Los Angeles – Canada’s Tom Valcke was presented a special recognition award on Sunday at the World Children’s Baseball Fair (WCBF) 20th Anniversary Commemorative Award Gala at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. The head table at the event also featured a virtual Who’s Who of baseball, including WCBF founders and world homerun kings Hank Aaron and Japan’s Sadaharu Oh, accompanied by Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, and hall-of-famers Lou Brock and Frank Robinson.
USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler was the presenter of the prestigious award, and noted that Valcke was honoured due to his long-time dedication to coaching and his outstanding support of the WCBF.
Valcke, the outgoing president & CEO of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, has taught baseball in 17 different countries, and was the Technical Commissioner at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as well as the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics.
“Tom is recognized around the world as not only an experienced, knowledgeable and winning coach, but as a coach of coaches,” said Seiler.
“Tom’s passion for baseball, his tireless work ethic, and his ongoing commitment to youth is second to none. He’s a great motivator who is contagious, and having seen him in action abroad, he is separated from the pack because of his ability to keep things light and positive regardless of the inevitable curve balls thrown our way when we undertake these endeavours.”
“It is nice to see Tom receive this honour, but, quite frankly, I am confident that his best days lie ahead of him.”
In Valcke’s acceptance speech, he praised the founders, staff, his fellow coaches, volunteers and sponsors of the WCBF, where baseball serves as the medium for breaking down perceived cultural barriers, noting that 4,730 boys and girls have now participated in the event representing 85 different countries.
Valcke closed by saying he has always been inspired by hall-of-famer Jackie Robinson, who preached that: “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”