December 1, 2005
The South Shore Baseball Club prides itself for producing baseball and softball players, as well as building character and values in its members. Avon’s Matt Thomas is a perfect example having gone from learning how to play baseball at the South Shore Baseball Club, to serving his country during the Iraqi War, and returning home to work in national security at Logan Airport.
Thomas first started going to SSBC in 1989 when he was nine years old and he stayed there until three years ago. “My father worked with Tim Daley’s father – Tim’s a few years older than me – and he recommended that I go to SSBC. It was a place to workout, hit as much as I wanted, and I got better. I went to the camps and clinics, played in the Fall League, and played for the Seadogs when I was 17.
“I could be involved and around baseball 365 days a year. I was around people who loved the game and had the desire to play baseball as much as I did. I remember Frank Niles gave me my first hitting lesson. Unlike some practice sessions that dragged on, the SSBC instructors made everything fun for us, they made every drill better. I liken SSBC to a gym, only for baseball; it was a great atmosphere to grow up in.”
He also played with a crew of great SSBC teammates, including present day Chicago Cubs pitcher Richie Hill, in addition to younger players such as contemporary minor leaguers Mark Rosen and Ryan Morgan.
Matt went on to become Most Valuable Player of the Mayflower League as a senior at Avon High, where he also played basketball and ran cross-country. At the University of Massachusetts (Boston), Thomas was a four-year starter who hit in the three hole, and established the school record for most games played.
During the summers in his college years, Matt primarily played in the Boston Park League, although he also spent some time playing in the Yawkey League and Cranberry League.
The year following his graduation from UMB with a major in history, Thomas enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2002 and he became a light-wheel vehicle mechanic, working on small trucks and hummers. He was attached to the Patriot Battalion and stationed in Kuwait from February to May, 2003. At one point his unit received marching orders to serve as support in Baghdad, but orders were rescinded and they remained stationed in Kuwait. He finished up his active military stint at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Now 25 and living back in Avon, Matt does security work for TSA at Logan Airport and he’s also in the National Guard out of Hingham. Last spring, he was an assistant baseball coach at Avon High and last fall he helped out at UMass/Boston.
“I don’t know if I’m going to coach or what,” he concluded, “but I always want to be around baseball. I still love baseball.”
Matt Thomas has run the full gamut, everybody at SSBC couldn’t be prouder.