Playing the Sport of Politics

September 11, 2016 Amanda Pampuro

How about them Yankees? For someone who loves the game, those four simple words can go miles. Between the baseball diamond and the University of Guam, lessons from life and work, Sen. Tommy Morrison had this to say: “These experiences definitely helped me to always keep in mind the ‘bigger picture’ and the positive impact public service can have on people’s lives.”

 

 

Morrison is more than just a fan of baseball, as he also played the game throughout his youth for various teams—Umatac Stars, Blues Little League, Agat Cardinals, Yona Hawks, Oceanview High School Knights, and half a dozen Guam Major League teams. He was also a member of the Guam National Team, who competed in the Micro Games, the South Pacific Games, and the Oceanic Games.

 

 

A sophomore in the 33rd Legislature, Morrison attributed his success in office to his success on the diamond. “My extensive involvement as an athlete inspired me to pursue public service,” he said. “I learned many life lessons on the baseball and football fields. I also realized over time that sports and community involvement are powerful examples of the kinds of activities our government should support so that, as a community, we can all contribute to bridging the gap between our youths and the many opportunities they have to succeed in life.”

 

 

Work and public service run in the family, as Morrison revealed that his parents, the late Gene Allen Morrison and Cecilia "Chilang" A. Q. Morrison, who was mayor of Umatac from 1985 to 1989, “each dedicated more than 30 years of their lives to helping our community in various capacities—federal grant management, public works, and municipal leadership.”

Additionally, Morrison credited the late Rob Dirkson, head coach of the 2000 Guam National Baseball Team, as having a major influence on his life. “Coach Dirkson helped to elevate the sport of baseball on Guam. His toughness and love for the game inspired baseball players from Guam and across our region,” he said. “He never failed to push us all to dream big and to work hard, and to become true students of the game.”

Over the last two years, Morrison’s legislation has created the Office of Technology, found funds for youth and community sports programs, integrated security cameras into Guam’s E911 systems, and prioritized the Southern Development Master Plan. For this senator, success will mean watching the aftermath of these bills, as changes become enacted within the community.

Although the Republican has been criticized for holding tight to his positions on issues, Morrison has learned “getting your legislation and ideas through requires a senator to expect the unexpected, develop thick skin, and to always be cognizant of potential efforts that may be aimed at derailing a good idea simply because of politics.”

 

 

His future plans revolve around what is best for his wife Stephanie Campos Morrison and their children Gage the wrestler, Jewel the gymnast, and Thomas Aaron II the toddler who loves playing catch. In his off time, Morrison enjoys getting back on the football field or baseball diamond with old friends, because at the end of the day, he still loves the game.

 


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