www.eteamz.com/althomasclub: Welcome

Thursday, November 14
Welcome to the Al Thomas Baseball Club

Red Sox' Rich Hill

You've reached the website of the Al Thomas Club of the Yawkey Amateur Baseball League. The YBL is one of the largest amateur baseball leagues in New England, consisting of up to 16 teams in and around the city of Boston.

The 2014 season was meant to be a transitional year for the A's as longtime manager, Joe O'Hara stepped away from the field after 30 years as a player, coach and manager and move into the President/GM role. The Chief's successor was his 9-year veteran pitcher/infielder John Kostas, who had been assistant coach as well for the last 3 years.

Working together, this new "braintrust" went on to assemble a team of dedicated, hard-working, talented athletes who were poised to take on any challenges to carry on the winning tradition of the team. There were definitely some early adjustments, but the end result was the team's second straight division title and best record in the conference.

In the playoffs, the A's won a tough first-round battle against the newly-merged Savin Hill Dodgers, 3 games to 2. Then they took on the mighty Revere Rockies, loaded with talent and veteran guile. A grueling dogfight back and forth ended on a Steve Lambert, bottom of the 7th leadoff laser shot out of Braintree High Field that launched the A's into the finals for the first time in 7 years. 

In the finals against perennial champion Somerville Alibrandi's, the Al Thomas Club had its chances, but couldn't take advantage of golden opportunities, and lost 4 games to 1, all tight games. Kudos to the champs for always getting it done when they needed!

The 2014 season was a magical one for the A's, even though it fell just short of miraculous, and all of the players and coaching staff should be commended for their sacrifices, commitment and nasty performances. A little fine-tuning and tweaking, and the Boys will be right back at it next year!

The team wishes a fond farewell to veteran Chris McDonough, who is hanging up the spikes after 7 years of all star service with the A's to pursue some new adventures in California.

As the league banquet draws near in December, league award winners have been announced, and the A's are extremely well represented. The team has been named Co-Franchise of the Year with the Somerville Alibrandi club; John Kostas has been voted Manager of the Year; Willie Archibald has been named Pitcher of the Year; James Katsiroubas has won a Gold Glove at 3b; Freddi Carrera has won a Silver Slugger Award for OF; and Matt Lavasseur was named to the All-Rookie team. Joe O'Hara will be honored with the Joan Tarpey Skinner Excellence in Service Award.

Job well done to all!

2012 marked the 31st season for the Al Thomas Club. The team responded from a tough semifinal loss to eventual champion Somerville Alibrandi's in 2011 by winning its 18th division championship in '12. With a 23-9-1 record, the A's secured the 2nd seed in the playoffs and squared off against an upstart Brighton Braves team that was tasting playoff baseball for the first time in over a decade. Three back-and-forth games saw the A's find a way to win each game late for the first-round sweep, setting up a matchup with the pitching-heavy Malden team. Despite a win in Game One, the Thomas Club frittered away opportunities and lost the next three games, bowing out once again in the semifinals.

Although very confident heading in to 2013, the A's reluctantly wish a fond farewell to three of its longtime, outstanding veterans as Mark Daly, Mike Niland and Aidan Powers have hung up their ATBC cleats. We thank them for so many great year of talent, effort, sacrifices, leadership, heart and friendship, and we wish them well.

The Al Thomas A's celebrated their 30th year in 2011, having amassed 5 league championships and 17 division championships. Building on the success of 2010, the A's looked forward to the 2011 season with great anticipation. But as opening day rolled around in May, the team learned that its top three starters (with a combined record of 15-1 in 2010) would be unavailable for the entire season, two due to injuries and the third due to job responsibilities and relocation.

Showing its trademark resiliency, the Al Thomas Club remained competitive, made some additions, and fought down to the last game of the season, when they played a "play-in" game against South Boston for the final playoff spot. All Star Southpaw Dan Gaughan took the hill and held the Saints at bay, while the offense rallied for 7 runs and a 7-2 victory. Centerfielder Steve Lambert made two spectacular catches to thwart South Boston rallies and crush the team's spirit.

With the final playoff spot in hand, the reward for the A's was to face the powerful number-one-seed McKay Club, who had enjoyed the best season in the team's history. Paced by a thunderous lineup, solid defense, talented pitching and blazing speed all around, the Beacons topped the league with a .338 team batting average, led by eventual MVP and batting champion (.584) Bryan Curran.

The A's proved once again that they can never be counted out as they defeated the Beacons 3 games to 1, capped by a 1-0 masterpiece in game four. Bill Clang tossed a 5-hitter with no walks and 9 strikeouts to outduel youngster Tom Fitzpatrick, while Chris McDonough singled in Mike Niland in the 5th for the only run of the game. In the series, Clang recorded two wins and saved the third game.

The semifinals pitted the A's against the defending champion Somerville Alibrandi team. The defense and hitting seemed to let the team down as it lost three tight games 3-0, 2-0 and 6-5 to bow out of the playoffs. Rookie Matt McDougall lost game two despite throwing a 1-hitter.

The Al Thomas Club looks forward to the 2012 season as a chance to redeem itself and once again finish the job.

The A's have missed the playoffs just twice in the last 22 years and have never recorded a season under .500 in the Yawkey League. The Thomas Club was fortunate enough to send 42 players to Fenway Park as All Star representatives over the years. This past year, Bill Clang and Dan Gaughan were selected to the YBL all star team that played at Fallon Field in Roslindale.

We are proud to boast of the success of one of our alumni, Rich Hill of Milton, who battled through a rough beginning to his major league career before enjoying a solid second half of the season for the Chicago Cubs in 2006. In addition to recording the Cubs' only complete game and shutout of the year, Rich also tied the Cubs' record for K's by a lefty with 11. In 2007, Rich enjoyed his first full year in the majors, posting an 11-8 record with an era of 3.92 and 183 strikeouts.  Rich suffered a back injury in Spring Training 2008, and it affected him throughout the entire season, as he tried to beat the mysterious injury by shutting it down early. In 2009, shoulder and elbow woes cut short his season, but he was signed by the Cardinals in the spring of 2010 and spent most of the year at Memphis, their AAA affiliate, working on regaining his strength, form and command. Rich exercised a clause in his contract that afforded him his release at the end of June, and he signed on with his hometown Boston Red Sox in July. After pitching well at Pawtucket, Rich was called up and recorded six scoreless relief appearances for the Sox and put himself on their radar for 2011 and beyond. In 2011, he picked up where he left off and was dominating hitters, boasting a 0.00 era through 12 appearances before injuring his arm in what would eventually lead to Tommy John surgery in October.  We are proud of Rich and wish him continued success in his professional career. After two outstanding partial years with the Red Sox, the staff waited too long to offer him a contract in 2013, and Rich was snatched up by former Sox manager Tito Francona and the Indians.

Originally based in Milton and on the South Shore, the team has branched out over the years to include players from all areas. Many colleges have been represented on this team, including Boston College, Framingham St., Bowdoin, Babson, Curry, Holy Cross, UMass Lowell, Harvard, Massasoit, Bridgewater St., Salem St., Fairfield, Wheaton College, Nichols, Westfield St., Franklin Pierce, UMass Boston, Bryant, Northeastern, Boston University, Providence, Suffolk, Assumption, UVM, U Maine and many more. We play a 33-game schedule, followed by playoffs for 8 of the 16 teams. We benefit from top-level SSUA umpires and a fierce competition level.

In 2007, The Yawkey League established a relationship with the United States Military All Star Baseball Team, and the two organizations played an all star game at Fallon Field in Roslindale. Since then, the teams have continued the tradition at Adams Field in Quincy, Jim Rice Field in Boston's South End, and at historic Holman Field in Nashua, NH, where the YBL was a guest for a two-game all star series. The U.S. team is self-financed and is comprised of all branches of the military. The Al Thomas Club has been represented by Aidan Powers, Chris Bucci, Andy Doyle, Steve Lambert, Ryan Stoller and Ricky Salvucci.

The Al Thomas Club is sponsored by the Alfred D. Thomas Funeral Home in Milton. Mr. Thomas has been the franchise holder since the team's inception and regularly attends the games each year, along with our loyal fan base. Mr. Thomas has been one of the best sponsors and contributors to the YBL in the league's history, and was inducted into the Yawkey League Hall of Fame in 2001.

 Al Thomas and Manager Joe O'Hara proudly announced several promotions within the organization in 2010. Veteran players Aidan Powers, Mark Daly and John Kostas were appointed Assistant Coaches. All will help with the operations of the team including workouts, recruiting and event planning. Congratulations to these players for stepping up and earning important roles for the Al Thomas Club! In 2012, Kostas will take on the additional duties as pitching coach in an effort to strengthen the team's organizational structure.

The team will be working out throughout each offseason with  a series of drills for hitting, fielding, pitching and running.  All are welcome to join in our workouts. Anyone interested in trying out for the team can contact manager Joe O'Hara at joeohara64@hotmail.com or 617-850-2378.

On July 18, 2011, the YBL held its first annual Dan Tarpey Memorial Golf Tournament at Presidents GC in Quincy, MA, in honor of the late YBL Commissioner. Many former Al Thomas players, fans and friends joined the Al Thomas contingent in the tournament. This year, the 2nd annual Dan Tarpey Memorial tournament will take place on Monday June 25th at Presidents. For info on golfing, sponsoring or volunteering, please contact Joe O'Hara at 617-850-2378.

Any Coaches interested in volunteer coaching opportunities with the Al Thomas Club, please contact Joe at joeohara64@hotmail.com and include a brief baseball background. The team is also in need of a scorekeeper. 

Baseball Ireland Game 2010