A Will To Live- Dream Come True Blog!
A Bow Tie – Achieves ‘The Dream’
Ken Rosenthal will wear the Will To Live – Life Teammate Bow Tie – for Game 2 of This year’s World Series- Wednesday Night, October 22, 2014
A Dream 45 Years In The Making!
The first World Series I remember watching was in 1969, when the Amazin’ Mets defeated the Baltimore Orioles. I was seven years old, and I believe it was during that series when my life long dream of some day making it to baseball’s biggest “show” began. With my glove in hand, I watched every game, waiting for my hero to pitch – Tom Seaver of the Mets. Watching him baffle hitters on my old black and white TV in my parents family room is a memory that is still as clear as day to me.
Year after year, my father and I would watch the World Series together and he would often say – “Some day Johnny – some day” and give me that ‘all knowing’ wink that only he could give – that ‘you can do anything you want to do’ wink….
So many years have gone by, but the dream never really subsided. In 1988, however, as a member of the Boston Red Sox, I came so close to making it a reality. I was on the field when we lost to the Oakland A’s in the American League Championship Series…. Oh so close – and just three years later my baseball career came to an end, and I knew I’d never play in a World Series. Somehow, however, the dream never subsided, and I always loved that about me 🙂
Just when you least expect it!
Just two days ago (10/8/14) seven days shy of the fourth anniversary of my son Will Trautwein’s suicide death, and the formation of our non-profit Will To Live foundation, I received news that a part of me was going to the World Series – in the form of our “Life Teammates” Bow Tie.
At this year’s World Series, once again, I won’t be pitching or playing, nor will I be in the dugout or the stands. But for the first time in all these years, a part of me will be on Baseball’s greatest stage. During game two of the series, when the FOX TV cameras zoom in on announcer Ken Rosenthal for a quick “insight into the game,” the nation will get a close up shot of Ken’s “Life Teammates” Bow Tie, and The Will To Live Foundation’s name and website will be displayed on the screen for all the World Series audience to see. A wonderful way to powerfully raise the awareness of teen suicide in America; the mission of the Will To Live Foundation.
Learn more about the Will To Live Foundation and the Life Teammates Bow Tie by watching the FOX TV interviews by Ken Rosenthal – right here!
During the MLB seasons of 2012 and 2013, Ken Rosenthal of FOX TV sported the Will To Live Bow Tie when the Red Sox visited the Yanks in 2012 (above left) and when the Yanks returned to Boston in 2013 (above right). Former college teammates and current Life Teammates, John Trautwein and Joe Girardi were interviewed by Ken, along with Susie Trautwein (in 2012) and Michael and Holyn Trautwein (in 2013) to help spread the Life Teammates message to the audience of the greatest rivalry in sport. Now Ken will wear the WTL Tie for Game Two of the 2014 World Series!
A Tie That Binds….
Just two years ago, the Will To Live Foundation was asked to work with a wonderful nonprofit organization called Bow Tie Cause, to come up with a Bow Tie that represented our mission. The inspiration for the tie turned out to be a drawing that my then six year old daughter, Holyn, drew just days after her fifteen year old big brother took his life. It was her depiction of the Will to Live Foundation’s “Life Teammates” concept that was created the day of Will’s funeral. It was on that day where I noticed so many of my teenage friends there for me – helping me – carrying me through life’s most difficult challenge. That day I realized that these “life friends” we’re the ones I learned about life with – discovered so many of life’s “firsts” with. These were truly my best friends – I asked them to stand up for me in my wedding – I asked them to be God Fathers to my kids. Yes, my greatest friends – my Life Teammates – were those teenage years friends….oh if my Will would have only realized that he already had in his life some of the greatest friends he would ever have….perhaps he would have reached out to them.
Holyn Trautwein’s “Life Teammates” Drawing that would be the inspiration for the Will To Live Bow Tie
The facts about teen suicide in America are staggering. Every two hours in our country, a teenager loses the Will To Live – and completes suicide, yet no-one knows this fact. It’s time to talk about it – and this bow tie has and will continue to enable us to do just that – talk about it!
So many years ago, I dreamed that I was going to be like Tom Seaver – a world series hero to kids everywhere – hopefully making a positive impact on them, just as Tom Seaver did on me. That dream is long since gone, but it’s been replaced by a new one. A new dream where teenagers everywhere are realizing that their own heroes are their own friends – who love them, and are there for them, every day. Yes, those buddies sitting next to them in the dugout, the classroom, the sidelines, the youth groups, the scouting groups, the bands, the orchestras, and yes, the dinner tables too – they are there for them – for each other.
We all have Life Teammates in our lives – I believe they are God’s gift to us, everyday. So we continually are asking the kids of today….
Who are your life teammates? Do they know?
Sharing A Dream:
I used to say that the best part of a dream is chasing it. What I have learned through all of this, is that the best part of a dream is actually sharing it.
This year the World Series audience will be sharing my dream, our dream. Once again, I’ll be watching it with my dad, and when they show that wonderful Will To Live Bow Tie – well, I can’t wait for the wink! I will think on Will, and on all his friends, and will pray that they are “together”. I’ll think on all my friends who have carried me – so many of them – and I’ll remember one in particular who would always say to me…
“Isn’t this great Johnny?”
That dream will never die!!Love Ya Man! John Trautwein October 10, 2014