Jan 15, 2010 1:13 PM by Greg Boyce
The Diversity Resource Center at Colorado State University-Pueblo will co-host the second annual Martin Luther King breakfast on Monday, January 18, with the Black Student Organization. The event will feature a professional baseball player who sought the guidance of Martin Luther King as he struggled with leadership issues throughout his career.
Byron Embry, who spent 12 years in professional baseball, including stints with the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Mariners, will speak as part of the breakfast beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday, in the Occhiato University Center West Ballroom. The breakfast is free to attendees.
During Embry's presentation he explains how his own struggles to understand leadership principles in his career and in his family as a professional baseball player forced him to look to Dr. King for guidance and direction. Growing up as a young man in Richmond, Kentucky, did not come easy for Embry. The product of a single parent home, his mother Judy did her very best to provide for her two young children. However, her best proved not to be enough as finances proved to be a thorn in side of the Embry family. After being evicted from every apartment they ever lived in, the family was forced to live with Byron's grandmother in a tiny one bedroom apartment where he slept on the floor next to the bathroom. With no male role model, as was common in his community, Byron struggled with his identity as he grew into manhood. Like any kid born with a handicap, Byron T. Embry wanted to be considered normal by his friends at school and in his neighborhood. However, anytime he uttered a word, his horrendous speech impediment made him stick out of the crowd.
Byron was drafted and signed by the Atlanta Braves in 1997 at the age of 19 and his career took off like a rocket in his first season with the Braves' Rookie League affiliate, the Danville Braves. Byron kept his eye on the ball and ended up being signed with the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners, where he spent two seasons. He has spent 12 years playing baseball professionally.