Steve Richard Caps Expectations with MVP Award

© 2004 Register Citizen – Peter Wallace

League chairman Ed Gadomski calls Torrington (2004) "maybe the best Tri-State team in the last decade," then lists three players – Steve Richard, Jeremy Pesce and Rich Thomson – as possible 2004 MVP candidates in a lineup with no weakness.  Torrington ‘s penultimate lead-off hitter, Chris Perusse, narrows the reason for this year’s Rebel success even further.  "Steve Richard," Perusse said.  "We wouldn’t be half the places we are this year if it weren’t for him.  He’s the five-tool player that every team hopes to have on their team."  Like many of the league’s improved teams, Torrington already had great players.  But Richard, in his first full season with the Rebels, makes them significantly better.  "He played a handful of games for us last year," Perusse said.  "Even then, we couldn’t wait to get him full time."  But, if Richard’s addition took the Rebels over the top, it’s still their top-to-bottom strength that made them No. 1 in the regular season.  Richard, a four-year, three-sport star at Taft, before joining the UConn baseball team as a freshman last year, is hitting .430 this summer.  Just as importantly, nobody tries to take an extra base on him on a shot to right field. 

(Richard was named Tri-State MVP following the 2006 season.)