Landecker named 2011 Jefferson Award Winner - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Landecker named 2011 Jefferson Award Winner


CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – The Jefferson Award Committee has named Keith Landecker as the Chattanooga Jefferson Award Winner for 2011.

Landecker received the award at a banquet Tuesday afternoon sponsored by WRCB-TV, the Chattanooga Times Free Press and First Tennessee Bank.

Landecker is recognized for organizing a baseball program for inner-city Chattanooga teens.

Keith Landecker, a DJ for Power 94, grew up in the inner city of Detroit, and attributes baseball to his success.

Now he's using the same sport to reach young men in the Chattanooga community. 

Of all the sounds you hear on his baseball field, yelling isn't one of them.

"We don't yell and scream, we have a very unique philosophy on how we coach, its all encouraging," says Coach Landecker.

Landecker's mission began 8 years ago, when he realized the city of Chattanooga doesn't offer baseball to boys older than 12.

"We don't turn them back out to the streets because they are 12 and there is no where for them to play," says Landecker.

So he rallied a group of professionals with a love for the game. Together they built a league of their own.

"This is more than just baseball, this is going to teach them how to be professional fathers, professional coaches, mentors," says Landecker.

Being a part of this team is work.

Between practices the boys maintain the field, a fee for using Tyner High School property.

If Coach Landecker asks it be done, his team comes running.

"He teaches life lessons out here, Coach Keith knows what he's talking about," says 15-year-old Aldo Frias.

"He inspires me, if you respect him, he will respect you, he takes good care of you," says 14-year-old Sadik Spence.

Landecker is one of twelve Jefferson Award Honorees.  Also recognized for 2011 are: Wendy Ransom, Eddie Holmes, Carlos Dempsey, Tommie Erwin, Mike Brumlow, Jim Samples, Jim Rogers, Kaylee Radzyminski, Johnny Jennings, Herb Cohn and Bobby Radford.

[Lean more about each of the Jefferson Award Honorees]

Landecker is now eligible for the National Jefferson Awards which will be announced at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in June.

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