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2013 Tri-State Hall Of Fame Inductees. Part 1. Bill Liefert, Tim Hamel, Rich Thomson, Pat Murphy.

POSTED August 17, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Bill Liefert

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 Hamel

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 team’s 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 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 Murphy

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.

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