Tony Womack never dreamed of playing Major League Baseball. Often considered too small, he was overlooked by many college coaches and baseball scouts. Although he had a tremendous love for baseball, Tony’s goal was to achieve a college education. Following high school Tony was offered a scholarship at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina where he could continue to play the game he loved and
attain a college education.
junior year at Guilford, Tony’s success on the baseball diamond had begun to earn him recognition, and at the end of the year, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tony made the decision to leave Guilford College to pursue an opportunity to play Major League Baseball. However, Tony was determined to
complete his college education. For the next two years, he returned each fall semester to finish his Bachelors of Science degree in Sports Management.
On the field, Tony continued to excel and became one of the league's best leadoff men and base runners. Over his 13 year MLB career Tony went on to become a Major League All-Star and in 2001 earned a
World Series Championship
with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Tony also won the
Lou Brock Award for leading the league in stolen bases for three seasons (97’-99’), and was honored with
The Roberto Clemente Award for his work within the community while with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
During his playing days Tony’s passion for education and reading led to the formation of the “
Tony Womack’s Cover-to-Cover Reading Competition.
” Launched when he first entered the
league, the children’s literacy campaign
encouraged grade school children to read,
rewarding them with tickets to Tony’s games.
This program was targeted at kids with
educational obstacles due to their environmental
and financial situations. “I saw too many kids that only seemed focused on playing a sport and not realizing the importance of getting an education and going to college,” said Womack. The program made reading fun and encouraged the children to make it part of their lives. Today, Tony still actively encourages children to continue to read and is establishing a similar program in his new home of Charlotte North Carolina.
One of Tony’s proudest moments came
in 2001 when he was able to donate “Womack Field” at Mt. Grove Baptist Church in South
Boston, VA in honor of his deceased father,
Thomas Womack. Tony is also honored to be a member of the
Guilford College Hall of Fame
(2006) and the
Danville Virginia Hall of Fame
For almost two decades, Tony balanced a 162-game season, the responsibilities of a family man and serving as a role model within the community. Now happily retired, Tony looks forward to the next phase of his life, sharing his experiences with others and motivating today’s youth to reach their goals.