"Your life will have many turns and twists," said Larry Harper, founder of the Good Tidings Foundation, who served as the commencement guest speaker.
"During this five-year stretch, every month I sent a letter to every major league team asking them for a coaching or scouting job, and every month I received a letter back saying: 'Thanks, but no thanks,' and this is all 60 of those 'thanks, but no thanks' letters," Harper
said, showing the crowd the bundle.
"Their theme was all the same: We don't hire anyone who was not a former professional baseball player."
But it only took one "yes" for him to secure his
dream of a career in professional baseball.
That yes came from the San Francisco Giants, with him first serving as the team's scout in Southern California before advancing to director of scouting.
"The team (in 1989) went to the World Series for the first time in 27 years, and I received a Championship ring, and the best part (is) I actually became the boss for numerous people who said I couldn't work for them," Harper
After 13 years as an MLB scout, the World Series was canceled in 1994 because "the owners and players forgot about their dreams and chose material things," he
That year, Harper
wrote the book "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" to benefit youth charities, which fostered a new career path - one revolving around children's welfare.
In 1995 he founded the Good Tidings Foundation, a children's charity that supports arts, education, athletics and dreams of youth from communities of need.
Since, the foundation has helped build 140 athletic facilities, including Truckee High's
new baseball field.
"So class of 2015, tomorrow when you wake up and you really don't know what to do, well, that's OK," Harper