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Five players inducted into Tri-State League Hall of Fame

Five men were inducted into the Tri-State Baseball League’s Hall of Fame Tuesday night. From left, Jim Mischke, Ryan McDonald, Marc DiDominizio, Darrin Gould and Kyle Weaver were recognized.

TORRINGTON, August 21 — Five men, including one that helped the Canton Reds senior league baseball team win a state championship in 2000, were inducted into the Tri-State Baseball League’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday night at Fuessenich Park in Torrington.

The inductions were held prior to Game 1 of the league’s championship series between the Terryville Black Sox and Tri-Town Trojans. The Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 series with a 3-0 victory over the Black Sox behind pitcher Charlie Benson, who struck out 10 and gave up just five hits.

The five men inducted into the Tri-State League Hall of Fame were:

  • Ryan McDonald, who founded and coached the Tri-Town Trojans for 10 years
  • Marc DiDominizio, the current baseball coach at Manchester High and long-time player for the Brass City Brew and Blasius Chevrolet
  • Jim Mischke, the long-time catcher for the Thomaston Spoilers who helped found the Terryville Black Sox
  • Three-time Tri-State League champion Darrin Gould of Torrington who played with the Reds and
  • Litchfield’s Kyle Weaver, who helped the Cowboys win three Tri-State League titles in five years.

Ryan McDonald of Columbia graduated from Litchfield High in 2002 where he played baseball and soccer. In baseball, he helped lead the Cowboys to the Class S semifinals in 2002 and helping Litchfield win a Berkshire League title in 2001.

He was the founder of the Tri-Town Trojans in 2005 and was a player coach for five seasons before taking over full-time as manager in 2010. Under his leadership, Tri-Town won back-to-back state titles in 2013 and 2014 and he led the Trojans to five Tri-State League finals, winning it all in 2013. He retired from the Tri-State League after the 2015 season. He owns Ted’s Restaurant on the UConn campus in Storrs.

Marc DiDominizio was a three-year starter in baseball and basketball at Sacred Heart in Waterbury. He played four years of baseball at Post University, graduating in 2003 with a degree in management. He has been the varsity baseball coach at Manchester High for eight seasons, leading the Tomahawks to the CCC North title in 2014 and the Class LL quarterfinals twice.

Marc has been playing in the Tri-State League since 2003 as a member of the Brass City Brew and then Blasius Chevrolet. He won the Tri-State Silver Slugger award in 2005 and the Cy Young Award in 2008 and was a member of Brass City’s 2009 Tri-State championship team.

Jim Mischke played for the Thomaston Spoilers and the legendary Dave Post for 20 years as the starting catcher, winning a league championship in 2003. In 2007, Jimmy and his best friend George Newsome started the Terryville Black Sox team where he played the last seven seasons of his Tri-State career.

Jimmy currently plays for the New Hartford Spoilers in the over-40 league where he is joined by several Tri-State Hall of Famers. Jim said he will play baseball as long as his body lets him.

Darrin Gould, who played one year with the Canton Reds and won a state title in 2000, was one of five Hall of Fame inductees to throw out the first pitch at Tuesday’s Tri-State League championship series opener at Fuessenich Park in Torrington.

Darrin Gould grew up in Southern California and didn’t play baseball in high school or college but still showed enough talent to get invited to a 1989 MLB tryout camp where he was offered a free agent contract by the San Francisco Giants. But he decided not to sign.

Playing baseball in California, Darrin was a three-time NABA (National Adult Baseball Association) national champion, a four-time NABA Las Vegas tournament champion and a seven-time league champion with the Orange County A’s. In 2000, he was a member of the Canton Reds, which won the state championship in the over-30 division.

“Darrin was a standout player (for the Reds),” said former Reds teammate Paul Arena, who was at the Hall of Fame ceremony Tuesday. “He was an imposing player on the field. He was a big guy and had a natural leadership quality about him. He always had the big hit in the key situation. Everyone looked up to him and followed his lead.”

Thirsting for more competition against younger players, he joined the Rebels in Torrington in 2001, helping the team win three league championships in 2004, 2006 and 2006. He was the Tri-State League MVP in 2004, hitting .425 and going 3-0 on the mound that season. He was selected to the Tri-State All-Star team that faced the Russian national team in June 2007 at Fuessenich Park.

Darrin was 35 when he joined the Tri-State League. “The game was a little faster (than the Senior Division),” he said. “But my skill set was still where I could play. I wanted to use my hands and my feet and my arm strength was still there.”

Scott Arigoni, a Tri-State League Hall of Famer and a Torrington native, introduced Darrin to the Reds. When Darrin wanted additional competition, Arigoni recommended the Rebels and the Tri-State League.

Litchfield’s Kyle Weaver was a three-time All-Berkshire League selection at Litchfield High and played four years of NCAA Division I baseball at the University of Vermont. He played with Courtney Dodge in Waterbury Twi-Met League and played 19 years with the Litchfield Cowboys in the Tri-State League, helping the Cowboys win three league titles in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

In his final game as a Cowboy in 2015, Kyle was 4-for-4. He was the starting shortstop for the Tri-State All-Star team against the Russian national team in 2007.

The Tri-State League has been honoring players, coaches and sportwriters since 2007. Learn more about previous Hall of Fame inductees.

Game two of the best-of-3 series is set for Wednesday night at Fuessenich Park. Game three, if necessary, will be on Thursday.

Game one was a pitcher’s duel on Tuesday with Benson striking out 10 and Terryville hurler Kenny Kerski striking out nine. Tri-Town took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a walk to Danny McCarty and consecutive hits from Sam Shelburg and Connor Murray.

The Trojans extended their lead in the eighth inning. With two outs and runners on first and second base, Tri-Town’s Andrew Prince ripped a single off the glove of Terryville first baseman Kyle Skidmore that went into right field, allowing Shane Bierfeldt to score from second base. McCarthy scored from first base on a throwing error for a 3-0 lead.


From left, Kyle Weaver, Darrin Gould, Marc DiDominizio, Ryan McDonald and Jim Mischke look at the flag during the national anthem before Tuesday’s Tri-State League championship series opener in Torrington.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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