HS: You played 18 seasons before calling it a career after the 2007 season.
What made you decide to walk away from the game? Will we ever see a comeback?
Tom: I guess you could say that life got in the
way a little bit with marriage and kids and all that good stuff, but I know the same can be said for a bunch of guys who have
continued to play. I have devoted any and all free time I may have these days to old man sports like golf and slow pitch
softball. Also seeing guys like Pops, Cary and Truck leave one after the other made it harder and harder for me
to want to come back. That to me, playing with the guys I grew up with, was what the HRL was all about. There
are still people who I would love to play with and hang around with playing in the league now, but most of the new batch of
wifflers just weren't for me. I'd say the chances of a Trinkey comeback in the HRL are about 0.001%.
does it mean to you to have been honored by becoming the 3rd Member of the HOF in 2009?
Tom: I'm pretty honored. The HRL will always
mean a lot to me. It's been such a big part of my life and I know the other four members of the original five - Pops,
Truck, Cary and Randy - would say the same thing. It's hard to even believe sometimes how much the league grew from
when we first started with a few neighborhood kids trying to hit the most home runs. And it's even harder to believe
that a wiffle ball league can even last as long as the HRL has. I bet most players in the league now weren't even born
in 1986! As far as my election to the HOF, it's pretty humbling to be in the same company as Pops, Truck, Cary and Randy.
And it's probably fitting that us 5 are the first ones to be inducted. I admire all those guys very much and the
league would never have evolved as much as it has without all of them. I'd like to think I had a small part of
are easily the best fielder in league history. You are the only 5-time Winner of the Golden Josie award ( The League's,
Gold Glove award ) What do you think made you the most dominant defender your whole career? How does it feel to
have been given that honor 5 times?
Tom: It's probably the highlight of my career.
Some guys are good at hitting a lot of homers, some guys are dominant on the mound and I guess I made my own little
trademark with my glove. I was always a decent hitter and an average to mediocre pitcher but my defense just kept getting
better and better and that's just what I kind of became known for. I didn't have any special approach to fielding. I
just reacted to the ball off the bat, went after it and even if it took a diving play the ball found my glove more often than
HS: You are 5th on the All-Time HR List ( 446
), Your 4th on the All-Time wins list ( 141 ), 2nd in Saves ( 14 ), You have also thrown 2 No-Hitters in your career, Including
the 1st in league history. Which of these accomplishments means the most to you? Why?
Tom: Well if you're going to take winning the
5 Golden Josies out of the equation, I would say my proudest accomplishment is throwing the first no-hitter in HRL history
way back in 1992. Believe it or not, I can still remember catching a line drive for the final out. And throwing
another one against Pops, the best pitcher in HRL history, 10 years later was up there as well. I'm also proud of the
team league we started up in 2007. That was some of the best game action the HRL has ever seen and I was sad to see
HS: Over the 18 years you played, What has been
your favorite HRL moment? What has the HRL meant to you?
Tom: I read Randy's Q & A and he touched upon
a lot of the same things. It's not necessarily the game itself but the little things that happened off the field that
sometimes stick out the most. My favorite moments in the HRL were stuff like the Foley Fests way back in the day at
Moriarty Stadium, Cary hitting me in the face with a wooden number from about a hundred feet away, making the WFARTV movies
in the offseason and I also remember the "Ain't no game without a Gleek" that Randy mentioned. I could go on and on.
It's the laughs we had that made the HRL special for me.
are one the best clutch and contact hitters in league history. Pitchers knew that you would never be that "Easy out",
What approach at the plate do you think made you into the HOF player you became?
Tom: Like I said with the fielding, I really didn't
have any special approach when it came to hitting. It's not rocket science, I just tried to see the ball and hit it.
Playing as long as I did and seeing the same pitchers over and over again certainly helped. Even though I didn't
hit a lot of homers like a lot of other guys, it was nice to be seen as a good hitter in other ways whether it be a clutch
hit or just putting the ball in play to knock a guy in. Guys really seemed to pick up on that and I always got picked
early for my hitting and defense.
HS: Do you have any regrets? Is there anything that you wished you could have done over, if you
had the chance?
Tom: No regrets whatsoever. I gave everything
I had to the HRL on and off the field from the time I was 9 years old until I was in my 30s. And then I realized I just
didn't have the passion for the game that I once did so I knew the time was right to walk away.
HS: When people remember HOF Player,
#23, Tom "Trinkey" Trainque, How should they remember you?
Tom: Being remembered as the league's best defensive
player and one of the greatest clutch hitters is great, but I would just like to be remembered as someone who gave everything
he had when he was on your team but at the same time never took it too seriously and was a fun guy to be around.
last thoughts for any players (past, present or future) for the league?
Tom: To Pops, Cary, Truck and Randy especially
thanks for the great memories. You guys were a second family to me growing up and I will never forget the fun times
we had. To guys like Jeremy, Dan, Steve, Rene, Dave, Kankles, Boom Boom, Slim, Matt and Otto (I could go on and on with
at least a dozen more names) that came along later, it was a blast. You guys were a lot of fun to be around and I hope
to see more of you in the future. To the current group of HRLers, most of whom I probably don't even know, have fun
with it and remember it's just a game. Don't take yourself too seriously because the bonds you make off the field are
much more important than what happens on the field and that is what I will remember most about the HRL.