2014 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Todd Thomas, Southern Colorado MSBL/MABL
By Steve LaMontia, Executive Regional Director
Your name: Todd Thomas
City or town of residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado
League name: MSBL/MABL of Southern Colorado
Town where league is based: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Where did you grow up? Colorado Springs, Colorado
High school and college, if applicable: Doherty High School, University of Southern Colorado, Otero Jr. College
What do you do for a living? I lead a team of trainers who train approximately 105 apprentices and craftsman in a Utility Company. Specifically, we oversee and 14 apprenticeship programs including, but not limited to, Linemen, Pipefitters, Power Plant Operators, Power Plant Mechanics, Water Plant Operators, Gas Pipeline Operators and Water pipe fitters.
Family information: Married 28 years to a very understanding Amy Thomas who has been supporting me while I support the local MSBL. I have four children, Trevor, Taylor, Tess and Tara who have been at most games unless they had their own games to attend.
Describe your baseball resume: I have played since I was 5 years old. High School, College, AABC, MSBL
What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing? For more than a few years, we had a manager/player in our league that lost a leg. It was the way the entire league included him as an equal player by never pulling any punches. He was a ball player and he was going to have to earn every hit. This had a positive impact on him and us. He once confided in me that playing baseball with us was one of the only things in his life that made him feel as if he was not handicapped. In the end, during a playoff game, he got a crucial hit and although his team came up short, he walked a little taller when shaking hands with the eventual league champions. It was at that point the league trophy became worthless and the honor of participating in that game was most rewarding.
When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it? I joined the local 30+ league in 1996 and heard about it from friends who I used to play with years earlier.
Do you still play? If you ask any of my teammates, they may question if I should admit it, but yes, I still play
What team and age bracket? Colorado Springs Bombers. Although we average 42 years of age we play in the 25+ division
What is the best thing about your league?
We have a group of gentlemen who wish to play at the highest level yet will not sacrifice the camaraderie or families to do so. Umpires, fans, players respect each other and if a new players challenge that respectful behavior, they are held accountable by their own teammates.
Do you participate in any MSBL national tournaments? I have played in 17 World Series events over the last 20 years with the same core group of players.We have been the Mets, Grizzlies, Bombers, Explorers, and most recently Bro’ Thunder.
What is the funniest thing you have ever witnessed on a ball field? A few years back a cleanup hitter for our team pulled a rocket down the left field line and foul hitting a tree in foul territory. This tree was at least 40 feet into foul territory. The home plate umpire deemed it a home run stating to the catcher he saw it curve around the foul pole and hit the tree. The player rounded the bases smiling the whole way and nearly every player on the field was in shock. After the player crossed the plate the field umpire walked to the plate umpire and asked him if he was sure. The plate umpire admitted to his colleague he didn’t see a thing and made the call based on how everyone reacted. The plate umpire turned to the hitter and asked if the ball was fair and the batter said “no, it was WAY foul.” The umpire looked at the catcher, then at the batter, then at the umpire and after about 15 seconds yells…FOUL BALL!
Questions just for fun:
Who is your favorite player of all time and why? Yogi Berra. He is an example of a typical player and his personality and quotes transcended baseball.
Who is the best player in the majors right now? You have to like Mike Trout.He is truly a five-tool player and plays the game with intensity and passion.
Who is the greatest pitcher of all time and why? Satchel Paige. Those who witnessed him claim he threw the ball harder than any pitcher of that era and pitched every game including double headers well into his elder years.
Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share? I am grateful for the MSBL national staff and president Steve Sigler. This league provides a much needed opportunity for older baseball players to gather and relive the glory days of their youth. Clearly, many agree with me as the league continues to grow.For me, I simply am waiting for the next grooved fastball that I can tap lightly between 3rd and SS thus extending my glory-days a bit further. Later that night I will tell the story of how I hit a frozen rope into the gap. Hey, it all looks the same in the scorebook… Play Ball!