Tom Fahey humbly speaks of growing up at the right time in Windsor Locks, with the right teammates and the right coaches. But Tom’s talent as a pitcher would have come through no matter where or when he was raised. Relying on ball movement rather than power, Tom was armed with sinkers, sliders and curves that consistently kept opposing batters baffled.
Tom went through Little League, Babe Ruth and High School baseball with the same talented group of players who all loved baseball; including future minor leaguer and WL Hall of Fame inductee catcher Billy O’Neil. Tom made the WLHS varsity team as a freshman. He was coached by WL Athletic Hall of Famer Al Shapiro, who was in the final year of his coaching career, and new assistant coach, Athletic Hall of Famer Dan Sullivan. “Sully” became the head coach in Tom’s sophomore year. By his junior year Tom was the team’s workhorse either starting or relieving in all of the 14 games the team played. That year he had a record of 6-3 with one save while being on the mound for 70% of the innings the team played.
Tom’s senior year was one for the ages. He appeared in 14 of the 16 games the team played pitching 76% of the innings. His personal record was a remarkable 11-2-1 on a team that went 13-2-1. Every pitcher likes strike outs but Tom was never afraid to let opposing teams hit the ball. He was confident that his excellent control and sharp breaking curve ball would produce a lot of ground balls and he had the utmost confidence in the teams fine infield of Dave Farr at first base, Rich Labbe at second, Tom O’Neil at short, Charlie Zien at third and Billy O’Neil behind the plate.
The 1965 Raider team won the Charter Oak North Division with a 6-0 record. They were ranked 4th in State Class B Tournament; the first WLHS team to play in the Class B Division Tournament. One of Tom’s favorite stories from the state tournament revolves around a prom he attended the night before the first tournament game against Ellington. Coach Sullivan (before he became the kinder, gentler version of himself in the 2000 ’s) was incensed that his star pitcher was out partying the night before an important game. In the first inning Tom struck out the side with 9 pitches. When he returned to the dugout he looked at Sully and asked ”OK”? Although he knew it was probably still not “OK” until he completed the game with a 5-1 victory.
Though the team had high hopes they could not make it beyond the Tournament Quarterfinal losing 4-3 to Norwich Tech with Tom on the mound. It was only the second game he lost all season, the other being the opening game against Windsor. Five days in to the season Tom got his revenge pitching a 12 inning complete game against Windsor (remarkably the pitcher for Windsor also went 12 innings in the loss) and then won his next 10 starts. At the end of the season Ton was deservedly named to the Charter Oak Conference North All Star First Team.
After high school, Tom played a year of freshman baseball at Brown University before deciding to concentrate on his education. One lasting memory of that year was when Tom struck out the son of legendary pitcher Bob Feller twice in one game. Tom went on to graduate from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1972, He first joined Senator Ribicoff’s law firm in Hartford and for the last 45 years he has practiced law in Windsor Locks, concentrating on Real Estate, Zoning and Business Law along with Estate Planning. Tom is considered one of the finest land use lawyers in the state.
One of the highlights of his legal career was when he met his future wife at a real estate closing. Tom and Martha were married in 1982 and she works in his firm as a paralegal. Working together has allowed them to coordinate their vacation schedules permitting many skiing and sailing trips to Lake Sunapee and the Virgin Islands, several trips to Europe especially to Ireland (where they found the old homestead of Martha’s ancestors), Italy and a magnificent Baltic Cruise. In the last 8 years Tom and Martha have swapped skiing for wintering in Sarasota, Florida. Ten years ago Martha was challenged to play golf at a friend’s wedding, rented some new clubs and took to the game like a duck to water. Ever since their vacations have included golf. Martha made her first hole in one last year putting her only one behind Tom.
In 1948 the Boston Braves relied on “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain”. The 1964-1965 WLHS Raider baseball team had it easy; just give the ball to Fahey and he got it done, game after game, inning after inning. A record that is unlikely to be duplicated.