Our Keynote Speaker

Bobby Valentine

Bobby is a native of Stamford, where he complemented his high school baseball achievements by becoming the only three-time All-State football player in Connecticut history. He was voted by Sports Illustrated as one of the best athletes of the 20th century. After being selected in the first round by the LA Dodgers, Bobby went on to have successful stints with the Angels, Padres, Mets and Mariners. Hired as the New York Mets manager in 1996, he led the team to the post season in consecutive years for the first time in their history, and on to the 2000 World Series.

Bobby’s passion and love of the game are legendary. So are some of his tactics, including the time he was ejected from a tied game in the 12th inning. Determined to be there for his team, Bobby snuck back into the dugout disguised in sunglasses and a fake mustache. He was discovered and fined $5,000 – but the Mets went on to win it!

His career has also included two coaching stints in Japan, plus experience in the broadcast booth and as an analyst, working at ESPN, SNY, MLB Network and NBC. He was the subject of a documentary film, The Zen of Bobby V. He is also a businessman, with a successful restaurant in Stamford, Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Café, which soon will be franchised to other cities.

Perhaps Bobby’s greatest achievement at Shea Stadium was his response to 9/11. He worked tirelessly, commanding an emergency staging area there. He was awarded a key to the city for his work, just one of many of Bobby’s acts of philanthropy and generosity.