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Hometown Hero Todd Frazier Looks Back on 50 Years of Toms River East Little League



From Black Sox to White Sox, Todd Frazier Stays True to His Colors

On Friday afternoon in Baltimore, former Toms River East Little League (TRELL) star Todd Frazier sat in the Camden Yards visiting clubhouse in a black and white hat awaiting his new team, the Chicago White Sox game against the Baltimore Orioles.

In 2016, TRELL is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, and Frazier is well aware.

“It’s crazy to think about,” Frazier said. “The traditions that have gone on through Toms River East Little League is really something special for all the guys that have played there before and for all the kids that play there now. It’s a great place to play baseball and I am trying to help contribute and make it a better place to play.”

Frazier, who has meant so much to the Toms River community, played in the Little League World Series (LLWS) in 1998 as a member of the Toms River East American All-Star team.

The teams colors were ironically black and white.

Frazier was 9-for-15 in the tournament, leading his team to the LLWS Final where he would go 4-for-4 with a lead-off home run in the title clinching game. He also picked up the win on the mound.

Frazier’s World Championship team out of TRELL finished with an astounding record of 11-3 including a 5-2 win over Greensboro, North Carolina in the semifinals and a 12-9 win over Japan in the LLWS championship.

Throughout 50 years of TRELL, Frazier has certainly left his mark as anyone in Toms River would know, his picture is all over local businesses and restaurants.

“It’s humbling,” Frazier said. “It’s really nice. You always want to have someone to look up to. I looked up to my older brothers but I knew all the superstars in Toms River when I was growing up and they were playing. It really isn’t something you dream of, but you want to make an impact on other peoples lives. If I can do that through baseball then so be it. I feel there is always a chance to do something good in the world and whatever I can do to help the people out in Toms River I’ll do it. It’s a great place to live.”

Along with playing for TRELL, Frazier also played for the Toms River Black Sox, a travel team out of TRELL that focuses on playing baseball the right way and participates in multiple showcase tournaments including the Jersey Shore Shootout hosted by the organization themselves.

The Black Sox are coached by Bill Castner, who has been instrumental in the success of TRELL.

“I still have a connection with Bill,” Frazier explained. “He runs the show over there and he’s been doing it for a long time, I know everyone really appreciates it.”

Castner established the Black Sox in 1991 and the organization has flourished ever since. Castner even has a field named after him at TRELL. Castner Field has seen the likes of Frazier, Mike Trout, Rick Porcello and many more.

Along side Castner is Jerry Sinnot a Black Sox coach and the head of field maintenance at TRELL.

“Jerry is a good man,” Frazier said. “I see him a lot in the offseason and he helps my brothers and I with Frazier Baseball (a baseball organization thats mission is to teach kids baseball fundamentals). He is a class guy and knows exactly what to do to help.”

Frazier has had quite an impact down the Jersey Shore, but he remains humble even after winning the Home Run Derby championship in 2015.

“That was special,” Frazier said. “People often ask me what do people at home think about all of this, I just look at it as they have something to do after dinner you know they can watch a ballgame its really cool.”

Frazier has given TRELL and everyone involved someone to look up to and follow as a role model.

“I love Toms River and I am glad I can call that place home. Hopefully as time goes on we can get some more little league champions and major league baseball players”

One thing is for sure, as Frazier warms up and takes the field in his black and white hat, it may be new for White Sox fans, but for us in Toms River, we have seen those colors before.

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