Tri-State says Good-Bye and Hello

The Tri-State Baseball League will feature 18 teams in the 2011 season but says good-bye to one of its long-time members, the Thomaston Spoilers. Hall-Of-Fame head coach Dave Post will ‘retire’ after 26 seasons at the helm of the Spoilers with two league championships (1989 & 2003) on his resume. The Spoiler players will migrate to other teams in the league.
Tri-State will also open its arms and say hello to a former foundation member as Lakeville rejoins the league after a twelve year absence. The Lakeville Firemen were one of the original Tri-State league members from 1968 and played in the league until 1999 with six league championships during that timeframe. Chris Lambert, owner of the Winsted Dome, will sponsor the new team, who will play under the nickname ‘Outlaws’ to distinguish Lakeville’s next chapter in the league. The Outlaws will play their home games at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville.
Friday May 20th is slated for opening day with a double-header scheduled at Muzzy field in Bristol. The rest of the league will open up on Sunday May 22nd. Each team will play a 19 game regular season. The ‘top 12’ teams will play in a round-robin double-elimination tournament beginning in August to crown a league champion. Four different teams have won the league championship the past four seasons. The Bethlehem Plowboys are the defending champs after knocking off the Tri-Town Trojans in the best-of-three finals in 2010. Brass City Brew (2009 champs), Winsted Whalers (2008 champs), and Torrington Rebels (2007 champs) will all compete for another title. Rounding out the league will be the Watertown Blaze, Tribury Pavers, Terryville Black Sox, Waterbury Wild, Naugatuck Dogs, Prospect Hearts, Litchfield Cowboys, Burlington Hunters, Bristol Greeners, Amenia Monarchs, Wolcott Scrappers, and Mazda Dodge who will now play under the name of Thomaston Threshers.
A Monday 4th of July extravaganza featuring the Tri-State ‘All-Stars’ in an exhibition game against the FCBL Torrington Titans will be played at Fuessenich Park (6pm) and will feature a pregame Home Run Derby (4pm) to raise money for the United Way. ‘Contacts’ have been made to draw some former big league ball players to the ballpark for the festivities. Contract negotiations are also underway with a ‘surprise’ mini-celebrity to join us that night. A block party in the parking lot will kick–off the days’ events starting at noon. The local ’All in Band’ will provide live entertainment and a ‘pyrotechnic special-effects’ light show will be on display following the game to round out the days jamboree. The Fire Marshall and extra Police ‘manpower’ have been assigned as a crowd of 3000 people is expected for the game/light show. Any businesses or sponsors who would like to make a financial contribution/donation and have their ‘names’ advertised for the night please contact me for further info.
The league will also participate in several charity tournaments during the course of the year. May 14&15 will feature a ‘Goodwill’ tournament versus the other Stan Musial leagues in the state. A ‘Campership’ charity tournament will be held on Saturday June 18th at Fuessenich Park with three games scheduled to be played where all proceeds’ will be donated in the memory of Glenn Winn (son of Torrington Park & Rec administrator Donna Winn) to the Campership Foundation. Tri-State will send a representative to the PAL tournament fundraiser in Manchester the third week of August, a charity fundraiser versus the Westchester/Rockland league from NY is scheduled for the last weekend in August, and an all-star game versus the Wallingford Twilight League to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness in September. In addition, five teams will also qualify to play in the Stan Musial state tournament the last week of July with a chance to advance to the AABC regional and national tournament. The 2011 Old Timers Day game and Hall-Of-Fame ceremony will be played at Doc Bartlett Field in Amenia, NY on Sunday June 5th.
Tri-State has joined ‘I-Score Baseball Scorekeeper’ for the 2011 season and will keep digital real-time stats of every game automatically uploaded to the league website where teams, players, and season long statistics can be tracked separately at the touch of a button as well as the ability to view any scored game of the season. I-Score gives the capability to post pitch-by-pitch updates to the internet so that people who cannot attend the game in person can follow along on the league website.
      Tri-State Tidbit:
Cecil’s Favorite Fielder
October 6, 1990
Cecil Fielder was recently named to the advisory board for the newly found Torrington Titans baseball team of the FCBL. On the last day of the Tigers’ season at Yankee Stadium in 1990, Cecil Fielder hit his 50th and 51st home runs to become the 11th player in ML history at the time – and only the second in the previous 25 years – to reach the 50-HR plateau. Former Bethlehem Plowboy KEITH HARKNESS believes he is a part of baseball history after recovering the ball Cecil Fielder hit for his 50th home run. ”It was the biggest thrill of my life,” stated Harkness, (21 at the time of Thomaston, CT) as quoted from the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. He was pushed out of his seat in the crush to get the ball. Luckily for him, he fell on the ball and came up with it. After the game, Harkness was allowed on the field at Yankee Stadium and gave the souvenir baseball to Fielder who graciously returned an autographed bat and a ball.