Positive attitude serves Hampton senior Radzminski well
By Jerry Clark
Published: Monday, May 13, 2013, 4:09 p.m.
When it comes to the little things that make an athlete great, nobody does more than Hampton's Tommy Radzminski. Radzminski is a rare three-sport player, and although he is a vital member of each team he plays for, his roles are vastly different.
Radzminski is perhaps best known for his role as a four-year starter on the baseball team, but he also has been a key role player on two WPIAL runner-up basketball campaigns and member of the football squad.
“I have played all three since I was young,” Radzminski said. “I have made a lot of close friends, which makes it easy to succeed.”
Radzminski had enjoyed success as a player, but it is perhaps his attitude that paid the biggest dividends to each team as a whole.
“When I came in as a young guy, I was lucky to have older guys who supported me,” Radzminski said. “I wanted to pay that forward. The upperclassmen treated me like one of the guys … getting respect of seniors is huge.”
Early on, Radzminski experienced starting ahead of older, more experienced players. Later, he also gave way to younger players who earned more playing time than he did. No matter if he was starting, coming off the bench or making sure he was a good teammate in practice, he always understood his role on whatever team he was on. Whatever that role was, he did it to the best of his ability.
“I accept my role and embrace it,” he said. “If there is a young kid out there who may not stand out, I hope I can be a role model for him.”
Three WPIAL silver medals in two sports are just some of the achievements the senior has collected. He had a part in several section titles and playoff wins during the past four years.
“I was not a huge part of the basketball team, but it is nice because the whole team got medals,” he said. “The bench guys help that team so much, it means a lot. We root for the other guys playing as much as ourselves, so everyone deserves some credit.”
With only a handful of high school games left, Radzminski and the baseball team are in the process of chasing a WPIAL gold medal. The team went undefeated in section play, and with a pair of good pitchers and a solid crew of fielders, Hampton will be a team to be reckoned with in the bracket.
“Tommy is a great kid,” Hampton baseball coach Matt Torrence said. “He is a gung-ho type of guy, and in the dugout, he gets everyone talking. Tommy is really intense, and he works his butt off.”
Torrence said he does not get to see Radzminski much during the offseason, because he is with the basketball team until the early stage of tryouts.
“He is always ready to go, though,” Torrence said.
With his sports schedule beginning in mid-August with football and usually ending in late May, Radzminski said the hectic schedule actually benefits him.
“I really don't consider it work,” he said. “It's easy, because I am around good friends. I may miss out on some things, but I am around the guys I would be hanging out with anyway, and having less time makes me focus more on school. It's a good structure.”
When it comes to what sport he likes the best, true to form, Radzminski keeps a positive approach. “Whatever sport is in season,” he said.
Although baseball may be his strong suit, he had to earn his stripes on the diamond.
“It was tough early, because I got to play second but I didn't bat,” Radzminski said. “So, if I made a mistake in the field, it was hard not to be able to make up for it at the plate. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform.
“The thing about that year is that I got mentally tougher. I had to have a short memory.”
His confidence grew in the years to come, and his hitting progressed. Now he is a complete player.
Radzminski will not continue his organized athletic career after high school. He will attend Penn State, where he will major in finance.
“It will be hard to say goodbye … I already had to do it twice (in football and basketball),” he said. “I will miss my teammates the most.
“I can't believe how quickly it went … the practices, the bus rides, I still don't know where the time went.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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