Tony’s namesake, the Alibrandis Baseball Team, is celebrating its 25th anniversary season. The team started as the Somerville Highlander Alumni in 1990. “We had played for Somerville High and wanted to keep playing, so we just went from there,” says founding member and current team president David Treska. “It was pretty much all Somerville guys in the ‘90s, but the youth teams were more active back then and we had kind of a feeder system,” explains Treska’s partner-in-crime and team manager, Mike Powers.
The Alibrandi connection began in 1994, when the guys who had grown up playing for Alibrandi-sponsored teams reached out to Tony. The rest is history. The team retains both names, and by either one, they have proven to be a force to be reckoned with. They have won 14 championships in the Boston area Yawkey League, including the last four years consecutively.
Naturally, this type of success breeds confidence and some healthy frustration from competitors. “Sure, we’ve got a little bit of a swagger, but what good team doesn’t,” chuckles Powers. “A commitment to playing high quality baseball” is the key to the team’s success, according to longtime player, Marc DesRoches. “Guys are trying to repeat the college or pro experience. We have an atmosphere where you can play high-level baseball and get an extra 10-15 years out of it,” he adds.
They also attribute their success to the comraderie of the regenerating core group of present and former players committed to the team, on and off the field. They hang out, they serve as best men for each other’s weddings and they stay involved in the team for years. Treska and Powers have several 25th anniversary events in the works, including a May opening pitch ceremony with the original nine players from 1990, a June “Old-Timers” game and a 25th anniversary celebration game in July with all the alumni.
While the team is mostly financially self-sustaining these days and players hail from beyond just Somerville, they still take the legacy and name on the front of the jersey very seriously. “We’re guys that care about the game, care about each other and care about Tony,” says DesRoches.