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The Game We Shared

March 28th, 2018

By Alex Tuccio

My dad was always the one to put the ball in my hand. Growing up, whatever sport and activity I wanted to participate in, he made it happen for me.

Baseball happened to be the game that I chose to keep playing and the one in which I was most gifted. When my dad coached me, I listened. He barely played baseball till he was in high school, yet to me, he was my Joe Torre. He made me into the player I was by putting in the time and effort to be present, to sharpen my skills, and to attend all my games.

I always dreamed of making it to the big leagues, and I always thought it would be my way of showing my dad what he built me into. Somewhere along the way, this vision that I had changed.

I lost my dad when I was 18, as an uncommitted senior high school baseball player, just two months before my season was to start. I was still without a college after four years of college visits, travel, camps, showcases, and tournaments. I felt like a complete failure. I still remember the times where I wondered if I would even play after that high school season, even though I had worked my way into a two time All-New England player and had won multiple regional championships with my high school.

Losing my dad when I did tested me. I took it personally. Just two days after his funeral, I insisted on going back to school just so I would not miss practice with my teammates. It became my life’s mission to win one final championship for him. While I had this fire burning inside of me, it did not make it any easier to elevate my game to match my intensity. Unlike most “comeback stories” I struggled to find my groove and continued to struggle to find a college as the season rolled along.

Fortunately, my teammates pulled through and we delivered on another New England championship. I also managed to secure a roster spot at Division I Seton Hall University in March of 2012, just two months before my graduation. While these were positive turning points for me, there was still something missing from my game.

I began my career at Seton Hall University in the fall of 2012. I was set to change positions from corner infield to catcher. Spoiler alert- it did not work out. I ended up taking my release from SHU and again opening my recruiting process. Once again, I struggled to find a good fit, even as a Big East, D1 player. At the final hour of winter break, I was given an opportunity to play at Division I Siena College in Albany, NY.

Even after transferring, I still continued to struggle to get back to the elite level I played at in high school. As the struggles continued, I slowly lost my passion for the extra work, the early mornings and late night in the cages. And with each passing day, the competition not only caught up to me, but I completely fell behind my spot of where I once was for my age. I was tired. Emotionally, physically, mentally. The frustration of not being able to succeed in the one thing I was best at changed me as a person, for the worst. Not being out on the field to help my team win began to destroy me from the inside.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I didn’t realize my reason until much later on, long after I threw away my cleats after losing the 2016 MAAC Championship.

Throughout my time at Siena I became extremely involved with the Stack Center, the on campus resource for entrepreneurship. I began tinkering with a few different ideas, always looking to just go for it and get the ideas off the ground. I quickly learned that it was not that simple. Through these fast failures, it taught me how not to start a business, perhaps my most valuable lessons thus far. These valuable hours spent either at the Stack Center or in my dorm room is what brought me to my why.

What I haven’t shared with you is that my dad was a Hall of Fame entrepreneur. I couldn’t appreciate it growing up because I simply could not understand. Looking back I am certain he is in the Cooperstown of entrepreneurship. He was financially successful, but above that he was respected in our small town of Ridgefield, CT. I know this because of the thousands of people who came to pay their respects when he passed.

Most of the people had only known him or done business with him once but felt the inclination to say goodbye to this man. To me, that is the meaning of being a businessman. It is about people and relationships.

While it is easy to sum up my dad’s career in dollars, I measure the impact that he had on people that he barely knew. What I also haven’t shared is that long before I ever even put on my tee ball uniform, I would dress up for preschool everyday. My parents would dress me in a suit and I would go and run a very clean and tight operation in the sandbox working on a variety of high level projects. While I wasn’t certain at the time, I am convinced that even at that age I was dressing up to be like my dad and follow in his footsteps (he never, ever wore a suit to work.)

Our bond did not start with baseball. It started with business. It took me 24 years and a lot of batting practice and catch to realize what my closest bond to my dad was. During my time at Siena College I launched an idea called Go D1. Terrible branding, right? We all start somewhere though. It was a platform to help athletes get recruited to D1 colleges. I entered Spark Tank, Siena’s version of “Shark Tank”, in the Spring of 2016 as Go D1 and finished fifth out of nine Siena based teams.

The next day, I rebranded to the company we are today, ScoutDay. Fast forward two years and ScoutDay is now the Official Digital Showcase App of Perfect Game, the world’s largest baseball scouting service. In one month since our app’s release, we have over 5,000 players actively using the app as well as 600 college coaches. We have been in the top 100 free sports apps four times in four weeks. We have raised $300,000, our investors feature three MLB players and have no signs of slowing down now.

Not bad for two years since a pitiful fifth place finish, am I right?

I am my father’s son. We didn’t always get along, in fact we rarely did, but I think its because we were so similar. I wish he were here today for this new phase of my life beyond baseball, but I know I am doing what I am supposed to.

After all those practices and games, baseball was never going to be the game that we shared. It was always going to be business. From the first day I put on that suit to run the sandbox to today when I have a few thousand more baseball players to service with our technology.

Business is the game that we shared.

To connect with Alex on LinkedIn, click here. To visit ScoutDay’s website, go to scoutday.co

One Response to “The Game We Shared”

  1. Eric Byrnes says:

    Awesome Alex… Appreciate you sharing. Keep charging!

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