Blazers standout pitcher Thomas Weldon '16 used his Blazer connections to get a job he loves in his criminal justice major.

 

Tom Weldon and coach Scott Netkovick

Criminal justice major Tom Weldon '16 of Springfield holds one of his pitching accolades with Blazers baseball head coach Scott Netkovick '08. In his senior year, Tom became the first Elms player to be named an ABCA/Rawlings Division III All-American, as well as ABCA/Rawlings Division III New England Pitcher of the Year. Scott is the first head coach in Blazer baseball history to be named New England Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year, an honor he received for the 2016 season.

Tom Weldon ’16 Transitions from Throwing Strikes to Catching Scofflaws

For Blazers standout pitcher Thomas Weldon ’16, the teamwork didn’t end when he graduated from Elms College. In fact, in some ways, it was just beginning.

Tom, a criminal justice major, recently started a job with an agency based in Beverly, Mass., involved in work related to his major. Although he’s only just started, he loves it, he said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s interesting work.”

He scored the job through a connection from Elms. “Our pitching coach, Matt (Dziok), has been with the company for a while,” he added. “He’s adamant about helping people outside of baseball as well, so he helped me get the job there.”

Matt also assisted two other former teammates of Tom’s, both fellow criminal justice majors, in landing jobs with the company: Scott Sinnott ’15 and Sam Farnsworth ’15.

Starting a new job with a built-in support system has been great, Tom said: “I have three guys that have been here and I’ve known them for a while now, so it’s easier to adjust by having them to go to.”

Tom finished his college pitching career as arguably the best pitcher in Elms baseball program history. He was the first Elms player to be named an ABCA/Rawlings Division III All-American, and was named ABCA/Rawlings Division III New England Pitcher of the Year and to the All-New England First Team. He ranked second in the nation for wins, with a season record of 11-1. Tom also holds Blazers program records for career wins, career innings pitched, career shutouts, career strikeouts, games started in a season, wins in a season, strikeouts in a season, innings pitched in a season, and strikeouts in a game.

“It means a lot,” Tom said of the accolades he received this year, “but a pitcher’s only as good as the team that he plays with. If it wasn’t for my team, I wouldn’t have been able to get these awards.”

He also attributes his success to his coach, Scott Netkovick ’08, who was named 2016 New England Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year, the first NECC Coach of the Year in Elms baseball’s history. Scott, now in his fourth season as head coach, was also a four-year member of the squad as an undergraduate, from 2005-08.

Tom had considered pursuing a career in baseball, and was even offered a contract with the Tucson Saguaros, an Arizona-based team in the Pecos League, an independent baseball league not affiliated with Major or Minor League Baseball.

“The timing wasn’t right,” Tom said of his reason for declining the offer, which came after he had accepted the job with the agency. “But it’s nice to have had that opportunity.”

The Springfield native does work for the agency in Western Massachusetts, and central and northern Connecticut, so he was able to stay in his hometown.

He has nothing but good things to say about the Elms criminal justice program, and the willingness of professors to help their students both in and out of the classroom. “I’ve definitely had professors help me with everything that I’ve gone through here at Elms, and I couldn’t be more grateful for them,” he said.

He attributed the fact that he attended Elms at all to another alumnus and fellow baseball player, Carmino Bonavita ’11, with whom he had a conversation after discovering his initial college choice was not a good fit for him.

“I wanted to go somewhere where I was going to definitely play baseball, and he told me to take a look at Elms. And I loved it,” Tom said.

He’s grateful for the friendships he’s formed, both on and off the field.

“Whether it’s classmates I graduated with or that are still here now that I’m gone, I still talk to them and they’re friends for life,” he said.

Baseball — at a recreational level, at least — will remain a part of his life, as he plans to play next summer. He’s content for now to concentrate on his career.

“I’m happy where I am right now,” he said. “And wherever it leads me, it leads me.”

 

Tom Weldon Pitching
Tom Weldon on the mound. He finished his college pitching career as arguably the best pitcher in Elms baseball program history.