“To permanently honor, document, and preserve contributions to the heritage of the Tri-State Baseball League.”
Joe Bunnell has been a staple of the Trojans since their inaugural season back in 2005. He was the only “Original” Trojan still playing, and we all know if he was here with us today, he would be taking the field at 1st Base. JBs passion for the game of baseball and especially the Trojans was unmatched. Every home game you would catch Joe being one of the first players to show up to the field and DEFINITELY THE LAST player to leave after the game. Joe was always putting the team first, performing any role that was for the good of the team. This was definitely noticeable when Trojans coaches decided to experiment and place Joe in RF for a stint….and I think we all know how that worked out. Fans and players heard a lot of “I CANT SEE IT”. First Base was Joe’s home, and where he shined brightest as a Trojan ball player. Here is a funny story on how Joe’s excitement and love of the game almost cost the Trojans a baseball game!
Tri-Town was 1 out away from winning the Stan Musial State Tournament against rival Naugatuck. Naugy had runners on 2nd and 3rd in the bottom of the last inning with two outs and the Trojans pitcher struck out the Naugatuck hitter with a ball in the dirt. Joe proceeded to run to the mound with his arms up in the air to start the celebration. He obviously wanted to get in on the dog pile. Amongst all of JBs emotion, he forgot there’s something called a drop 3rd strike in baseball. Landon picks up the ball to throw to first and to everyone’s disbelief, Joe is nowhere to be found at first base. Now there’s bases loaded with still 1 out to go. The Trojans pitcher retired the next batter and JB did get to experience that dog pile celebration after all.
While a Trojan, its hard to really think of anything JB did not accomplish. Walk off hits. Check. Late inning Homeruns. Check. Game saving defensive plays at first base. Check. State Championships. Check Tri-State Championships. Check – and of course Leg wrestling matches in right field with Andrew Osolin….and the list goes on and on. But if you would talk to Joe, none of that really mattered if he wasn’t able to fulfill ONE goal. That goal was being able to share the field with his younger brother, Coleby. Being so far apart in age they never had the opportunity to be on the same team, whether in hockey or baseball….the two sports they both loved the most. This goal of Joes became a reality during the 2018 season when Coleby officially became a Trojan. And to top it off, there was nothing more memorable than Coleby fielding a ground ball at third base, and throwing a strike over to Joe to end and win the 2018 Tristate league championship. Bro to bro connection.
Joe earned 3 varsity letters for baseball at Litchfield High School winning a Berkshire League Championship his sophomore year and a state semi-final appearance his junior year. In 2003, his senior year at Litchfield, supposedly – he was clocked having the fastest time around the bases on the team. Again I don’t know if this is true and there is no proof of this, but it was something Joe would never let the trojan players forget when his teammates would doubt his speed on the base paths.
He also lettered two years in soccer at Litchfield high School. Hockey was another sport Joe excelled in playing his entire high school career for the Litchfield/Shepaug co-op high school hockey team where he was recognized as a first-line defensemen. His senior year the team advanced to the hockey state championship – funny story there, as Joe could be credited with “winning” the championship. Late in the game, Joe’s breakaway slapshot towards the goal was so monsterous – it went in to the goal but bounced off the post, so hard, that the opposing team picked it up and then scored the winning goal. This did not deter Joe from his love of the game as he continued to also play for the Naugatuck Greyhounds of the Danbury Ice Arena in an adult hockey league, and in 2018, when Joe was 30 years old, his team went undefeated through the regular season and playoffs to win the hockey championship.
When the Tri-State Baseball League started its Hall of Fame —parameters were setup for eligibility. Obviously talent was one checkpoint and Joe was the starting first baseman for a team who made three consecutive AABC state championship appearances, winning back to back state titles in 2013 and 2014, Tri-Town became the first Tri-State team ever to win both the State Championship and Tri-State league title back in 2013. The Trojans historic run made 7 Tri-State World Series appearances in 9 years from 2010 thru 2018 winning two league titles, that’s ALL legendary stuff.
Longevity was a second checkpoint, and third, and most important to me, an individual who made a noteworthy contribution as a representative of the Tri-State baseball league demonstrating sportsmanship both on and off the field. I cannot think of a better individual that demonstrated sportsmanship than Joe Bunnell. Joe was a true role model to his teammates and he lead by example.
Current and former Trojans will cherish the memories and stories JB gave them for the rest of their lives!
Ryan graduated from Litchfield High School Class of 2002 where he lettered two years each in Baseball and Soccer and was the Captain of both teams. Ryan was All Berkshire League for Baseball as the starting third baseman his senior year, as Litchfield made a Class S State Semi Final appearance in baseball. Ryan was also part of the only team to win a Berkshire League title for baseball in School History in 2001. He was the recipient of the John Casadei Award, presented to a graduating senior who has demonstrated courage, versatility and community service through athletics. Ryan volunteers a lot of my time to the TriTown Little League where from 2001-2004 he was the League Umpire in Chief and Coordinator and the Co-Commissioner of the Regional 10&11 year old tournament held each summer at Community Field. Ryan attended the University of Connecticut in Storrs where he met his Wife Jenna. He currently lives in Columbia CT with his wife and three kids Camryn, Patrick and Cole Ages 8, 5, 3. He is in his 10th year as the Owner of Ted’s Restaurant and Bar at Uconn Storrs. Ryan organized the Tri-Town Trojans when they joined the Tri-State Baseball League in 2005, along with Tribury, when the league expanded from 8 to 10 teams. He was Player-Coach from 2005-2010 playing third base and then managed the team from 2010-2015. Tri-Town began to flourish as a team under Ryan’s management and the team made 3 consecutive State Championship Appearances winning back to back titles in 2013 & 2014 where they became the first team in tristate history to win both league and state Championships in the same season of 2013. The Trojans made 5 league championship appearances during Ryans’ tenure as manager and have made 2 additional league championship appearances in 2017 and 2018 after Ryan retired.
Marc graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury where he was a 3 year Varsity starter in baseball and basketball. Marc was voted as best defensive player and most improved basketball player, as well as All-City Shortstop in baseball during his senior year. He then went on to play 4 years of baseball at Post University and graduated in 2003 with a degree in management. He has been the Varsity baseball coach at Manchester High School for 8 seasons with 2 class LL quarterfinal appearances including the CCC North Champions in 2014. Marc has been a member of the Brass City Brew/VBlasius Chevrolet team since 2003 and still finds time to make a tristate appearance when called upon by the team. Marc was the Tri-State League Silver Slugger in 2005, the Cy Young award winner in 2008 and a member of the Brass City Brew league champions in 2009. He has made several appearances in the state and regional tourneys for the AABC.
Jimmy played for Gregg Hunt in his junior year at Terryville High School that made it to the state finals in 1992. Jimmy graduated in 1993 and was recruited to play basketball for Champlain JC in Burlington, Vermont. In the summer of 1994, Jimmy met Dave Post of the Spoilers in Thomaston and his life changed. Jimmy would be the starting catcher for the Spoilers for the next 20 seasons where baseball was everything and he enjoyed it so much. Catching for the hardest thrower he ever caught – ‘Chris Caron’ – who was joined on the mound by Ed Gadomski and Joe Deming, put the Spoilers on the radar through the (90’s and into the 2000’s) winning a league championship in 2003. In 2007, Jimmy and his best friend George Newsome started the Terryville Black Sox team where he played the last seven seasons of his Tri-State career. Jimmy sums up his 20 plus year career playing in the Tri-State League simply as… “it was a blast”… Jimmy currently plays for the New Hartford Spoilers in the over-40 league where he is joined by several Tri-State Hall of Famers. Jimmy would like to thank Gregg Hunt for teaching him everything he knows about the sport of baseball and how to enjoy it. He states he will play baseball for as long as his body lets him. Sincerely yours – Jim (bones) Mischke. Spoiler for Life.
Darrin did not play high school or college baseball but was still invited to the 1989 MLB tryout camp scouted by the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners where he was offered a free agent contract by the Giants but decided not to sign. Playing baseball out west, Darren was a 7 time league champion for the Orange County A’s, was a 4 time NABA Las Vegas Tournament Champion, and a 3 time NABA National Champion. In 1998 he was voted the MVP of the states’ all-star game. In 2000 he was a member of the CT State champion Canton Reds before joining the Torrington Rebels of the Tri-State Baseball League earning 3 titles in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Darren was also selected to represent his country when the Tri-State baseball league played the Russian National team here at Fuessenich park in June, 2007. Darren was voted as the Tri-State League Most Valuable Player following the 2004 season.
Our final inductee was a 4 year varsity starter at Litchfield High School where he was a 3 time All Berkshire League First Team selection and also earned an All-State selection in his senior year. Kyle went on to start 4 years at The University of Vermont’s Division 1 baseball program from 1996 – 2000. He also played with Courtney Dodge in the Twi-Met League and 19 years with the Litchfield Cowboys in the Tri-State League. He was a member for the Litchfield Cowboys in their 2011 championship season, as well as, a member of the Cowboys in their second and third championship seasons in 2012 and 2015. In his final game as a Cowboy, Kyle went 4 for 4 in the 2015 championship game to help clinch the third Tri-State title for the Cowboys in 5 years. He played in several Stan Musial state tournaments and was selected as the starting shortstop for the Tri-State all-star team that played against the Russian National Team.
“The only thing I want to be remembered as is the guy who sprinted out to short-stop and sprinted off the field, and just played the game hard all the time and would do anything to help the Cowboys win.”
A graduate of Mamaroneck High School in Westchester, NY, Jim played competitive baseball and ice hockey throughout his high school and college years including stops at both St. Lawrence University and SUNY Plattsburgh. Jim earned his Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of New Hampshire in 2000 and has been an employee of the Naugatuck Public Schools for 15 years. He has had many opportunities to both teach and officiate many talented young men over the course of this time and considers it an honor to be considered their equal with his induction.
He would like to thank all the current and past members of the Tri State League for this distinguished honor and considers many of the current players and coaches personal friends that go beyond the sporting field. He wishes to also thank the members of the Torrington Board of Umpires and the Waterbury Board of Umpires for teaching him the fundamentals of umpiring and instilling in him the importance of fair and equitable officiating.
Lastly, and most importantly, he would like to thank his wife of 15 years Gwynyth and his young daughter Adia, for their understanding and tolerance of Jim’s love of baseball. Without their support, he would most certainly not be standing here today…a member of the Tri State Baseball League Hall of Fame.
Our second inductee graduated from Terryville High School in 1988, played American Legion baseball, and then played for the Naugatuck Grads in the Waterbury Twi-Met League and the Thomaston Spoilers of the Tri-State Baseball League beginning in 1989 – where he won his first tri-state league championship with the Spoilers in 1989. A power hitting third baseman, in 1996 Dan started the Terryville franchise in the Tri-State League and they won a league championship in their first year and then again later in the year 2000. He then met his wife and started a family and took a few years off from the game but later returned to play in the over-38 league with his brother Timmy Hamel and many of his best friends. Dan stated competition is what he enjoys about the game of baseball. Dan also coaches his kids little league, junior little league, and Babe Ruth teams and loves to teach kids how to play the game. He would like to thank his wife, kids, and parents for their loving support.
Our next inductee began his baseball career with the
Amenia Monarchs when he was the batboy at 9 yrs. old He became a player and
starting shortstop of the team in 1981 and played for 10yrs.as the team won 6
league championships. A consistent .3oo hitter in the leadoff spot, he had the
power to start the offense with a homer or the speed to lay down a bunt, steal a base and get in scoring position. Year after year, he would lead the team in stolen bases and runs scored. After his playing days were done, TJ coached baseball for 4 yrs. at the Millbrook Prep School, became a certified umpire with the Hudson Valley Umpire
Association and volunteers officiating games in Amenia for youth baseball games
and softball tournaments. His electrical background has been called on
over the years to do repairs on the lights at “Doc Bartlett Field” and
the building at the ballpark, with him donating his time. He is a great
example of Baseball in Amenia.
Our next inductee has been involved in amateur baseball for over 40 years. He played in the Waterbury Boys League, the Waterbury Koufax League and the Waterbury Connie Mack League. He also played varsity baseball for Sacred Heart High School.
Tony assisted his father in coaching the Townsend Odd Fellows in the Waterbury Koufax and Mantle Leagues for several years. He was involved with the Mickey Mantle World Series when it was held in Waterbury from 1984-1992, and served as President of the Waterbury Mickey Mantle League from 1992-2004. Tony has been the President of the Connecticut Amateur Baseball Congress since 1995. At its height, the CABC registered close to 250 teams.
Tony was selected as the AABC National Executive of the Year in 1999. He served as the Sandy Koufax Divisional Vice President from 2012-2015, and is currently the Mickey Mantle Divisional Vice President. Under the leadership of Tony and Vice President Ray Brown, the CABC hosted the Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial World Series here in Waterbury, CT in 2016.
Tony is a graduate of Brown University and Georgetown University Law Center. He is self-employed as an attorney in Waterbury. His practice focuses on commercial and residential real estate, acquisition and sale of small businesses, landlord/tenant law, wills and probate matters. He is a member of the Real Property and Planning and Zoning Sections of the Connecticut Bar Association.
Tony would like to thank his father for instilling in him a life-long love of baseball and his mother for supporting him in all of his endeavors. He would also like to thank his “significant other” Susan Wampler, the late Frank Battelli, Ray Brown and all of the dedicated and talented individuals he has had the pleasure to meet and work with in amateur baseball.
Our fifth inductee was a four year starter at Litchfield High School and then played 5 years with Courtney Dodge in the Twi-Met League and 16 years with the Litchfield Cowboys in the Tri-State League. He was player/manager for the Cowboys in their 2011 Championship year and also a member of the team in their second championship season of 2012. Chris has won two Tri-State League silver slugger awards in his career, batted .500 on the season twice and had a career batting average around .400. He played in the Stan Musial state tournament every year he was selected and was a member of Tri-State all-star teams that played against the Russian National Team and the Torrington Titans. Chris will be remembered as having one of the greatest games ever in Tri-State history at Old Terryville High School with 3 Home Runs, 2 Doubles and 11 RBI’s in one game.
Our final inductee graduated from The Gilbert School in 1999 where he
Lettered in Basketball for three years – Won two State Championships in 1998 and 1999 and Lettered in Baseball for four years where he was a 3 Time All-Berkshire League selection. Donny received a Division I Baseball Scholarship to Central Connecticut State University where CCSU won their league title twice and played in two NCAA regional tournaments. Donny still hold’s the CCSU pitching appearance record for a single season.
He is a two-time Cy-Young Award winner (2001 and 2007) in the Tri-State Baseball League and was the #1 overall draft selection of the Stan Musial tournament from 2000 through 2005 until Winsted qualified in 2006. He has recorded 3 No-Hitters in his Tri-State Career and once struck out 20 batters in a game. Donny was the starting pitcher for the Tri-State All-stars in 2010 when they played the Russian National team. He is currently the Head Baseball coach and a teacher at The Gilbert School in Winsted. Donny retired from the Tri-State Baseball League at the age of 30 upon suffering a torn labrum in his shoulder. “I still miss the competition on the field but truly enjoy all the extra time I get to spend with my family” Donny stated, and he would like to thank his family members and friends who have supported him over the years. Donny would also like to thank the Tri-State Baseball League for honoring him with this prestigious award.
A graduate of Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Ralph has worked at Bozzuto’s Wholesale Distributors as a supervisor for the past 26 years. He played baseball as a kid before devoting his time to hockey which he played competitively until the age of 24. It was then that he decided to look for a part-time paying job and little did he know that officiating would become the second love of his life. Ralph has been officiating football, basketball, and baseball for exactly 20 years and has never missed a season during that time. He has become a well-known figure in the local sports world and one of the most respected officials in the game.
Ralph has held several different positions on several different officiating boards and is the current rules interpreter for the Torrington Board of Umpires. He is regarded as one of the most professional umpires to take the field signified by his belief that the game is about the players, not the umpire. Ralph states the greatest game he has ever umpired was Game#3 of the 2013 Tri-State World Series that saw Miles Scribner and Lance Stevens each go 13 innings on the hill before Tri-Town pulled out a 2-1 victory.
Ralph would like to thank his umpire mentor Ed Marinaro and the First Love of his life, his wife Laree, for her understanding and patience with his absence over the past 20 years. Ralph is honored to be, in his own words, just a small part of the very successfull and classy Tri-State Baseball League.
Daryl was a standout athlete at Gilbert High School in Winsted . Darryl went on to play his college baseball at Coastal Carolina university. After graduation Darryl signed with the Atlanta Braves and enjoyed an undistinguished career in pro-ball highlighted by having his wrist shattered by former pro reliever John Wetteland. His next stop was coaching where Darryl coached for many years with the legendary Don Schaly at Marietta college in Ohio competing in 3 world series.. and also with his dad “Moe Morhardt at Hartford University and Western CT University. It was during this time that he spent many years playing in the tri-state league for the Winsted whalers and Bethlehem Plowboys.
Darryl’s summer’s were split between the Tri-state league ..Twi met league and Hartford twilight league while helping coach the Torrington twisters along with fellow hall of Famer Gregg Hunt. Darryl presently coaches basketball at Wamogo High school and works in the Baltimore Orioles organization. He would like to thank Tri-state baseball for the opportunity to participate in a league where he was able to develop so many long -lasting friendships with teammates and opponents alike.
Tim is a huge New York Mets fan and played summer baseball in the sandlots of New York where he was a shortstop and pitcher. He also ran cross country and played soccer for Washingtonville High School in New York where he had his first experience in journalism writing for the schools newspaper back in 1976.Following high school, Tim began working in the fast food industry as a manager and District manager over the next 20 years.
In 1990, Tim met the love of his life Deb while the two were working together at Roy Rogers restaurant in Waterbury. Tim had three girls and Deb two when they fell in love, moved to Torrington and married in 1995. They married in Vermont with their daughters as the bridal party. In 1997 Tim began working at Frito Lay as a salesman. It was the encouragement of his wife and daughters that gave him the confidence and self-esteem to pursue free-lance work. Deb had always said all they needed was tuna fish to eat and milk crates to sit on, as long as the family was together. Tim worked 80 hours between the two jobs to help support the family, as did Deb while juggling the home front.
Tim began working at the Register-Citizen newspaper in 1999 alongside fellow Hall Of Famer Peter Wallace, whom he credits with providing those needed steps into Journalism. Friendships with fellow sportswriters Patrick Tiscia and Rick Wilson, who by the way married his wife Caroline in the exact same year and exact same day as Tim and Deb Gaffney, were formed and a bond between the trio started the
Litchfield County Sports show on WAPJ in 2006.In 2009,while standing outside the WAPJ studio on Water Street here in Torrington, a dream was created when the trio formed the LitchfieldCountySports.com ‘media’ company dedicated to bringing stories of local sports to the public through their website that you couldn’t find anywhere else. LCS has modeled themselves after ESPN but on a local scale with a Cable 5 program, local remote broadcasts and stellar writers. At the First Annual Litchfield County Sports All-Torrington High School banquet this June, Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone praised Gaffney for helping restore the pride in Torrington High School through his work. The team has been credentialed by the University of Connecticut to cover any and all of their sports and had three reporters on site at this year’s Final Four in Tampa.
Deb has always noted that Tim indeed has a B-positive blood type because he always finds the better side of life. Today LCS is known for its dedication to community service, albeit helping people in need, or
reporting stories that help schools or town functions to be successful. Tim always accentuates the positive and loves to write about other people. The Gaffney family has been in Torrington nearly 25 years and have each become successful business owners for the past 10 years.
It was a phone call from the Tri-State Baseball League that left Tim speechless and nearly brought tears to his eyes when Tri-State called about his Hall of Fame induction.
Gary graduated from Terryville High School in 1986 and Central CT State University in 1990. He played in the Tri State League for 26 years from 1987 to 2012 while also playing in the Waterbury Twi-Met League for over 15 years during that same time period, mostly with the Naugatuck Grads. In 1987, Gary, along with fellow high school teammates Chris Caron, Timmy and Danny Hamel, joined the Thomaston Spoilers where playing for Legendary Head Coach Dave Post became a whole new baseball experience. In 1996, seven Thomaston Spoilers, including himself, left to form the Terryville Titans and in their first year, won the Tri-State League Championship Title. Gary was lucky enough to have played in 5 league championship series and won 3 of them (1989 with Thomaston and 1996 and 2000 with Terryville). After the Terryville team folded in 2003, he was asked to return to the Thomaston Spoilers and became one of the few if any, that Postie ever allowed back on the team having once left to play elsewhere. He finished out his 26 year career as a member of the Terryville Black Sox. Over the years, Gary had some memorable accomplishments in addition to the 3 league titles. They include winning a batting title in 1999 (.520 average) and the League MVP in 2000, and all the memories of playing in a highly competitive league, and being part of several Tri-State and Twi-Met all-star teams that played against the Cuban Junior National Team. These days, Gary lives in Farmington and is married to his wife Anna and they have 2 incredible daughters, Sophie and Olivia. Gary continues to play baseball for the New Hartford Spoilers of the NEBA over-38 Baseball League with other Tri-State legends that include the Hamels and Jesse Carpenter. Gary would like to thank his wife, parents, brother, and grandparents for always supporting him over the years. He has been teaching in South Windsor for the past 22 years and this past year coached the school baseball team (in its first year of existence) to a 13-1 record and the league championship title. Gary considers it an honor to be selected to the Hall of Fame and feels very fortunate to have built a number of lifelong friendships from baseball and looks forward to many more memories with a number of great teammates.
Carl was a 1999 graduate of Wamogo Regional High School, Carl lettered three
years in baseball and was a captain and third team all-state selection his senior year helping the Warriors make their first State Tournament appearance in 4 years. He continued his educational and playing career at Western Connecticut State University from 1999 to 2003. A captain and Third Team All-Region selection his last two seasons, he lead the Colonials to their first Little East Conference Championship and NCAA tournament appearance in 2002. Carl was named the Conference Tournament Most Outstanding player after pitching in all 4 games of the tournament with a complete game win and two saves. He was also a First Team All Conference pitcher and the University’s Male Scholar Athlete selection in 2012. He was second in strikeouts per 9 innings nationally his last three seasons and was honored with an induction into the Western Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He still holds multiple career and season records at the school. After his collegiate playing career, Carl was named an assistant coach at Western Connecticut for the next 5 years, working with many past and current Tri-State
players. Carl spent his summers playing for the Houstatonic Sox of the Housatonic Valley League and
the Litchfield Cowboys where he made an appearance at first base from time to time, but his ability to miss bats from both the mound and batter’s box kept him mostly on the bump. A workhorse of a pitcher, he often threw on no days rest and was called on to pitch in the Stan Musial State Tournament every year of his career. He played a key role in the Cowboys first of back-to-back Tri-State Championships and was a player/manager for several years..
Dave Boucino lived his baseball career at the top. Graduating from Torrington High School in 1986 as co-captain of his baseball team, he joined Winsted’s Tri-State team in the summer, Eastern Connecticut State University’s Warriors in the school year. Winsted won first, with its second consecutive Tri-State championship. ECSU was next, with a Division II National Championship in 1990.
The next year, Boucino, Scott Arigoni and Bill Quartiero founded the Torrington Rebels. With Boucino installed at second base, second in the lineup, the Rebels won five of the next six Tri-State league titles. Boucino retired in 1997, as player/manager, from the seven years he calls “the most fun I ever had, on or off the field.”
Jesse is Athletic Director and soccer and baseball coach at Mount Everett Regional High School (Sheffield, Massachusetts) following a baseball career as a fearsome hitter.
He was an All-New England DH on a Wesleyan University team that finished second in the 1994 Division III College World Series. His .446 batting average, in 1995, remains the best single season record ever for the Cardinals. As a senior, in 1996, he was third-team All-New England at third base.
The talent was put to use in the Tri-State League, beginning in 1991 with the Lakeville Firemen while still in high school. By the summer of 1995, he was All-League and MVP runner-up for the Waterbury Barons in the NECBL. The Firemen folded for a while in 1999. Carpenter found new teams – the Terryville Titans from 1999 to 2003; the Thomaston Spoilers until 2008. While touring the league, he posted feats like 10 RBI in a single game for the Firemen, 8 in a game for Terryville and 12 for the Spoilers in a playoff game in his final year.
Most people know McMahon as coach of the state champion Thomaston High School girls basketball team and state runner-up baseball team. But not long ago, he was winning his own championships with the Tri-State League’s Bethlehem Plowboys. He joined the team at 17 as an eventual all-league shortstop, splitting time his first year between the Plowboys and a Terryville American Legion team that went deep into the state tournament. Playing full time with the Plowboys from 1996 to 2011, McMahon was an integral part of a team that won six league titles while appearing in 12 Tri-State Tournament championship-round series. He was the team’s MVP in 2001 with a .457 average, ending his Tri-State career among the top five Plowboys ever for games played, hits and assists.
He also served as league commissioner.
Lou Parrot Jr
Parrot was an all-league baseball player at Northwestern for two years, graduating in 1978 to become a baseball captain at Northwestern Community College. His Tri-State career began in 1980, stretching out almost 20 years (he retired in 1999) as a player/coach for Winsted. His coaching hand, from 1986-1994, guided the team to league championships in 1986 and 1987. Playing as a pitcher and hitter, he posted a career .350 batting average, most notably pitching a complete-game win over Amenia in a championship series game in 1981. He won the Bob Palmer Sportsmanship Award in 1989.
Like teammate and friend McMahon, Pettit arrived young at the Plowboys’ doorstep and stayed.
His tenure and the glory began at 16 when he homered in his first Plowboy at-bat.
From 1996 until 2007, Pettit was a league all-star, player/coach and commissioner, leading the team to five league titles in 10 finals appearances.He was the team’s MVP in 1999, hitting five home runs in 14 league games. Arguably Pettit’s most notable shot, his walk-off homer in a non-league game against Newtown slammed through the losing pitcher’s car window.
Whiting was an all-star second-baseman long before he achieved similar honors playing with Winsted’s Tri-State team from 1999 to 2008. All-State and all-league at the Gilbert School, his team won a state championship in 1993. Then he went on to North Carolina Wesleyan College (Rocky Mount, North Carolina) and a jersey-retiring college career playing for now-University-of-North-Carolina-coach Mike Fox.
As a Battling Bishop, Whiting was all-conference for four years, all South Region for three, while playing in three NCAA College World Series. A team captain in 1997 and 1998, Whiting made the College World Series All-Tournament team in 1997.
Bill was a Litchfield High School Graduate in 1985 where we was selected All Berkshire league in baseball. He attended and pitched at Southern CT State University and joined the Litchfield Cowboys of the Tri-State baseball league where he played from 1983 through 1995. Known as a one-two punch teaming up with Eddie Freimuth to anchor the Cowboys pitching staff for years, Billy was a member of the team that advanced to the league championship series during the 1985 and 1990 seasons. In 1989 he was voted co-MVP of the Tri-State baseball league cementing his legacy as one of the premier left handed pitchers of his generation. In 1996, he joined the newly founded Terryville Titans team and helped them win a league championship. He retired from the Tri-State league following the 1997 season. Bill has been married to his wife Valarie for 15 years and they reside in Southington with their two children Kyle and Kaylin. Bill still enjoys the game of baseball as a member of the Southington Angels over-38 wood bat league
Tim was a graduate of Terryville HS in 1985, Tim’s first love in his late teens and during his twenties was playing modified softball and baseball which he played almost every night during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. He played 6 seasons with the Naugatuck Grads of the Twi-Met league but notched his legacy with the Thomaston Spoilers of the Tri-State League joining them in 1988, where he was a member of the 1989 and 2003 league champion teams, and enjoyed a Hall of Fame career playing for 23 seasons as the teams starting shortstop and #3 hitter in the lineup, until the team folded following the 2010 season. Tim was regularly one of the league leaders in hits, year in and year out, and batted over .400 several times. Tim would like to thank head coach Dave Post for all his years of dedication in running the Spoilers team and cherished the years his brothers Danny and Ricky also played with him. Known as a steady and reliable shortstop who hit for average and power, he once hit 2 home runs out of Fuessenich Park in the same game. Timmy finally met the real love of his life Beth, whom he would like to thank for all the years of support while he played, and they have been married for 16 years and have three daughters Emily, Ashley, and Natalie. Today, Tim enjoys the best of both worlds being home with his family and still playing once a week for Ordinary Joe’s in the over-38 league.
Rich ‘Shaq’ Thomson
Rich developed a love for the game early on in his career while playing in the Torrington youth baseball leagues. By the time he got to Babe Ruth he was a certified power hitter, playing all infield positions and pitching. The Civitan Club enjoyed back to back titles over his 14 and 15 year old seasons. In high school, Rich played baseball, basketball, and football, capturing a league title in baseball his senior season while anchoring 3rd base. It was on the hard court where he earned the nickname “Shaq” for his size and strength. Over the summers, Rich played Connie Mack baseball for Coach Bill Heintz and the team won the Brezicki State tournament in 1992. He was also twice selected to an All-Star Team that played the Russian Jr. National Team. They won the first year and lost a close game the second time around. In 1993, as a senior in high school and while still playing Connie Mack, Rich was invited by Player/Manager Scott Arigoni to join the Torrington Rebels of the Tri-State league. In an effort to get into the lineup on a stacked team, Rich moved to the outfield where he would stay for a good portion of his tenure. The Rebels won the league title that year and the following 2 years, making it a total of 4 in a row from 1992 – 1995. Having power to all fields, he was known for lining doubles to the right-centerfield gap. Over his career, he deposited many balls into the Naugatuck River and even put a few off of the house behind the right field fence at Fuessenich Park. He picked up a league MVP award in 1997, while the Rebels took home another league title under Player/Manager Dave Bouchino. Rich enjoyed winning 3 more titles with the Rebels in 2004, 2006, and 2007, mainly in the DH spot, under Player/Manager Chris Clark. He continued his international experience playing against the Cuban National Team early on as a member of the Rebels and joined forces with league all-stars to once again play the Russian National team.
Rich would personally like to thank: The Tri-State League for recognizing him with this great honor.His teammates over the years for making the game a truly awesome experience. The friendships made have continued throughout the years and beyond the field. His grandfather and grandmother for their consistent attendance and support throughout his entire sports career. His mother, for her tireless support and positivity. She also provided an endless supply of Gatorade. His father, for being both a sports and life role model and a constant factor in shaping him to be the man he is today. Plus, countless rounds of batting practice and playing catch. Rich Thomson Sr, Shaq’s dad, was also inducted into the Tri-State Hall Of Fame during the 2009 season. Rich currently lives in West Hartford with the love of his life Lindsay, and their dog Etta. They are expecting their first children in the fall: twin boys!
Rich works as a Business Developer for an IT staffing firm in Farmington and is an avid golfer. He still enjoys the game, playing in a wooden bat fall league out of Avon with some of his old Rebel/Tri-State buddies. .
Pat was born, raised, and still resides in Wolcott. He graduated from Wolcott High School in 1988 and Eastern Connecticut State University in 1992. While at ECSU, Pat was a member of the 1990 Division III National Championship baseball team and also was team captain his senior year. He is the all-time leader for ECSU in career saves and pitching appearances. He played in the Twi-Met league for Modern Motors from 1990 – 2000 and amassed over 100 career pitching victories. He also played for the Bethlehem Plowboys in the Tri-State league for over 14 seasons, a 3 time league champion during that span. He was the 2001 league MVP and the 2002 league Cy Young award winner. He was also enshrined into the Wolcott Circle of Sports in 2005. Pat is thrilled to be joined with lifelong teammate (since 9 years old) Jay Rocca in the Tri-State Hall of Fame and currently plays for the Wolcott Senior Scrappers in the NEBA over 38 league.
Jay attended and played at Wolcott High School and Southern Connecticut State University graduating in 1988 and 1993 respectively. His amateur playing days started with a team made up of high school friends playing for Modern Motors of the Waterbury Twi-Met League from 1990-2000. He played in the Tri-State League for the Bethlehem Plowboys from 1994-2007. During that time “The Plowboys” won five League Championships. He received the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 1996 and 1998. Jay was a member of the 2012 Washington Senators championship team in the over-40 league and this season joined his fellow Plowboy teammates playing for the Wolcott entry in the league. He is most grateful to have played a game that has been the origin of lifelong friendships.
Chris was a Lewis S. Mills graduate and Harwinton native. He played little league in Harwinton and with the Babe Ruth League in Torrington. From there he played American Legion ball in Canton. Chris was selected to the All Berkshire league team as a catcher in 1993 after batting .437 and leading the BL in home runs with six and lead his team with 37 hits. He made the Zone 1 American Legion All Star team that year as well. Chris began playing with player/coach Scott Arigoni and the Rebels in the summer of 93’ where he was a member of the Torrington Rebels Tri-State league championship teams in 93, 94, and 95 and earned Tri state league MVP honors in 1995. After the 1996 season, he stayed in Pennsylvania with his future wife Nicole for a year. He returned to play in 1998 and became the Rebels team manager in 1999. As manager, Chris led the Rebels to Tri state championships in ’04, 06, 07.
To his teammates and friends, Chris is known as “Clarky” and “Skip.” Many ballplayers play summer ball to stay in shape and prepare for the next collegiate season. For Clarky, his college season was a time to get ready for summer and the games with the Rebels. The best part was returning to Torrington and Feussenich park to play with his friends. Chris considers himself to be very lucky to have played with two generations of Rebels. One team formed by Scott Arigoni and led by Bill Quartiero, Rich Thomson, Rich Scott, Dave Bouchino and Glen Burger. The second formed by Clarky led by Jay Wetherell, Rich Thomson, Brian Mongeau, Dan Livingston Darrin Gould and John Noack. The competitiveness of the players and northwest corner setting was a thrill for Clarky. The umpires and players of each team made every game competitive and memorable. While playing and managing the Rebels, Chris enjoyed coaching the Litchfield High School team for 8 years with head coach Kyle Weaver. The best part of that experience is that Kyle and Chris were able to foster ‘a love for baseball’ in many players whom have returned from school and continue playing in the TriState league.
These days Clarky finds himself coaching little league teams in Canton for his sons Nathan and Ian. Clarky has a list of people who have made baseball a big part of his life. His little league coach Frank Arigoni and his son Scott enabled Clarky to grow as a catcher from the time he was 9 years old. His parents James and Evelyn were more than supportive even after Clarky almost seriously injured his father Jim who was throwing BP. There aren’t many dads that were willingly throw BP at the age of 63. Upon his return home, Chris’ wife Nicole was more than supportive of the Rebel Pasta suppers at the Sunnyside Grille. All the late nights home and rebel shenanigans that followed for 10+ years. But the best part of 15+ seasons with the Rebels were the teammates.
The Rebel grill and sharing experiences on and off the field were truly the best.
At a young age D.J.was introduced to the game of baseball by his father which became a family affair. DJ and his brother Brian would run around the outfield while their father coached and their mother watched in the stands. DJ played youth baseball with his father as coach through Little League where they won a Winsted Little League Championship. Known as a speedy center fielder who could run, hit, and steel bases, he would later be a 4 year starter at The Gilbert School. As a senior, he was team captain and earned All-State and All Berkshire League honors, leading the Gilbert Team to a 1993 State Championship.
DJ played Connie Mack and American Legion Baseball as well, winning the Northwest Connie Mack title in 1992, coached by his father Donald Reese and also played for the American Legion Zone 1 North Division Championship team in 1993.
He started as a freshman for Southern New Hampshire College. In his sophomore year his collegiate career came to an abrupt end with an injury which would move him into a coaching role. Working with Bob McMahon as an Assistant coach at the Gilbert School in 1997, DJ eventually took over the Gilbert baseball program in 1999. Gilbert went on to win its only Berkshire League title with a 19-1 record. DJ also coached Winsted- American Legion, establishing a .500 record for 2 years during the 1997 and 98 seasons and then coached the Gilbert program, from 1999-2007, missing the state tournament only one time and made the Quarterfinals in his final year, 2007.
During those years he also played Tri-State baseball. He first began in Winsted in 1992 and stayed there through 1994, before going on to play for the Bethlehem Plowboys in 1996, helping the Plowboys to their first title in 1998.
DJ then returned as a player/coach for the Winsted Whalers in 1999. Winsted would go on to reach the Tri State finals from 2000-2002 and he coached the Winsted Whalers to the 2008 Tri State Championship. Today, in addition to coaching in the Tri-State league, he is also an assistant coach with his cousin Matt Carl in the Barkhamsted Youth Little League Program.
DJ has been a big part of the development of the Tri state League during his tenure which is becoming one of the premier wooden bat leagues in the area. A great teacher of the game, he has promoted and encouraged the addition of teams to the league, the adding of college and former professional players, helping create a competitive and instructional environment for many to enjoy.
Ed was a member of the Kaynor tech baseball team from 1982-1985 that won the Tech league championship all 4 years in high school where he played as a pitcher/centerfielder. Cheshire’s Mickey Mantle team drafted Ed as a 16-year-old, where he played with future hockey star Brian Leetch. He won two games on the mound in the tournament helping Cheshire to a state championship and the team’s only victory in the Mickey Mantle regional tournament — a 5-2 win over Brooklyn, N.Y. Ed played his college baseball for Mattatuck Community College where they won a state championship his freshmen season while leading the team in hitting with a .407 batting average.
Later, in 1984-85, he played for Oakville’s American Legion team with future major leaguers Rico Brogna and Darren Bragg. He also played in the now defunct Waterbury Twi-met league for 7 years and the Waterbury Laurels of the Nutmeg league, that won all kinds of championships for 10 seasons before overlapping to join the Thomaston Spoilers of the Tri-State League. He enjoyed his best season in 2003 batting .456 as a member of the Spoilers team that won a league championship and earned the league’s MVP award that season. Ed’s most cherished baseball memories are the one-on-one wiffleball games that he and his brother Rob played endlessly in the driveway of their home and credits Rob with being his toughest opponent and for helping to mold him into the ballplayer that he became.
In October of 2003, Ed took over as commissioner of the Tri-State league from Bobby McMahon and has watched the league balloon from 6 teams in 2003 to 19 teams in 2013. He credits all the Tri-State league coaches for their help in the growth of the league and sees his commissionership as his chance to give back to the game that he loves. He has also been the Stan Musial state tourney director for the past 8 seasons and was awarded the John Wentworth Good sport Award by the CT Baseball Sportswriters Alliance in 2012 for his contribution to amateur baseball. In 2013, he was hired as the General Manger of the Torrington Titans FCBL baseball team but also continued to serve as the Tri-State league commissioner. On his days off, you can still find Ed around the ballpark as a member of the Torrington Board of Umpires or playing in the over-38 league for his hometown Thomaston Spartans. He has worked at Waterbury Hospital for the past 25 years in the “IT” department. Ed and his wife Lori celebrated their 25 year wedding anniversary this past November and he would like to thank her for all her continued support in his baseball endeavors. Ed and Lori have 3 daughters Jessica, Heather, and Jennifer and he is really looking forward to their first daughter Jessica’s wedding coming up this Labor Day weekend.
Don was a native of Morris and a graduate of Wamogo Regional High School where he was a member of the original Litchfield Cowboys entry in the Tri-State League, in 1973, and played through the 1978 season. Don threw left-handed and batted right-handed and was known for his graceful athleticism and glove at first base and for the line drives he sprayed around Tri-State League ballparks. In 1974 and ’75, he represented the Cowboys on Tri-State League All-Star teams that faced All-Star teams from the Poughkeepsie Twilight League. With the late Frank McArthur of Lakeville managing, the Tri-State All-Stars won both contests. He assumed the role of player-manager in 1976 and ’77 and led the Cowboys into the Tri-State playoffs both seasons. Following the 1978 season, Don, who played college basketball at Western New England College and Lyndon State College, embarked on a professional basketball career in Europe. He played basketball and baseball at Wamogo and was one of the top athletes in school history, as well as being the first Wamogo graduate to be inducted into the Tri-State Hall of Fame.
Bob has been involved in baseball in the Town of Pine Plains, NY for the past 30 years. A member of the Rec. Committee since 1972 Bob has volunteered to coach at all levels including Little League, Sr. League, the Pine Plains varsity baseball team and presently his Granddaughter’s softball team. In 1986 he teamed with the late Harry Schroder to enter the Tri-State League with a young group of players from the Pine Plains High School and played at Millerton’s Eddie Collins field as the Red Sox. The young group struggled for a few years and in 1989 Bob moved the team back to Pine Plains and was called the Drifters. Not only the Manager on the field, but also did most of the fundraising and spent his Sunday mornings as the groundskeeper prepping the field for the games. Bob was rewarded for his dedication to the game when in 1991 the Drifters (with mostly this same group) defeated Thomaston for the Tri-State championship. The team finished the season with a 15-3 record and some of the team members are here today to share this honor with the man who gave them the opportunity to play 10 years in the Tri-State league. Congratulations Bob for your hard work and longevity in the game.
Rich, born and bred in Litchfield, joined the Litchfield Cowboys in the mid-1970s after a standout baseball career at Litchfield High School. With his high leg kick and big curveball, the left-handed Blazek was one of the Tri-State’s most stylish pitchers during a career that lasted through the mid-1980s. Rich’s best season was 1979, when he pitched the Cowboys to the Tri-State League championship. He tossed a complete game and struck out 10 as the Cowboys defeated Shepaug, 8-2, to clinch the title. For the season, he was 8-2 and among the league leaders in complete games, strikeouts and earned run average. A workhorse on the mound, Rich possessed a fastball that topped out in the low 90s and a changeup that baffled hitters. He was consistently among the league leaders in innings pitched, strikeouts and wins. In 1983, before shoulder trouble limited his time on the mound, Rich went 3-3 and struck out 54 in 46 innings. When he wasn’t pitching, the right-handed hitting Blazek played in the outfield. He was one of the Cowboys’ top hitters during his career, batting over .400 several times and over .500 once. He delivered two keys hits during a ninth-inning comeback victory against Winsted and Tri-State Hall of Fame pitcher Barney Mestek in 1979 and in 1983 belted what was considered one of the longest home runs in the history of Lakeville’s Community Field. Rich, whose son Chris plays for the Cowboys, credits Cowboys players Don Rhynhart, Ed Freimuth, Doug Berlet, Gene Fabbri and Tom Smart for serving as mentors on and off the field during his early years with the team. They showed him how to perform not only during games but afterwards as well in the many watering holes the team would frequent in Tri-State towns.
Geoff came to Lakeville in 1973 and has been teaching and coaching baseball at the Hotchkiss School since his most welcomed arrival. “Welcomed” is only a minor word for what Geoff has meant to the Lakeville and Hotchkiss communities. His friends and people that know him well would most likely agree. Some people call him Ernie Banks as he is a big fan of the former pro. He is also very well known for his athletic accomplishments; especially long distance events such as cycling from town to town(s), running road races and multiple marathons. And yes, the big ones including the Boston and New York marathons. 53 in all – including 12 in Boston and 5 in New York. All of the cycling and running seemed to certainly pay off when it came to the sport of baseball. All of that extra leg strength and endurance definitely helped at the plate, on the mound and in his most regular position; that being right field. Geoff had one of the strongest throwing arms the Tri-State League has ever seen. Many players thought better of trying to stretch a double into a triple and forget about the sacrifice fly. It didn’t exist when Geoff threw many long range strikes to third base and home plate without a bounce. On the mound, Geoff could always be relied on when needed as a reliever and a starter. He propelled the Lakeville firemen into the 1976 playoffs coming away with the championship trophy. His extremely quick reflexes always produced terrific fielding plays and in 1986 his stamina for the long start was evident as he once threw a 15 inning complete game coming up with a well deserved victory. He has figured out the he has thrown about 190,000 practice pitches to the Hotchkiss Baseball team over the years. At the plate, he was always a constant threat especially when there was a runner in scoring position. Many times he came through with the clutch hit when one was needed and his long ball gapers and round trippers resulted in many RBI’s per game and throughout his Tri-State career ending in 1994. In 1983, he batted .403 proving that his over-all lifetime batting average of well over .300 shined along with his occasional power. Geoff was also known for liking a good laugh and for his keen sense of humor as well. For instance, the whole team at once, learned how to toss a pre-game pepper pitch to the poor batter whom never knew where the ball was coming from. Geoff showed everyone the perfect pepper pitch delivery and huddle before the pitch was even thrown. The silent uncongratulatory treatment was occasionally given to a particular batter who often hit several home runs. The team learned how to sit on the bench when the batter touched home plate. You would see a grin and hear a chuckle or a laugh from the batter. Eventually, all would congratulate him when he reached the dugout. Geoff’s humor was always a welcomed producer of keeping a team relaxed either when throwing batting practice or any time before or during a game. His verbal wit and positive attitude will always be remembered by his team mates on and off the field. A gentleman (as his previous Lakeville coach Frank McArthur would say) and a great sport (always showing great sportsmanship), it is an honor to enter Geoffrey into the 2012 Tri-State Baseball League Hall of Fame.
Fred was a native of Litchfield and graduate of Litchfield High School, Fred joined the Cowboys in the late 1970s and was a key player on the 1979 league championship team. His whole career with the Cowboys lasted through the late 1980s, and was regarded as one of the most complete players in team history with his ability to hit for average and power and play several different positions in the field. Two of his prime seasons were 1983 and ’84, when he was among the league leaders in several offensive categories. The right-handed-hitting Bunnell batted .432 with 19 hits in both seasons and drove in a combined total of 27 runs. Fifteen of his 38 hits in the two seasons went for extra bases. In a two-game stretch against Bethlehem and Winsted in 1984, Fred had six hits in eight at-bats with three triples, a home run and two singles. His eight stolen bases in 1984 led the team. Although leg injuries slowed him at times, Fred was still one of the best base runners in the league, often taking an extra base when an outfielder or cutoff man fell asleep at the switch. Fred, who played baseball at Mattatuck Community College, served as a player-manager for several seasons and reorganized the team after it didn’t play in 1982. His son, Joe, has played for the Tri-Town Trojans of the Tri-State League.
A life-long Thomaston resident, Rick attended Thomaston High School where he was a member of the 1975 Berkshire League basketball championship team and set a school record in one game for assists with 18. Rick was also on the track team where he set the Thomaston high school high-jump record. He then attended and graduated from Eastern CT State University with a masters’ degree in Education in 1979, and started working as a substitute teacher. His love for sports continued as he continued to play Rec Basketball, Flag Football, and was a member of the Skidders softball team out of Thomaston who went on to win 3 state titles and finished 5th in the country in 1984. Rick always had a love of reading and writing and started his journalism career when he was asked to provide write-ups on the Rec basketball and softball league’s he played in. He decided to accept positions writing for the Thomaston Express and Litchfield County Times and then moved on to work for the Register-Citizen newspaper as a full-time reporter. When the opportunity presented itself, Rick accepted a full-time teaching position in 1993 at Thomaston High School but still spent countless hours working evenings and weekends as a reporter. If you look under the articles section on the Tri-State website, you will find article after article written by Rick Wilson on individuals and topics pertaining to the Tri-State League. He has been recognized many times with various New England Press Association awards for individual stories and articles including the NVL Service Award, Soccer Officials award and the Litchfield Road Race Founders Club Award just to name a few. Rick states he loves to write from the heart and has a passion for human interest stories. Along with his partners Tim Gaffney and Patrick Tiscia, Rick now writes for the Litchfield County Sports program as well as the Republican-American newspaper. He has been married to his wife Caroline for 16 years and they have a 12 year old son Jonathon. Rick joins his colleague John McKenna (who was inducted as a player/coach in 2010) and his good friend Peter Wallace from the Register-Citizen newspaper as the only sportswriters currently inducted into the Tri-State Baseball League Hall-Of-Fame.
Jim attended Wilby from 1963-1965 for his first 2 years of high school before the redistricting of Waterbury schools and was then a member of the second graduating class of Kennedy high school in 1967. He was a three-sport athlete participating in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Jim was an All-Valley League selection in Football and Baseball during his Kennedy high school years and a member of the 1966 baseball team that tied for the NVL Championship. He continued to play baseball for the next two years at Mattatuck Community College and then attended Frostburg State University college in Maryland, graduating in 1972, where he was a member of the Frostburg baseball team that won the NAIA College World Series defeating Eastern CT in the final two games of the tournament (after initially losing game #1 of the tourney to that same Eastern CT team). Former major leaguer Jim Riggleman was a college teammate at Frostburg and that 1972 championship team is planning a 40 year anniversary reunion in Pensicola Florida later this year at the end of June. Jim mentioned that ‘life-long friendships’ are among the treasured experiences that sports has brought into his life. One other life-long friendship from Frostburg University brought was meeting his Rena and the ‘two’ have been married for 38 years and have two sons Benjamin and Ryan. In 1973 Jim was hired as a Phys-Ed teacher and the Freshman football coach at Holy Cross High School in Waterbury. He went on to coach baseball, as well, at Holy Cross which he did for 28 years, 18 as an assistant coach and 10 years as a head coach. In 1972, he also started to umpire and is still a member of the Waterbury Central Board of Umpires, where he has served as a past president, and has been one of the most requested umpires in the Tri-State League over the past couple of decades. Jim also has been a basketball and football referee for the past 18 years. In 2007, Jim was awarded the Jim Riggleman coaching achievement award at his alma mater Frostburg State University. Known as a guy who loves all sports, Jim will tell you that nothing beats the smell of newly cut grass and a warm, beautiful, sunny day out on the baseball field.
Mark was a Litchfield High School graduate, joined the Cowboys in the early 1980s and played for most of the decade. He is considered one of the most versatile players in team history with his ability to catch and play any position in the infield. Mark, who did a stint as player-manager, had a sweet right-handed swing and was difficult to strike out. He had a career batting average of .350, hit for power and produced runs. Unassuming and modest, Mark often deflected attention from his accomplishments and praised teammates instead, making him truly one of the good guys in the Tri-State League. Mark was a three-sport standout at Litchfield High and played varsity soccer at Springfield College. He is a member of the Litchfield Athletic Hall of Fame. His son, Ben, has played for the Cowboys for several seasons.
Don has played and or coached organized baseball for almost a half century. After High School, College and post-college play in the Canadian Senior League, Don spent more than 10 years coaching youth league baseball in PA and CT until he decided to come “out-of retirement” in the year 2000 to play in the Danbury Over 30 League. Soon thereafter, Don was called up to the Tri State League. He played for the Tribury Turkey Vultures in the Tri-State League from 2002 -2009, during which time he was consistently one of the league’s top pitchers. In his 8 seasons Don compiled a 52-23 record. The 2006 season was the highest point of Don’s illustrious career. (Of course, that’s the coach’s opinion. In Don’s opinion, the highest point was winning the team batting title in 2005. ) At age 48, he went 10-1 with a 2.17 era, with one of the wins being particularly memorable. In 90+ degree heat, Don held an extremely potent Bethlehem Plowboy offense to 1 run over 10 innings in a complete game, 3-1 win. This win helped to ultimately propel Tribury into the AABC Stan Musial Regionals. During several of those seasons, Don pitched alongside his two sons Peter and Alex for the Tribury team. The three combined to pitch a no-hitter and a one hitter in 2 invitational father/son playoff series at national tournaments in Florida. Although his numbers are Hall of Fame worthy regardless of context, the success he enjoyed is even more impressive when you consider that he pitched in the Tri-State League from age 43 to age 51. All who have played in or followed the Tri-State League recently know of its quality and of the large number of 18-25 year old ballplayers who either play in college or recently played in college. For a man at this age to dominate such a high-caliber league the way Don dominated may never be seen again. A physical freak, Don was always in the best shape of anyone on the team – despite being twice the age of every other player. In 2008 he partook in a 100 mile bike ride on a Sunday morning and then pitched 7 innings for Tribury on that same Sunday night. Tribury is very fortunate to have been blessed with Don Maki’s talent, work-ethic, leadership, and character. Don would like to thank the Tri State League organization, teammates, family, and modern medicine for all their support and especially thank all those aging, sympathetic umpires who ever so slightly widened the black when he was on the mound.
Rich has been playing Torrington Baseball since age 7 starting with little league, Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, American Legion, Torrington HS, Tri-State Rebels and currently the Torrington Dragons over-38 league. Under Rebels player/coach Scott Arigoni in the early 90’s he was a member of the Torrington Rebels Tri-State league champs in 1992,93,94,95, and 97. Rich returned to play for the Rebels in 2004 & 2005 winning a league championship in 2004. Rich’s Torrington Rebels team played in the league championship in 7 of his 8 seasons with the team. He achieved back to back league MVP awards in 1993, and 1994 batting .495 in 1993 and .493 in 1994. He may have been the youngest ever Tri-State player to win the MVP award at the ages of 20 and 21. As a shortstop he was known for great playmaking ability either diving up the middle or between short and third with very strong throws to first base. At the plate pitchers feared his quick bat and ability to hit any pitch –hitting many balls deep in the gap and several into the river behind Torrington’s Fuessenich Park. A graduate of Torrington High School in 1991 – under coach Gerry Carbone – for the Torrington High School Red Raiders he was selected to the All-State team both his junior and senior years. Senior year he had an impressive .517 BA with 7 hrs only striking out once all year. Also a standout on the mound, his senior year his pitching record was 5-0, at one point throwing 29 1/3 scoreless innings which was an NVL record, and still may be? In high school he was given the nickname ‘the Natural’. Today Rich enjoys spending time coaching his 10 yr old son Richie’s little league team and also spending time with his wife Jamie at their locally owned business named More Than Words LLC. Located on the North End of Torrington they specialize in Embroidery, Digital Garment Printing, Silk Screening, and Promotional Items and appreciate all the support the local community has given them. Rich would like to personally thank his loving wife Jamie, daughters Bethany and Emily, son Richie, stepchildren Daniel and Jade, Mom and Bruce for being supportive of Rich’s love of the game over the years. For those who know of Torrington Baseball Greats you can be sure Rich is amongst one of the names included.
Harry began umpiring Tri-State League baseball games in 1982 and quickly became one of the best and most respected umpires in the circuit. In 1986 Harry joined his hometown Bethlehem Plowboys and became a fixture in left field for the next fifteen seasons. Always a competitor on and off the field, Harry was instrumental in the Plowboy’s rise from perennial cellar dwellers to league champions in 1998 and 1999. He was a leader on the field and played in several Tri-State All Star games. After the 2000 season Harry retired as a player and returned to the diamond as an umpire. He umpired for over 25 years and was one of the top umpires in the state of Connecticut. He has worked many CIAC Tournament games and state finals. Harry is married to Betsey (Cantadore) Janner, the daughter of Tri-State Hall Of Famer George “Lefty” Cantadore. Harry and Betsey have a beautiful daughter, Sarah. Harry’s best memories of the Tri-State League are of the fellowship between teammates, opponents and umpires. Everyone on the field was your Sunday family. For nine innings the guys in the other color had a different goal than you but when the game was over everyone was a friend.
Doug was a 3 year Varsity Starter for The Gilbert School who graduated in 1966, Doug attended Central CT State University compiling a 6-1 record as a starting pitcher for his 1 year there. His heart then led him to serve our country in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 in the U.S. Marines. Upon his return from the armed forces Doug returned to the ball field where he joined the Winsted team and pitched Winsted Tri-State to the league title in 1972 beating Lakeville. He played for Winsted Tri-State baseball from 1972 to 1975 and was known as their money pitcher. In 1972 he was bestowed with the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Bill started his Tri-State career as a part time player with the Thomaston Spoilers in 1987 while he was playing American Legion ball with the Torrington P38’s. He would be the Spoilers catcher for the next 3 seasons. He won his first of three batting titles in 1988 with a .500 average. In 1989 he helped Thomaston win its first Tri-State league title. He was named the league’s MVP in 1990 along with winning his second batting title with a .556 average. In 1991, along with Scott Arigoni and Dave Boucino, he founded the Torrington Rebels baseball club where he played first base from 1991-1995. He was part of Torrington’s dominant run of 4 straight Tri-State league championships from 1992 to 1995. He won his second league MVP award in 1992 as well as his third batting title with a .568 average while not striking out a single time all season. Bill also played in the Waterbury Twi-Met league from 1988 to 1994, mostly playing for the Naugatuck Grads. He was inducted into the Torrington High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Mark was a member of the Lakeville Fireman from 1975 to 2000. He took over and managed the team starting in 1990. He began his career playing second base and then was moved to the outfield where he played all three positions to take advantage of his outstanding speed. Mark also had the uncanny ability to go up the outfield embankment in his home park and rob many extra base hits from opposing batters. At the plate Mark was a left handed slap hitter who was a great drag bunter for hits. His excellent foot speed made him a threat to steal any base. Mark was a big contributor to the 1976 Fireman team that won the Tri-State league championship, batting in various spots in the order and playing multi positions. As a matter of fact through his career he hit in every spot in the order compiling a .295 lifetime average. Described by some of his former teammates as the most dependable player of that era, Mark, though not big in stature, had a big heart and dedication to the Lakeville Fireman team.
Glynn played center field for the Litchfield Cowboys from 1986 to 1998. His combination of speed and power made him one of the top players in the Tri-State League during his career. The left-handed hitting and throwing Baron graduated from Torrington High School and Eastern Connecticut State University, where he played for one of the nation’s top Division III programs. He joined the Cowboys while in college and made an immediate impact with his ability and enthusiasm for the game. One of his biggest moments as a player came in the 1993 playoffs against Thomaston when he slugged a three-run home run to propel the Cowboys past the favored Spoilers. In 2002, he belted a home run off Amenia’s Jim Bouton, the former major league pitcher, at Community Field in Litchfield and after the game sheepishly asked Bouton to sign the ball. Bouton obliged. Glynn will also be remembered for his loyalty to the Cowboys, who endured some bad seasons in the late 1980s. Despite the losing, he returned year after year, and would eventually turn down opportunities to play for his hometown Torrington Rebels. In his final season of 1998, Glynn managed the Cowboys and guided them to their best record in five years. He’ll be remembered as a great player and teammate, one of the best in Cowboys history.
Joe played in the Tri-State league for 26 seasons. He began his baseball career playing for various youth teams in the Town of Amenia and played high school ball for Webutuck Central School. In 1974, in his junior year, he received the award of “Most Valuable Player” in the league. Joe started playing with the Amenia Monarchs that year and continued until the team disbanded in 1995. In his 21 years with the Monarchs Joe patrolled the outfield, mainly in left and was respected for the outstanding jump he would get on anything hit his way. During those years the Monarchs won 8 Tri-State championships and Joe batted in the middle of a power laden line up. Year in and year out Joe would be one of the leading RBI men for the team as he would always come through with men on base. His teammates acknowledge that whenever the game was on the line in the late innings, Joe was the guy they wanted at the plate to drive in runs. 1985 was Joe’s best season when he led the league with a .500 batting average and was voted by his teammates as their MVP. Joe finished up his playing days with the Lakeville Fireman’s team when he joined them in 1996 and played until 2000. He will be remembered as one of the best outfielders and clutch hitters by his teammates and opponents’ for all the years he played in the Tri-State league.
Doug McArthur: played for Lakeville from 1968 – 1976. Doug played shortstop and occasionally pitched for Lakeville. An excellent defensive shortstop, Doug usually was in the fourth spot in a great Lakeville lineup that won championships in 1970, 1973, 1975 and 1976. He hit for a .416 batting average in 1970 and the following year batted .444. In 1971, he was also voted MVP of the Tri-State league. In his final season, 1976, he was given an award by the league for ‘outstanding and dedicated service to baseball in the area.’ That year he announced that he was moving to Japan to work for the National Council of Churches of Christ and was there until 1979. In 1984 he graduated from the seminary and has now been an ordained minister for the past 27 years.
Doug is very appreciative and honored to receive this award, however he wished that this award be accepted in honor of his father, Frank McArthur Sr. for his thirty plus years of being involved with baseball in the Lakeville area including serving as head coach of the Fireman during their stint in the old Inter-State league and the current Tri-State league.
Dave McArthur: played for Lakeville from 1968 through the mid 80’s. He started out as a slick fielding second baseman then moved to center field where he played most of his career. He batted at the top of the lineup using his outstanding speed to set up the Lakeville offense. Dave was a master of the drag bunt for base hits. A left handed slap hitter who hit to all fields, he was a career .300 hitter and in 1983, in the twi-light of his playing days, hit for a .367 average. Affectionately nick-named “Daisy” by his teammates; Dave was a free spirited player on five Lakeville championship teams. Many opposing hitters were robbed of extra base hits at Lakeville Park when he would go up the embankment to the railroad tracks and haul in long fly balls. Routine fly balls to center were also something to watch as Dave put them away with a “basket catch”.
He was a natural on the field who could hit, run and play centerfield. His longevity in the game can be attributed to the fun he brought to the ball park, his teammates and fans. Dave will always be remembered to those who saw him play as the guy who played in sneakers rather than spikes. He finished off his baseball career by managing Lakeville for his final few seasons.
John McKenna: is best known these days for his voice in local publications, but his time on the diamond can never be forgotten. John played for the Litchfield Cowboys from 1983-1986 and 1991-2002 with a four year stint for the Thomaston Spoilers sandwiched in the middle from 1987-1990. He was the kind of player that could hit anywhere in the lineup but never was an easy out. If you ask him for some of his favorite moments during his extensive career, he’ll surely mention winning a Tri-State League championship with Thomaston in 1989, or hitting a homerun in the 1989 All-Star game, or beating Torrington 3 out of 4 games in 2002 including an epic 2-0 playoff victory, or belting a homerun in his final game with the Cowboys. If you ask anyone else about their favorite moments with John, they’ll surely mention just playing with him. He was a great teammate on and off the field who played the game the right way. In 8 years as manager of the Cowboys, John found a way to bring the baseball interest back to Litchfield. The Cowboys went from barely fielding a team to eventually branching into two full squads thanks to John’s work. John continues to support the Tri-State league and Cowboys baseball with his press coverage although he will always be welcomed to grab a bat and dig in.
Dave Post: fell in love with the game of baseball when he was just a kid as a member of the 1968 Thomaston little league championship team where he was bestowed the teams pitching award. He played American Legion baseball at age 13, when Thomaston had its own Legion team. By 15 years of age, he was pitching nine innings in a loss (5-2) to a #1 state-ranked Legion powerhouse Bristol team. As a senior at Thomaston High School (1973), he was All-Berkshire League/All-State as a pitcher/first baseman who hit .337 for the Golden Bears with a ‘couple’ of Home-Runs. At 5’6’’, 225 pounds, Dave’s fastball was clocked at 91mph. He was the third fastest pitcher during a Cincinnati Reds tryout and was also invited to a Chicago Cubs tryout camp. A bicycle accident then damaged his throwing shoulder and ended his dream of pursuing the Major Leagues.
After trying modified softball for a few years, Dave joined Greg Hunts Bethlehem Plowboys and in his first game, as the #9 batter in the lineup, he hit two home runs in a 13-2 loss to Amenia. Three years later, he started his own team – the Thomaston Spoilers – leading them to championships in 1989 and 2003. Dave still holds the Spoiler record for home runs in a season with seven in 1986 and also played in the Waterbury Twi-Met league from 1973 thru 1999. A feared hitter during his prime that teams pitched around in the lineup, one does not mention ‘Postie’ without mentioning the other love of his life, his wife Lucy. She is known as the Spoilers’ scorekeeper, videographer, team mom and Post’s stabilizing force. They met at an American Legion game, and were married on a baseball field in Amenia, N.Y. Postie is regarded as quite the character, and never one to be shy with the umpires. Antics such as smashing himself in the helmet with the bat after a swing and miss, pulling off the hidden ball trick at first base, and the guy who once chased a heckler over the fence at a game, had a heart attack and was life-starred out of the parking lot and then banned from playing for the first half of the following season – will signify his on-field legacy.
RJ Poniatoski: carved a niche in Torrington’s High School’s outfield and then moved on to star in the Tri-State league playing for Litchfield before ending his baseball career with the newly formed Torrington Rebels. Known as arguably the best defensive centerfielder of his era, RJ used his aggressiveness on the base paths to become one of the leagues premier leadoff batters. Though small in stature, RJ followed in his fathers footsteps and inherited the same great speed that gifted his father Ray, and used that speed, and knowledge of the game, to be able to compete with the ‘Big Guys’. RJ also earned MVP trophies while playing in the Canton and New Britain softball leagues.
Following 13 years of graduate lessons as assistant coach to the now-general manager Biff Pond, RJ is in his first year as head coach of Torrington’s American Legion baseball team. Always volunteering his services to raise money for the Legion program or to help run a clinic through the Torrington Park & Rec Department, he is also a committee member for the profiled Dick’s Restaurant Scholarship Fund and the John Ponte Scholarship Fund. RJ credits his wife Linda for ‘being an angel’ to allow him to devote so much time to charity and baseball work. He is also known in the Northwest Hills of CT as being one of the prominent umpires in the area. RJ is serving in his 33rd season with the Torrington Board of Umpires and is currently the boards Spring Commissioner.
Jay Lemere: was a graduate of Gilbert High School in Winsted, and was a member of the 1976 CIAC state championship team. Jay continued his baseball career playing in the Tri-State League where he was the starting shortstop for a Winsted team that won four league championships in eight seasons. He was also the starting shortstop representing the Tri-State league in three different all-star games played during his playing days. In the latter part of his career, it was legendary coach Greg Hunt who first approached Jay about the possibility of someday becoming an umpire, citing he felt Jay was very knowledgeable about the game of baseball. Known for having a fiery demeanor, how ironic that a man who had a reputation of ‘being thrown out every Sunday’ would find his next baseball love to be wearing a mask behind home-plate. The respect that Jay earned on the field as a ballplayer has certainly carried over to behind the dish as these days he is easily the most requested umpire in the Tri-State League. Jay has served as the Torrington Board of Umpires state representative for the past two seasons. This year he was also elected as their summer commissioner.
Charlie Thornton: played for the Amenia Monarchs for a quarter of a century, from 1970 to 1994 and always in the starting line-up. He was given the nickname of “Old Reliable” by the late “Doc” Bartlett. He was the Tri-State league MVP in 1985 and in three different seasons during his career was voted team MVP by his teammates.
In his early years he played shortstop when he was not doing the pitching for Amenia. Being over six feet, he was ahead of the times for big infielders but had the quickness to cover the position and cannon of an arm to play a deep short. As a starting pitcher with excellent control he used his heavy fastball with a variety of speeds on the breaking ball to put down opposing hitters. A highlight of his mound career was in the early 80’s when he was called on as a last minute starter against Washington Depot. He tossed nine innings of no-hit baseball with one walk in a 1-0 Amenia win. Charlie lived up to his nickname in the Stan Musial tournament in 1985 when he threw 7 innings in an Amenia win and came back the next night to toss another 5. In his later years he developed a knuckle ball and would come in from first base to seal many Monarch wins. Charlie played all the infield positions and a few years in the outfield. He became a clutch RBI hitter who batted in the sixth spot in the order for a power filled line-up. It would be hard to imagine that Amenia would have had such a championship run for that period without Charlie. He was admired by his teammates for the always positive attitude and leadership he displayed both in the field and on the bench. A fan favorite for the infamous “Hill Gang” at the old park in Amenia, he will always be known to them as simply “Thunder”.
Chris Caron: was a graduate of Terryville high school who played his college baseball at the University of Hartford, Chris was known for a smoking fastball on the mound and a big bat at the plate. A 6’4’’ masterpiece who threw in the mid-90’s, Chris was the Tri-State league MVP in 1989 when Thomaston when its 1st league championship. In 16 full-time years with the Spoilers as their starting centerfielder, he had a career batting average of .355. On the mound, he threw a no-hitter as recently as 2007, at the age of 37. “We should have been watching him on TV” stated head coach Dave Post, musing at Chris’ talents as a centerfielder and pitcher.
In 2002, married with a young daughter and a job, Chris lied about his age to go to a major league pitching tryout camp, where scouts troll for undiscovered talent. He got a call-back, then a call with an offer to report for AA ball. “If you’d called me 12 years ago, I’d have done it,” Dave Post quotes then 32-year-old Chris Caron saying. “I just wanted to know if I still had it.” But Chris, wasn’t just a good ballplayer, he was a good teammate and a good guy. He taught his daughter Alexa, age 10, how to pitch. His son Adam, at age 6, can do a great Kevin Youkilis impression — not surprising, considering his dad was a Red Sox fan. “He would help you, talk to you,” Joe Deming said of Chris Caron. “He was the friendliest person you’d ever meet. Never negative about anything.”
On March 27th of this year, Chris Caron passed away at the tender age of 40 years old. The time for and with Chris ended too soon. Those of us that knew Chris, consider ourselves lucky. Now Chris is one of the leagues legends. On May 16th, 2010, the Thomaston Spoilers retired Chris Caron’s #6 jersey. No player will ever-again wear the #6 jersey for the Thomaston Spoilers. His demeanor as a player and person constitutes it. Sure enough, from the day he passed away, it rained 6 consecutive days until the day of his funeral when the skies opened up and it was a beautiful day. We knew on that day that God had called Chris up to be the starting pitcher for his team in the Baseball Heaven League.
Robert ‘Barney’ Mestek
Robert grew up in LaGrange Park, Illinois. At the age of 7 years old, Robert’s brother Chuck starting calling him Barney and the nickname stuck with him his entire life. A graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School in Illinois, Barney was named ‘athlete of the year’ his senior season after playing football (where he played center and linebacker), baseball and was a member of the wrestling team. He continued his education at Northern Illinois University where coincidentally he was named ‘athlete of the year’ following his junior season in college. In 1971, at the age of 21, he was drafted by the Dodgers organization. After spending time in the Florida State League, the California League, and winter ball in Arizona, Barney was invited to Dodgers spring training camp in 1973 and was placed with the AA affiliate Waterbury Dodgers where he pitched during the 1973 and 1974 seasons. It was in 1973 that Barney met his wife Sandy and they have been married for 36 years with two children, Brian and Alison. Sandy was a school teacher and held the steady job while Barney pursued his dream of the major leagues. In May of 1974, Barney was named ‘Eastern League Player of the Month’ followed by the making of his Topps Baseball card. In 1975, he was promoted to AAA Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was converted to a relief pitcher. The 1976 season brought Barney back to AA Waterbury but again as a starting pitcher. Known for a devastating curveball and sneaky fastball, at the age of 26 years old and following the 1976 season, Barney decided it was time to forego his big league dreams to concentrate on a future outside of baseball and spend more time with his family. He attended the University of Hartford where he earned an MBA and then continued his education at the University of New Haven earning a masters degree in Science and Taxation at the age of 33 years old. Barney continued his amateur career playing in the Twi-Met League where his personal favorite memories were the battles he had in pitching duels against former major leaguer Gary McKenna. In 1980 he also joined the Winsted team in the Tri-State League where he played in 4 championship finals before finishing out his Tri-State career playing for the Thomaston Spoilers. Today, he still plays in the state-wide over-40 league and in 2008 helped his Naugatuck team reach the title game. At age 59, the love of the game brings Barney back to the mound each week where you can dream again that you’re just a 12 year old kid playing sandlot baseball.
Greg is known as one of the greatest teachers of the game of baseball. He was a player/manager for the Bethlehem Plowboys from 1981 to 1999, leading the club to back-to-back Tri-State League championships in 1998 and 1999. A graduate of Nonnewaug High School, he then attended UConn where he dabbled in boxing as a hobby. Greg has worn many hats over the years. On the high school level, he has coached baseball at Thomaston and Terryville High Schools, leading the Bears to the 1985 Class ‘S’ state title game and the Kangaroos to the 1992 ‘S’ final, as well as being an accomplished basketball coach with 1 state championship final game appearance under his belt. He is currently the varsity head coach at Wamogo High School for both the boys baseball and basketball programs. Greg is perhaps best known in the Torrington area for managing the Torrington Twisters of the NECBL. He led the Twisters to five first-place finishes and four appearances in the NECBL championship series. This season Greg moved on to coach for the Manchester Silkworms in the NECBL when the Twisters left Torrington. He is the winningest manager in NECBL history. His legacy will always be remembered as how he taught numerous boys and men the game of baseball and how to play it the right way. He has always earned immense respect and undying loyalty from his players. Coach Hunt has always been, and continues to be, a great ambassador for the Tri-State League, as well as an ambassador for good old-fashioned, country baseball.
Richard is a graduate of Torrington High School and has been a life long resident in Torrington. Known for his wit and humor, Rich joined the Air Force in 1963 where he played fast pitch softball while serving our country. Upon his return in 1967, Rich played in the Torrington Twi-light Baseball League and won a championship also playing softball for Moosehead Tavern in the Torrington Softball League. Rich was known for being a good fastball hitter and a lousy curveball hitter during his playing days but it was on the hard court that Rich made a name for himself as an accomplished basketball player. He served as head coach for eight seasons in Little League and won city league championships in 1990 & 1991 coaching the Babe Ruth league while his son Richie Jr played. He retired from his baseball/softball playing days in his late 40’s but continued to play basketball well into his 50’s. Rich states the greatest joy of his life was watching his son playing ball and that one of his treasured golden memories was playing on the hard court side by side with his son ‘Shaq’. In 1993 he needed a job. He decided to become an umpire. Nobody wanted to umpire Tri-State Baseball League games during the lean years of the mid-90’s but Rich fell in love with his new job and fell in love with the Tri-State League. He enjoyed umpiring so much that he felt like he was stealing money when he was paid. Seventeen years later, Rich is regarded as one of the premier umpires in the league and states that he would rather go watch a Tri-State baseball league game than go to Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park. Married to his lovely wife Nikki for over 40 years, Rich is the current president of the Torrington Board of Umpires.
John started his Tri-State baseball career in 1969 when he lived at Salisbury Private School with his parents and was an infielder for the Lakeville Fireman. The word “reliable” comes to mind when talking about John’s longevity in the league. It was always appreciated to see him travel from Avon, CT., where he still teaches at Avon Old Farms Private School, to all of his games which made for many long days and road trips. He is a former Tri-State League MVP who won three batting titles with his always steady, consistent left handed swing and great eye with many bases on balls. His left center deadly long gappers and home runs were always considered his trademark right through his final season in 1993. The Lakeville Firemen truly benefitted from all of John’s enthusiastic leadership and fine overall performances and are proud to have him inducted into the Tri-State Baseball League Hall of Fame.
Howie began his playing career with the Amenia Monarchs in the early 60’s when the league was the Inter-State League. For almost 35 years, until the team disbanded in 1995, Howie made the 25 mile trip from his hometown of Rhinebeck NY to meet up with the team and travel to games. In all those years Howie only missed a couple of games later in his career so he could go to Shea to watch his Mets. Howie played second base almost to perfection and was very adept at pulling off the “hidden ball trick” on some opposing player almost yearly. At the plate he was the leadoff batter with great speed on the bases and an excellent bunter for base hits. A line drive hitter to all fields, Howie had a career batting average well over .300. Howie was an important part of the Monarch Team that won 9 Tri-State titles and he was voted the league MVP in the 1982 championship year. He is a member of the Dutchess County Hall of Fame, given that honor in 1989. Later in his career he was part of the coaching staff helping out younger players.
Paul played for the Amenia Monarchs in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Anyone who witnessed Paul at the plate saw one of the greatest hitters ever to play in the league. Paul was the number three hitter in the Monarch lineup during all the championship years. He could do it all with the bat. Whether leading off an inning with a base hit, dropping down a bunt for a hit or picking up an RBI if the situation warranted. However he was most feared by opposing pitchers when he unleashed his long swing with blurring bat speed that sent many a baseball over the outfield fences throughout the league. Paul patrolled centerfield for Amenia for almost 20 years. His speed also made him the team leader in stolen bases, as he perfected the walking lead to compliment his quickness. Later in his career he took over playing second base. Year in and year out, Paul was the team leader in many categories including batting average, home runs and stolen bases. He was the league MVP in 1979 and 1988 and finished with a career batting average over .350, with a couple of years hitting in the .400’s. Paul was inducted into the Dutchess County Hall of Fame in 2001. He spends his free time now hitting another ball….a golf ball, with the same left handed blur the Tri-State League saw for 2 ½ decades.
Jim graduated from the Gilbert High School in Winsted and played varsity baseball for four years. The slick fielding first baseman then went one year to Loomis Prep School in Windsor, also to play baseball. He entered the United States Navy in 1943 and was honorably discharged in 1946, serving time in the Pacific Theater. He then went to Yale University and split time at first base with former 41st U.S. President, George H. W. Bush. Jim returned to Winsted to play in the Winsted Industrial League and then the Interstate League. In the years of the late 50’s and early 60’s, Winsted was always near or at the top of the league. Jim Davidson Sr. could have been called the George Steinbrenner of his era. He hated to lose. Jim, known for his constructive criticism, brought and sometimes paid some of the best players in the area to play baseball in the Interstate League and helped put Winsted on the map with championships in 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, and 1965. He last managed in 1967. Always an ambassador for the league, Jim brought in the Indianapolis Clowns (the Harlem Globetrotters of baseball) for an exhibition game to raise money for the league and is extremely proud to see how the Tri- State League has grown into the number one adult league in the area.
Jim Davidson III
Jim began as a batboy at age 7 for his father’s Winsted team in the Interstate League. Jim learned the game from the many minor and ex-major leaguers on the team. He played both Little League and Babe Ruth for his father, Jim Sr. as coach. He lost one championship in six years. He graduated from Northwestern Regional # 7 in 1973. In his senior year Regional went to the Class S finals in the state for the only time in school history, only to lose to Shepaug High School. After high school Jim went to Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven where he started shortstop on the varsity team for three years. His sophomore year, Jim led the Owls in batting and his team defeated both Army and Navy that season. During the summers of his four college years, Jim played American Legion baseball for George Case and Moe Morhardt in Winsted. Jim played for the Winsted Tri-State team from 1973 to 1986 playing every game to win with passion. During that time, Winsted won championships in 1973, 1977, 1979. In 1981, Jim singled home Bob McCarthy in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat Amenia 2-1 in the title game. A two-time Tri-State League MVP, Jim served as player/coach for Winsted from 1982-1985 and helped keep the team and league going during some tough Tri-State years. Last season (2008) when Winsted won the league championship, Jim’s two sons, Mo and Chris, played on the team, becoming the third generation to win the league championship. For the past eight years, Jim has been co-varsity coach with Tom Germano at Regional #7 in Winsted.
Considered one of the greatest players to ever come out of Winsted, this feared left-hander began his career by helping The Gilbert School win a state title his freshman year in 1973. He then moved on to Division II Florida Southern where he helped lead them to the 1979 National Title. Bob began playing Tri-State baseball in 1980 with the Winsted franchise, and also spent time playing in the Twi-Met league of Waterbury. He played for 23 years in Winsted from 1980 – 2002, winning two league MVP awards (’86,’87) and lead Winsted to nine Tri-State finals, and two championships. The legendary stories of Bob’s career are still talked about throughout Winsted and the Tri-State league today. He will forever be a member of the Winsted Whalers and is still asked to play each year, which he turns down graciously.
An umpire in the Tri-State league since 1978, Lou joined the Navy right out of high school where he continued his own sports career playing fast pitch softball while serving his country from 1962 – 1965. Stationed in California, he met his wife Charryl and 47 years later they have three children (Chris, Scott, and Kelly) and seven grandchildren. His baseball career was revived as a member of the Winsted Little League board while his children were young, where he helped organize the umpires.
In 1992 he was selected by his peers to umpire in the high school baseball state championship games. Today, he is the current president of the Torrington Board of Umpires and also serves as the rules interpreter of the committee.
Known as an intelligent, hardworking, tough player during his baseball career, Jeff served as league treasurer from 1988-1999 and helped with the bookkeeping throughout the 2000’s. He was instrumental in helping to maintain the Tri-State League during that time period, along with Greg Hunt, when the two of them worked every facet of the league as the only league officers. Jeff’s baseball career began at The Gilbert School where he helped lead them to the state championship his senior year in 1979. He then went on to be a 4 year starter and a captain, senior year, at Bentley College. Jeff played in the Twi-Met league for Modern Motors from 1983-1995, coached them from ’92-95, and once played all 9 positions in a game. He began playing Tri-State baseball in 1980 for Winsted, where he was part of two league championships, ’86 and ’87. He managed the Winsted team from 1990-1999 when he retired from coaching and playing. Now a days Jeff can be seen as an assistant coach with the Torrington Twisters, which he has done since their inaugural season.
Known for his wit, humor, and talented writing skills, Peter has become a fixture at Tri-State games throughout the entire summer. His coverage for the past 10 years in the Register Citizen newspaper has been a major factor in bringing the Tri-State league to the forefront of amateur baseball in the Northwest Hills. A graduate of Newington High School, he began his career in public relations through his own company ‘Peter Wallace Advertising’ before moving on to work for a chain of companies in suburban Hartford in 1990. He was awarded the ‘Boys State Soccer Award’, considered to be one of the most prestigious media awards given out by the coaches association, for his work during the 2002 season. His respectful approach to interviews and writing about ballgames will always center on the players who make the story. He is the first-ever sports writer inducted into the Tri-State baseball league Hall Of Fame.
Was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1926 and moved to Winsted in his late teens with his family. After serving our country in the navy, in the South Pacific during World War II, George, better known as ‘Lefty’, returned home to Winsted and began playing baseball for the Veterans team in the Laurel City baseball league where he won the league batting title in 1947 by hitting .444 for the season. In 1953, he played a short time in the Cotton States league with the El Dorado Oilers, a minor league affiliate of the Boston Braves. After returning to Winsted to start a family of his own, he played in the Inter-State league and Tri-State league through the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s. While Lefty played the majority of his Tri-State days for Winsted (coached by Jim Davidson), he also played a few years for teams in Canaan and Unionville. During the early mid-seventies, Lefty stopped playing and directed his attention to coaching the Winsted team. In 1981, he was awarded the C.B.U.A. award by Roger Pollick for his many devoted years to the Tri-State league and coaching accomplishments. Overall, Lefty was involved in the Tri-State league for over 30 years.
The family of George and Kay Simmons ‘lives’ evolved around the Tri-State league every summer. Son’s Jim and Bob, and daughter Laurie, traveled each weekend around Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut to support their team. Lefty enjoyed attending Tri-State league games every Sunday at Walker Field up until the time of his passing in 2006. The family always loved to hear Lefty tell stories about the rival games between Winsted, Amenia, and other teams around the league. George ‘Lefty’ Simmons will never be forgotten.
Known as a respected player and coach who personifies Amenia baseball, Tommy was an All-Duchess County selection at Webutuck Central in 1967, after posting a .478 batting average. He played his entire semi-pro career with the Amenia Monarchs in the Tri-State baseball league from 1967 to 1995 where he won multiple MVP awards including being the top hitter of the league in 1980 with a .528 mark. In 1967, he hit three home runs and had nine RBI in a playoff game versus Lakeville. He was player-manager from 1972 to 1995 and led the team to 17 finals and 9 league championships. Tommy was part of the volunteer committee that designed, built and raised money for Amenia Park, and was instrumental in getting the fields built at Beekman Park, even getting lights installed on “Doc” Bartlett Field. In recognition of his efforts, the road at the field was officially ‘named’ Downey Drive in his honor prior to the 2007 Tri-State Old-Timers day game. Tommy coached the Mid-County Senior League All-Stars (1996-1998) and the Connie Mack League (1993-2001) and won championships in 1995 and 2000. In 2001, he was inducted into the Dutchess County (NY) Hall of Fame. When there was talk of resurrecting the Monarchs in 2005, Tommy was there again, this time with his son Tommy Downey IV as a player, and has served as an advisor on the Tri-State board of directors ever since.
A member of the 1975 Torrington American Legion state champions, Scott joined the Atlantic Coast League in NY following high school and was selected in the 33rd round of the major league draft in the summer of 1978 by the St. Louis Cardinals. With a fastball that topped out at 95 mph, Scott played minor league baseball for 5 seasons before an ankle injury ended his professional career following the 1982 season. He continued his baseball career playing in the Hartford Twi-light league and Waterbury Twi-Met league. His Tri State league career began in Thomaston as the Spoilers’ ace and brought a league championship in 1989. Over that winter, he introduced the Torrington Rebels to the Tri-State league as he felt that there were a good number of local players from Torrington that did not have the opportunity to play beyond high school or college. After a year of building, the Rebels won their first title in 1992. They went on to repeat in 93, 94, and 95. Because of Scott’s efforts as a player/manager, they went on to win titles in 97, 04, 06, and 07, bringing his personal total to 9 league championship teams.
His devotion to his teammates existed on and off the field. He worked hard to gain the confidence and support of local sponsors. The full coolers of fruit and snickers bars before every game were just a taste of what Scott brought to his team. Of course he did the most important jobs as a manager such as sponsorships, lineups, and uniforms, but it was the little things that made him a special player/manager. If you needed advice, he had it. If you needed a fishing partner, he went. If you needed help with a job at your house, he helped. Most of all, he showed up at your house at the end of the season with a framed team picture. Scott’s role as a player was just as important. His performance can be summed up in one short statement, “He dominated.” In 1995, there was one occasion where he struck out the first 9 Bethlehem sluggers he faced only to have it ruined by a famous Fussenich Park thunderstorm. Not one batter reached first, not one even made contact. Despite an ankle that simply did not work, his performance dominated.
In 2007, he won game three of the Tri-State league championship series for the Torrington Rebels. Amidst tears of emotion on the mound, the love for his family, friends, teammates, and the game of baseball was evident. When you mention Scott Arigoni, everyone thinks pitcher. His identity as a hitter was underestimated. He is simply known as the ‘tall guy with the antique 36 inch Louisville Slugger’ he got in the Cardinals organization in 1978. Oh, and we can’t forget his CRAFTSMAN leather work gloves he used as batting gloves. Let’s just say that there are probably still some balls in the Naugatuck river that came from Scott’s bat. Scott has moved on to the state-wide over-40 baseball league but he is also still pitching these days for the Torrington Rebels and has not missed a baseball season in 38 years. His 20+ year Tri-State league career has not only shaped the Rebels as a team, but the Tri-State league as well. Usually, hall of fame inductees are recognized when their careers are over. But in Scott’s case, will his pitching days ever be over? Well, with new additions to the family, Sean, Noah, and Yondell, he will be pitching well into his 70’s. And of course, the Rebels will always need a crafty lefty. .
Well-known baseball umpire and basketball official for over 40 years, southpaw Cantadore, known as Lefty, played for the Torrington High School baseball team class of 1939 that went on to become state champions. George then entered the Navy during WWII and played for the Navy all-star team that traveled from base to base. He was later signed to a minor league contract with the Boston Braves. Upon his release, he continued his baseball career playing in the old Torrington Twi-light league and the Twi-Met league.
A 5-foot-8, 170-pounder with Popeye forearms, Marc Damelio hammered baseballs with ferocity. First at Holy Cross, then at Mattatuck Community College, where he was a two-time All-New England pick and a junior college All-American. In 1993, he earned NEC Player of the Year honors playing for Sacred Heart University . From there, it was Modern Motors in the Twi-Met League and the Bethlehem Plowboys in the Tri-State League. Marc was a two-time Tri-State baseball league MVP who was regarded as one of the best players to come out of Waterbury . As a school teacher, his students respected him and loved being with him. One of the sentiments expressed was about how Marc’s baseball friends never had any idea what a great teacher he was and how his teaching friends never knew what a good baseball player he was. Maybe so. But they all knew what a great guy he was. Marc Damelio will never be forgotten.
Pitched for the Litchfield Cowboys for over 25 years and led the cowboys to the tri-state league championship series in 1990. Known for baffling the oppostion with a tenacious curveball, Eddie is remembered by his former teammates as a class act, great teammate, and great competitor on the mound.
For over 25 years Bud was a strong influence on both the Amenia Monarchs and the Tri-State Baseball League. He worked behind the scenes raising funds to support the Monarchs and the Tri-State league. Bud was a league officer for over 20 years, starting out as the league secretary for 4 years before becoming league president from 1980-1995 overseeing the league activities. Bud can still be found at a Monarchs game these days and is still a supporter of all the team’s functions.
Catcher for the Amenia Monarchs with a reputation of being tough as nails. Mike was a fierce competitor who was respected by his teammates and oppenents for his work ethic. Known as an outstanding defensive catcher who called his own game, he retired at the age of 57, still as the starting catcher for Amenia. A 5-time team MVP of the champion Monarchs during their historic run in the 80’s and was league MVP in 1983. A lifetime .300 hitter who occupied the six spot in the lineup with a countless number of RBI’s. As a high school baseball coach, he has a record holding 334 wins against 142 losses with 10 league championships at Pine Plains High School. In 1991, his team was the New York state southeast regional champions.
Co-founder of the Litchfield Cowboys baseball team, Bill led the team in hitting during thier expansion season in 1973 and was an important member of the board of directors who helped keep the league alive through the 70’s and 80’s. Bill has financially sponsored the Stan Musial tournament over the past 3 seasons which has allowed the Tri-State league to host the tourney.
Hall of Fame Information
- Tri-State Board of Directors is the Nominating Committee.
- The individual must have gained prominence or recognition as a player, coach, or umpire for the Tri-State Baseball League.
- The individual must be ‘retired’ as a player (or 40 years old) and have played in the Tri-State Baseball League for a minimum of 5 seasons.
- In the event of a serious illness or death an individual will be eligible immediately.
- Any sponsor, sportswriter, broadcaster, administrator or any other special category selected by the Board of Directors may be included if such individual has made a noteworthy contribution to the Tri-State Baseball League.