Manassas Journal Messenger | Thomas Engineering in Manassas considered best 60-over softball team

One of the most successful softball teams in the history of the sport, once again finished the season ranked number one in the United States.

Thomas Engineering, playing in the 60-and-Over Major Plus Division of Senior Softball returned from Palm Springs, Calif. recently with the coveted NSCSA World Series Championship and along with it the bragging rights to be known as the best 60 and over team in the world.

The Manassas-based team is managed by R. B. Thomas Jr. who is a resident of Nokesville.

Thomas had to defeat their arch rival from California, Old A’s/Miken from Walnut Grove, twice on the final day to claim the championship and the rights to number one.

In the first game, the Thomas bats were hot as the team won 28-14. In the championship game, Thomas jumped on top early taking a 13-2 lead after three innings and held on for a 20-14 victory.

“This was an exciting tournament for use,” said Thomas. “We went to Palm Springs as a team and played as a team throughout. We hit well down the lineup and averaged 24 runs a game in the last three against the very competition in the country. We also get great pitching at this one and our defense was simply outstanding again. Glen Bailey, Ralph Godwin, Jerry Conner and Danny Ballard made the All American team but any four on our roster could have been selected by tournament officials. This group of guys have pretty much stayed together as a team for the past 12 years.”

Thomas began the tournament, going 3-1 in the preliminary pool play. The three wins came over Tharaldson’s Enterprises, Las Vegas, 13-10; Catch 22, Paul Springs, 13-12; and the Penn Hills Gold, Pittsburgh, 26-12. The loss was to Rusty’s, Phoenix, 11-5.

The Engineers dropped their first game in the double elimination to Hendrick’s Sports Management, Houston, 16-8, and then began the long journey through the loser’s bracket back to the championship round.

Wins were recorded over Bickerton Iron Works, Huntington Beach, Calif., 15-3; Tharaldson’s in a rematch, 18-6; and avenged the earlier loss to Hendrick’s, 25-17.

The team finished the season with the following National/World championships: NSA Senior World Series (Rock Hill, S.C.); ISSA World Championships (Manassas); ASA National Championship (Burlington, N. C.); and NSCSA World Series (Palm Springs, Calif.) The squad is no stranger in senior softball circles, having now captured 33 national and world championships.

Thomas and his wife, Ann, have been residents of the county for 40 years and they and their family continue to play an active role in community recreational sports. He was recognized in 2004 by the Virginia General Assembly as the most successful softball coach in the history of Virginia and has been inducted into five softball halls of fame. He currently serves on the Prince William County Park Authority Board of Directors, representing Brentsville District.

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