seated to his left).

The Mid-West Baseball League most Awarded player in League History.  Let’s start there.   Six time All-Star Starter, four time All-Star Reserve, 12 time Rolaids Reliever of the Year Award Winner & now Hall of Fame.  Twenty-two Awards, will we ever see that in our lifetime again?  I’m not a betting man, but I’d have to bet against that.

The Mid-West Baseball League Career Leader in Saves with 555.  20 Post Season Saves & 2 All-Star Saves.  That’s over 575 Career Saves.   Billy finished his MWBL career with a 2.00 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP.  He averaged over 9.92 Strikeouts per 9 Innings pitched.  Wow – what a closer.

Billy was drafted my me personally back in the Iowa Baseball Confederacy days, played a few years there and became my all-time favorite. He played his entire career as a Chicago Mobster & represented the organization with class & dignity.

It is with great honor that I get to announce Billy Wagner as a Mid-West Baseball League Hall of Famer.  Close this one out today Billy, when your done with this speech there is no more games to save.

Tomorrow’s your Birthday Billy, but I’m sure today’s going to be pretty special in its own right, don’t you think?  (Glancing once again to Billy Wagner).

Billy Wagner’s Speech:

Mr. Commissioner it is truly my honor today.  Thank you for the wonderful words.   I stand before you humbled by my acceptance into this much cherished club.  Six Managers & eight Players including myself.   I’d not want to face this Hall of Fame Team.   Clemens, Pedro, Randy Johnson as our starters.  Who goes first in that rotation I do not know, but it would be fun to watch them fight it out wouldn’t it?  Bags at first, Manny & Bonds in the outfield, & my lifelong friend, teammate & great guy Chipper (Billy looks to Chipper & smiles) over there at third.

Chipper you’re a true friend.  I’ve know you for such a long time.  I’m very thankful that today we get to cherish this honor going into the Mid-West Baseball League Hall of Fame together.

Manager Stray Corrado, thank you for taking a chance on a 5’9 – 165 lb kid out of a Division III – Liberal Arts College in Ferrum, Virginia. I hope I made you and all the little guys proud of what my left arm could do.

As a young boy I broke my right arm, then my pitching arm not once but twice.  Breaking my arm taught me patience, persistence & of course that tomorrow would be brighter than today.

In baseball there is always a tomorrow.  It’s the one thing you can always look forward to – tomorrow.  I’d blow a save on Tuesday & my manager would put me right back out there on the bump to save the game on Wednesday night.   You can’t hold things in as a closer, you have to get beyond what happened yesterday and focus on right now.  I had that ability.  More people need to do that in life.  We hold so much in that we sometimes breakdown and struggle to get back up.   Make sure you find a way to let it out, find someone to talk to, someone who will listen and let you just get whatever it is you need to talk about out.

I didn’t come here today to preach or give you a sermon, I came here today to remind you to be the best person you can be each and every day.  That’s what it takes not only as a closer, but in life itself.  Find friends you want to be around, people who pump you up and enjoy you as much as you do them.  It makes life so much easier when you let go of yesterday, live for today & dream about tomorrow.

My Mid-West Baseball League dream is done.  I’ve accomplished some great things in this game. I’ve won a World Series (2008).  I’ve made great friends along the way, and for a few years now I’ve missed hanging around with my teammates, you know that club house atmosphere.   But starting today I have a new group of teammates (Glancing backwards to the MWBL Hall of Famers seated behind him) tomorrow I will wake up with a new dream, one in which I will look forward to each and every day as I go forward.  But today were going to party it up, enjoy friends, family and all the day’s events.

In closing I’d like to say that I am humbled to accept this Hall of Fame Award, I will cherish it along with all my other awards, thank you to all who voted for me – once again, I am truly humbled to accept this award.

DUE TUESDAY 03/03/2020
AT 8:00 AM - ET!