By MICHAEL LETENDRE
Those players have moved up the ladder from programs such as Edgewood, Forestville, and McCabe-Waters Little League, to American Legion baseball in town and the like.
And “Big” Chadd Richardson, the senior catcher of the Falcons, is another standout player from Bristol who the city is certainly proud of after the squad pulled out a 4-2 Class S championship victory over Morgan on Saturday, June 12 to snare the program’s third title – the first since 1972.
Richardson certainly had his moments throughout tournament play and when he’s been at the plate in clutch situations over the final two rounds, opponents have been leery of his bat, electing to walk the slugger instead of allowing him hit.
And that’s a credit to Richardson and his play at the plate.
In both games, St. Paul notched a total of seven runs – five against Old Lyme and two versus Morgan – off the intentional walks as Richardson and crew were riding the momentum all the way to Palmer field in Middletown to the Class S title.
In his final scholastic game with an outstanding group of players, the Bristol Observer had a quick word with Richardson after the championship victory before he and his teammates went of to celebrate the title:
Bristol Observer: Will you tell [the opponent’s] to stop intentionally walking you because, for the second straight game, after you reached first base, the guys behind you did something to turn the tide of each contest to get to the championship trophy…
“Big” Chadd Richardson: We’re just solid, one through nine. Mike [Dombrowski] behind me, that just means that he’s going to put it where he needs to, do what he needs to do. Walk me, Dom’s right behind me.
Bristol Observer: Talk to me about [star pitcher Connor] Crean on the mound today. I know he walked a couple [seven overall], the defense was a little shaky at times but, boy, when he really needed to buckle down, he certainly ramped it up, didn’t he?
“Big” Chadd Richardson: “[He] settled in pretty nice toward the end when we really needed to. We made senior plays [behind him].”
Bristol Observer: Winning a state championship for St. Paul Catholic High School and Bristol, your hometown, what does that feel like?”
“Big” Chadd Richardson: “It feels great. [It’s been] 42 years I think since we’ve been in the finals. Just being able to come back and answer and put up a banner in the gym feels great.”
Bristol Observer: Talk to me about your teammates and the job they’ve done to make this title run happen.
“Big” Chadd Richardson: “I love each and every one of them. I’ve played with some of these guys in the regional for Edgewood. During American Legion [last summer], we almost won that against RCP and I’m going to be with some of them [the next day] playing Legion.”