Getting past Ian & moving forward to RHWS 2023

It has been some time since I last posted.  No legitimate reason other than I was not sure what to say about all that has transpired since September 28, 2023.  And we were communicating with our baseball clients through

The shock of shutting down the 2022 RHWS and the corresponding financial impact, repairs to our home and the onward march of Father Time have all taken their toll on us.  The adage that my “get up and go has done got up ‘n went!” has never been more true for me than in the last 6 months.

Roy Hobbs Geezer

Despite the rough patch since Hurricane Ian’s visit, we have survived and have the pleasure to report that the 2023 Sunshine Classic was as good as ever.

Wish I could write that all is normal here in Fort Myers, but it’s not true.  Away from the Barrier Islands – Estero, Sanibel, Captiva and Pine – life is relatively normal, expect perhaps for the tens of thousands of blue tarps on roofs throughout Lee County.  As for the islands, many beaches are open, more and more restaurants and watering holes are reopening, and folks are working feverishly to get lodging facilities back on line.  Renewal is a work in progress.

Obviously, ball fields are ready; among the Twins, Red Sox, Roy Hobbs and high school games, all the fields are operational although there are still repairs to be completed to the infrastructure.

The Sunshine Classic was a great solace to me personally.  One of the things I am particularly proud of with Roy Hobbs’ history is that we bring people together with a common passion and love of the dugout.  It’s the “Teammates” concept.  I am renewed just sitting and watching players and fans away from the field sharing a meal, visiting favorite local watering holes, building relationships and promising to meet again here at a Hobbs event or elsewhere.

Preparations for the 2023 RHWS are proceeding well – response thus far this week to reservation invitations for this fall has been gratifying.  This will be our 34th event – a redoux from 2022, and 31st year in Lee County.  We’ve been blessed to work on this baseball celebration for 31 years.

An elephant rumor mill …

However, as we prepare for the 2023 RHWS, there is a need to address the elephant in the room, that is, the rumor that Roy Hobbs is for sale.  

It’s true. 

There were 75 candles on my last piece of cake, and I am pooped from carrying he fire extinguisher to put them out.  Given my medical history over the past 25 years, some of this is a minor miracle.  But it’s time to slow down and check out the roses along my path – keep in mind we are never promised tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong, I love what we do.

But there is more to life than just working.  I’m just having a hard time with that concept.  A very hard head I guess …

Therefore, it should be said that selling Roy Hobbs is not about having a fire sale.  We will not give it away and are willing to work with new leadership.  Our goal would be a comprehensive and smooth transition, one that continues a bright future and opportunities here in Lee County for those who love this game to keep competing and celebrating the ability to play the greatest of all team games.

Suffice to say, we know this is going to take time, and I fully understand I am not going anywhere soon – at least, I hope not.

I remain committed to the future of Roy Hobbs Baseball, it’s events and all of our baseball colleagues.  It’s my goal to continue as long as I can do it right and maintain the “teammate” standards that have brought us this far.

I’m happy we have been able to grow old(er) together doing what we love.

Published by Tom Giffen

Self-proclaimed Boomer-Geezer, graduate of the academy of life, former journalist, current owner of Roy Hobbs Baseball and associated organizations ... passions for truth, family, baseball, wine, the written word, cigars, cooking, friends and trying to do things the right way! Split time between Fort Myers, Fla., and Cedar Park, Texas, where I try real hard to spoil my grandchildren! Yikes, zerotohero!

24 thoughts on “Getting past Ian & moving forward to RHWS 2023

  1. It’s hard for me to imagine Roy Hobbs without you guiding it. I suspect that when the time comes to actually relinquish your realm, it will be somebody that you know will continue to lead us in the same direction you have.


    1. Thank you Flip. I am hopeful someone who has a passion for the game and is looking for a way to express that to earn a living will be our successor. It certainly will have to be someone who is willing to work and get their hands dirty.


  2. Tom you have done a great job through the years with Roy Hobbs! Your article about recovering from the hurricane, was as it is! It was emotionally draining to the southwest Florida area. The best to you, in all your endeavors!


  3. Thanks for all you’ve done and keeping all of us informed.
    The Roy Hobbs World Series and Sunshine Classic are great events. Us northerners love getting some warm weather and baseball.


  4. Tom: I’m sorry to hear that RH’s is for sale, but I understand as I’m 77, played in RE’s in 2019; MSBL Phoenix 17 years and run a team in the San Antonio League run by Skip Bradley and will be taking a 75 team to Phoenix this year. I was on the National Champions 73-USA Volkers in 2021 and 2022.
    I’m saying all this to say if I can help in the sale please let me know as I’m an Account Executive-Business Broker with International Business Exchange(IBEX) out of the Austin area. My business email is and cell phone is 210-422-7958.
    Please call or email if I can help.
    David J. Sweeten (#10)


  5. As you stated indirectly; time does not stop marching on. I want to thank both of you for the years and years of enjoyment. Playing every November , was very important to my continuing to enlarge and improve my Maine Woods Baseball league here in Maine. November Roy Hobbs Baseball was always a given. The two of you have provided thousands of men and women the return of their youth in being able to play baseball as long as they had the health to play.


  6. Tom, excellent article. As a recent Fort Myers resident in the last 18 months you described the current conditions to a “t”. When my wife and I take walks we typically count the number of “blue roofs” since January and we see then decreasing weekly. Thank you for all you have done and do and best of luck.


  7. Great Post. Roy Hobbs & The RHWS is so Important to many, and hopefully this continues to bring Baseball, Players, Families and Love to Southwest Florida within the Fields, Restaurants, Hotels and Beaches as the Backdrop for this Historical Event. Keep Playing Ball.
    Thanks Tom, Ellen and Staff for all that You All Do


  8. Tom, I have known about your decision to sell for a couple of years now. To say it will not be the same Roy Hobbs without you at the helm would be a gross understatement. I know that it will be impossible for you to ensure that any successor have the following of your many traits: honesty, fairness, an open ear, and producing a 5***** product at a great price. However, please advise any potential buyer that their clientele (the guys who at least try to look like ballplayers) will be watching them closely for those, and other, of your traits. I really will miss you if a sale should go through. In the meantime, I want to remind you of a saying on a RH t-shirt i have and wear often: “You don’t quit playing because you get old. You get old because you quit playing.”


    1. Lot of truth in that Mr. Bill … but, 1) I ain’t gone nowhere yet, and 2) my bucket list is whispering my name and it’s time I listened! A successor’s approach is very important, to be sure, but so far, too many interested folks only look at this as an investment, not as something they would want to run! The idea buyer is someone who loves baseball and is looking for a business where they can explore their passion … and not be concerned about getting their hands dirty. TG


  9. Tom, just wanted to say thank you for everything you have done. For over 30 years I have been blessed to continue to play the game I love. Roy Hobbs Baseball has rewarded me so much with the greatest teammates and friends. 30 years worth of the World Series has brought me so many memories. As you well know, our Kenmore Eastern Brewers have had so much fun at the RHWS. A lot more I could say but I might run out of room here. Again, thank you so much and wishing you the best always.


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