Thomas W. Aldrich '88

Thomas W. Aldrich '88

Tom Aldrich’s legendary power at the plate has cemented his place not only in the Bowdoin record books but also in the hearts and memories of long-time fans of Polar Bear baseball. His impossibly long home runs will forever be the lore of baseball at Bowdoin.

A native of Somerset, Massachusetts, Aldrich was not only a standout baseball player at Somerset High School but also a solid hockey and soccer athlete. At the end of his senior season at Bowdoin, Aldrich owned nine school career batting records: home runs (42), at bats (424), runs (122), hits (152), runs batted in (155), doubles (31), extra base hits (81), total bases (325), and slugging percentage (.767). In six of those categories, he still holds the top place in Bowdoin’s record book. More impressive than his career numbers are his individual season records that indicate Aldrich was more than a one-year sensation.

He still holds the top three marks for home runs in a season, including a record 15 as a senior. When he graduated, he held the top four marks in runs batted in, one spot for each season he spent with the Polar Bears. He also graduated with the top four single-season performances in total bases and extra base hits. Not content to be simply the greatest slugger Bowdoin had ever known, Aldrich also showed his speed on the base paths, graduating third in career stolen bases and second in stolen base percentage.

For all of his raw numbers, it was Aldrich’s consistent performance that set him apart. He graduated with the record for consecutive games with a hit, and only twice since has a Bowdoin baseball player matched or bettered his eighteen straight. His longest single-season hitting streaks were the best at the time as well, and those numbers have been topped only as a result of the ever-extending season. His 1988 mark of four consecutive games with home runs still stands. A two-time All-New England selection, and an All-American in his senior year, Tom Aldrich remains the greatest slugger, the greatest offensive presence, and perhaps the greatest ballplayer Bowdoin College has seen in more than 130 years of baseball.

Aldrich was also a four-year contributor to Bowdoin’s hockey program, and was a part of the 1985-86 ECAC Championship team. When the football program found itself without a kicker, Aldrich was recruited to join the squad and then distinguished himself on the kickoff team. Twice named captain of the baseball team, he was also a two-time recipient of the Francis S. Day Trophy, awarded to the athlete demonstrating outstanding character, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm for the game.

Aldrich was a draft pick of the Detroit Tigers and played four years of minor league baseball and two seasons in the winter league in Mexico. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Rookie League during his first year as a professional. Aldrich lives in Mooresville, North Carolina with his wife, Dawn, and their three-year-old daughter. He was a dean’s list student and graduated from Bowdoin with a degree in mathematics.