Eileen Hohlt’s Acceptance Speech for Her Father

Hot-Stove-16-03
Two of Larry Miggins’ 12 children, Eileen Holt and brother John Miggins, proudly accepted the Bob Dorrill Award in their father’s good name. Eileen delivered an eloquent acceptance speech.

Eileen Hohlt and brother John Miggins accepted the 2016 first  Bob Dorrill Award for Exceptional Contributions to Baseball in behalf of their father, Larry Miggins, at the January 21, 2016 Hot Stove Banquet sponsored by the Sugar Land Skeeters and SABR two nights ago.

And as I wrote yesterday, Eileen’s eloquent speech in honor of her  father far out-distanced my human ability to recreate its heart path in summary form over limited space. It was a thing that belonged to and came from the Miggins daughter herself.

And here it is ~ just as we promised ~ whole and packed full of the heart that only a Miggins could bring to this table:

____________________

Eileen Hohlt’s acceptance of SABR award for Larry Miggins (Dad).   1.21.2016

[Those who know Dad can put 15 minutes back on the clock because I don’t have the stories or the jokes to tell that he does.]

Thank you, Ira, for that heartwarming recount of my father’s career. He is so honored to be recognized in the same company as Hall of Famer Monte Irvin whom he respected and admired.

We think of this award as mutual – because Baseball has made a lifetime contribution to Larry Miggins.

Baseball brought my Dad to Houston in 1949 and he has been here ever since, embracing this city as if he was always meant to be here.

Through Baseball, he met our mother, Kathleen. He was in Chicago, playing against the Cubs, (a day game, of course), and that evening went to an Irish party where he met Mom who was working in Chicago with the Irish Consulate. They have been married 62 years, raised 12 children, and baseball has been a big part of all our lives.

Dad had some paid coaching jobs, well before his own children took the field.

Each one of my 8 brothers played baseball, often coached by Dad (those were the unpaid jobs). They played with zeal and passion and an understanding of the game that only comes from having a Dad like ours.

Many grandsons also play the game. I remember Dad encouraging my son, John Hohlt, who pitched in Little League through high school. (In fact, John played for Bob Zlotnik’s West U Little League teams). Dad would bring a silver dollar in his pocket to reward John if he got the win. Ever competitive, there was no reward for “participation,” a “good effort,” a no decision, or even a save. It had to be a win.

Baseball opened doors for Dad – the University of St. Thomas allowed him to take classes by mail so he could get his college degree back in the ‘50s.

When Dad’s playing doors were over, he got a great job as chief of federal probation and parole through Judge Hannay, who was a big fan of the Houston Buffs.

Dad has rubbed shoulders with many baseball greats, dating back to 1943 when Honus Wagner watched him play at the University of Pittsburgh and tried to recruit him for the Pirates.

Dad got to play in the Oldtimers’ games when the Astrodome first opened in 1965. As children, it was thrilling to see our Dad on the field in the Astrodome.

Baseball has given Dad many friends throughout his lifetime, some of whom are here tonight, especially Bill McCurdy, his biggest fan, and Bob Dorrill.

Baseball has given him lots of stories. What is it about baseball players and stories? It’s likely a function of all the time a player spends with his team, building camaraderie.

This summer, right after his 90th birthday, he and about family members went to a Sunday afternoon Astros game. It was a fitting way to end an entire weekend of celebration.

To watch a baseball game with our Dad is to see things you might have missed, like, where the shortstop is playing, whether it’s time for a bunt, if the batter managed to hit the sweet spot, and Dad’s inimitable “Get him outta there” when the pitcher stays in one pitch too long.

From his 90-year perspective, Dad would want to tell the young men and women here tonight:

  • Cultivate and respect your baseball and softball network – the coaches, the fans, your teammates, your opponents. You will see them again in your lifetime and they can vouch for your work ethic, integrity, and discipline.
  • Get your degree. If you are not lucky enough to stay in baseball all your life, use baseball as a steppingstone to your next endeavor.
  • Pass along your love of the game.
  • Never lose your competitive spirit.
  • Thank God for all your blessings.

 The entire Miggins family is humbled and honored by this Award and thanks SABR.

____________________

Larry-Miggins-Age-90

Larry Miggins Today.  Those of you young people who even now “get” and act upon the advice of Larry Miggins as it has been so clearly laid out for you here and now by his daughter, Eileen Hohlt, also have another benefit to harvest later in life. I’m 99% sure that Larry will agree:

The sooner you put Larry Miggins’s advice into action,  the easier it will  be in your later years to look back on the things you did and didn’t do in your life with greater humility, wisdom, peace, gratitude, and acceptance.

____________________

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2 Responses to “Eileen Hohlt’s Acceptance Speech for Her Father”

  1. Greg Lucas Says:

    Wonderful acceptance speech!

  2. Wayne Roberts Says:

    Great job Houston SABR. This is why this Central Texan keeps you as my main chapter.

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