Lets just cut to the point, and answer the question everyone asks all the time: was Thrill Ride actually a legit baseball player or just some beta poser who didn't even play ball?
As a teammate of Thrill Ride's, yes, he was a legit NCAA athlete who put together a very solid career. Thrill Ride in college was a player possessed by passion and dedication, and was a legit leader on and off the field. His style of play was extremely competitive in nature, and often consumed him for better or for worse. True story, after a tough game against Worcester State early in his career, Thrilly was seen in the parking lot teeing off on his car with a baseball bat, leaving a significant amount of damage. No matter what level of sports you play though, we've all been there, and that moment in time, no matter if it's the MLB, D1, D2 or D3, the agony of defeat consumes us all, if you truly give a fuck.
Thrill Ride always gave a fuck; about every game, inning, at bat and guy on his team.
Patrolling the BP groups and outfield in his signature wind pants, and tucked in shirt, because "if you ain't tucking you ain't fucking", he was a constant positive presence in the clubhouse, beloved by all teammates. Thrilly wasn't afraid to be a vocal leader either, and that always isn't well received. People don't like when people get in their shit and call them out for laziness and a lack of caring, but Thrilly did it. Thrilly would light you the fuck up if you weren't matching his intensity, and if it went to blows, it went to blows. Even though the guys hated it in the moment, it never defined their opinion of Thrilly. They would regain their composure, and realize Thrill Ride was in the right.
Now people always ask me, did Thrilly mash home runs? My answer was that he could have but it truthfully wasn't his game. He could have hit a fair number, at a sub .300 pace or he could have had the numbers he did in his senior year where he hit at a .373 clip in a full season. I'd say much like a guy like Wade Boggs, where experts always said he could hit home runs at will in batting practice, however it just wasnt his game, Thrilly was the same in nature. Thrilly always had an excellent approach and looked to shoot gaps, moving the chain to the next guy. There is nothing weak about hitting .373 at any level, especially college for a full season. He was great and understood his strengths, as he was a true student and fan of the game.
Thrill Ride was an excellent player because of his passion. Though he was always at risk of blowing a hamstring at every fast twitch movement, his love of the game ruled above all. Thrilly was and still is, a true baseball guy, and for what he's done for the D3 game even after his playing career ended, a D3 Legend and Superstar.
Bonus Coverage: Thrilly's Dad, who is a rock star in his own regard, and one of Thrill Ride's biggest fans and mentors never missed an at bat in Thrilly's career. Well actually he missed one at bat, the time Thrill Ride hit a grand slam in his last Florida trip at bat of his playing career. Still an all time funny moment I remember Thrilly looking up to the bleachers where his Dad was such a fixture after he crossed home plate and his old man wasn't there. The look of devastation on his face was remarkable, and will remain an all time hilarious moment. Here's the box score I dug up from that game. (Abreau 1b)
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