Tri-State Season Sneaks Up on the Scene
Just four short years ago, the Tri-State baseball league appeared to be heading in the direction of the dodo bird, the leisure suit and the $2 gallon of gasoline. Down to six teams and gasping for air, the circuit was close to becoming a memory in 2003.
The ‘league’, in its 74th season after starting out as the Inter-State league in 1934, continues to flex its muscles with the addition of two new teams to the senior circuit – Wolcott Scrappers and Terryville Black Sox. Tri-State will field a record 15 teams in the 2007 season. Each team will play an 18 game regular season schedule followed by a round-robin style double-elimination playoff tournament (top 10 teams qualify) to crown a league champion in late August. Opening day is slated for Sunday May 20th.
The Tri-State baseball league is an unlimited age amateur baseball league based in the Northwest Hills of Connecticut and is comprised of over 300 ballplayers. A majority of its ballplayers are in their 20’s, many of which have competed at one time in their careers in a Division I, II, or III program. A few former minor and major league players are now also finding long-term homes on Tri-State rosters.
The rapid expansion has league commissioner Ed Gadomski, wearing an ear-to-ear grin and admitting a bit of caution. “We are probably capable of having a 16 team league, but I don’t want to get too big,” said the soon-to-be 40 year old Gadomski, who pitches for the Burlington entry.
Joining the two new entries will be the 2006 league champion Torrington Rebels (18-6) who defeated the 2005 league champion Bethlehem Plowboys (17-7) in two straight games in last season’s championship series; Tribury Turkey Vultures (16-7) who qualified for the Stan Musial regional tournament in 2006 after reaching the semi-finals of the state tourney; Winsted Whalers (15-8); Litchfield Cowboys (14-8); Burlington Hunters (11-9); Tri-Town Trojans (11-10); Thomaston Spoilers (11-11); Amenia Monarchs (11-11); Brass City Brew (9-11); Naugatuck Dogs (4-15); Mazda Dodge Red Devils (3-16); and East End Outlaws (2-17). In addition, contacts in Lakeville have been made to explore the possibility of playing a shortened exhibition schedule this season in hopes of it becoming a stepping stone to rejoining the Tri-State league as a full-fledged member in the near future. The Waterbury Wolves team has folded and will not participate in 2007.
The league’s regular season games, often played out on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, offer some of the highest quality baseball around, usually for free, but the Tri-State season is laced with other fan-worthy events as well.
The Tribury Turkey Vultures have been voted as the #9 ranked ‘pre-season’ team in the state for the 2007 season according to the Connecticut Adult Baseball Association and have been invited to participate in the first annual CT Classic Showdown tournament. The new invitational tourney will be considered a “champions tournament” and the first to pit all the ‘Individual’, ‘AABC’, and ‘NABF’ affiliated leagues in the state against one another. A date and destination has yet to be determined.
Tri-State would also like to announce its 2006 Award Recipients:
|Tri-State MVP:||Steve Richards||Torrington Rebels|
|Silver Slugger Award:||Mike Morin||Burlington Hunters|
|Pitcher of the Year:||Curtis Anthony||Torrington Rebels|
Wolcott, a former Twi-Met league participant, played the Tri-State league in an exhibition season last year and was unanimously voted in for the 2007 season. The BAW Complex in Wolcott offers the league another lighted facility and a possible site to help host the Stan Musial tourney. Wolcott will be coached by Ryan Soucy.
Terryville returns to the Tri-State league after a four year absence and will be coached by Jim Mishke and George Newsome. Terryville holds a rich history in the league with championships during the 1996 and 2000 seasons. “We’re excited about bringing in two brand new rosters,” said league president Ed Gadomski of the Wolcott and Terryville entries. “It’s always a fun challenge to face a variety of different pitchers.”
Tri-State will host the wooden bat Stan Musial state tournament for a 3rd consecutive year during the first week of August. Top five teams from Tri-State will qualify for the 19 team tourney which includes teams from the Bridgeport Senior City league, Park City league, West Haven Twi-light league, Wallingford Twi-Light league, Housatonic Baseball league and the United Manchester Baseball Association. Games are scheduled to be played at Fussenich Park (Torrington), Municipal Stadium (Waterbury), Thomaston High School, BAW Complex (Wolcott), and Walker Field (Winsted). Gadomski will serve as the tournament director. An All-Star game versus the Wallingford Twi-Light league is also scheduled to be played in September. In addition, an inaugural Hall-Of-Fame class will be announced during the championship series in August as well as an Old-Timers day game on Friday evening August 10th in Amenia Park, NY. The Tri-State league can be followed all season long for info, history, archive listings, schedules, and standings on their new website TristatebaseballCT.com. (which will be up and running by opening day) No baseball league in the state has more history than this one.
“There is so much going on with the league right now, and it’s all good,” stated Gadomski. “We’re ready to go”. So much for the league that was on life support just four years ago. Bigger and better seems to be the order of the day.