Before meeting Tom while working at the golf course, he and I faced off a few times in little league baseball all star games. I was this scrawny little kid on the mound that knew how to pitch but didn't have any other gift. A man in a red number nine uniform comes to the plate and with ease takes a ball out of the park. That was my first introduction to Tom and honestly I hated him at that moment.
Tom would begin working at the course the same year as I and for someone of such great athletic ability you would think he was just another kid. It wasn't until the end of that summer that I learned Tom played hockey, we worked together for eight hours and we'd talk about music, baseball and everything else that 17yr old kids talk about. Tom was they kid you wanted to work with if you were having a bad day, he would make you work but make sure to have fun no matter the weather or the job. As Tom headed off to Harvard to play hockey I got my first glimpse at just how smart he was as a hockey player. In the first round of the bean pot Tom was bringing the puck up the right wing and a defenseman was coming at him full speed. Tom had nowhere to pass the puck and would have been leveled if he held on to the puck, just as the defense man approached he passed the puck off the boards avoided the hit and regained possession of the puck. I sat in my bed in awe!!
Tom would go on to get drafted by the Sharks and have an amazing career with the AHL Worcester Sharks and spend time with the NHL Sharks squad as well. That is all well and good but what Tom did off of the ice was ten times better than anything he ever did on the ice. He gave back to the community be it donating old equipment or just helping out at in anyway at a community event. Tom had the biggest heart and did everything to make others happy. He would come back to Rhode Island in the summer and be a normal guy, nights out at local beach bars, and spending time with his family made Tom so happy. Sitting and talking about life while sipping a beer are my greatest memories of Tom. Tom taught me to enjoy everything that life has to offer.
Tom has touched so many lives and left the world a better place than when he entered. Mile 9 will be the toughest of any mile, I could write for days about the influence Tom has had on my life, his memory will live on forever. Below is an amazing video that shares Toms story, I hope that everyone takes the time to watch it and learns a little bit. I'm honored to have known Tom and will share his story with my children and make sure they know how great of a man he was.