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Stony Brook baseball alum wears tattered T-shirt to law office
Tom Slome woke up this morning and asked his wife Susan if she still had his warm-up Stony Brook University baseball T-shirt.
She then reached for his shirt, which dates back to 1978, and gave it to him to wear at work for good luck.
It has been more than 30 years since he’s played on the team, but nothing can describe how excited he is to watch his alma mater play in the College World Series later today. Stony Brook University baseball is playing UCLA at 5 p.m., the Seawolves’ opening game in its first-ever appearance in the series.
Ever the lawyer, he did wear a pressed white shirt and yellow tie over the tattered gray T-shirt.
“If I wore the T-shirt without the suit it would be scandalous,” said Slome, 53, of Rockville Centre, a bankruptcy attorney at Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein in Garden City. “There’s more holes than fabric and it’s light gray because it’s been washed out and has faded red ink.”
Slome recalls how different the baseball program was when he played on the team as a catcher in 1978 and 1979. Stony Brook was then a Division III team nicknamed the Patriots, and players didn’t receive scholarships or fan mail.
“I never thought this would happen, especially not with baseball, because most athletic programs put their money into football and basketball,” Slome said. “We essentially had the equivalent of a high school field with a couple rows of bleachers. There were no fans at that time, maybe two or three people at each game, and no facilities. The sport was basically nonexistent. It has come a tremendous way since then.”
Now that the team reached the College World Series, Slome said he is more inclined to reconnect with his alma mater and its alumni association and to give back to the school that gave him a bachelor’s degree in economics and minor in journalism.
“I’m feeling nostalgic and proud of my school,” he said. “I’m proud with how advanced the school has become, both academically and athletically.”
Later today, Slome will rush home from work to barbecue and watch the game with his family and friends.
“I think the Cinderella and underdog spirit is probably driving them,” Slome said of the team, which beat LSU on the road in a best-of-three Super Regional to advance to Omaha. “They’re probably in the zone. I’d love to see UCLA get shocked tonight like LSU did.”
* Stony Brook University has released a list of locations for viewing parties hosted by SBU alums.
Stony Brook: The Bench Bar and Grill - 1095 Route 25A, Stony Brook, NY
Hosts: Alumni Relations Staff and Alumni Association Board of Directors
Miller Place: Applebee's - 355 Routate 25A, Miller Place, NY
Hosts: SB Alumni Association
NYC: Rogue - 757 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY
Hosts: Alumni Ambassadors, Richie Richards '07, Dan Monaco '07, Michael Chang '01
Washington: Redline - 707 G Street, NW Washington, DC
Host: DC Alumni Chapter Ambassador Adam Peck '11
Santa Monica, Calif.: Big Dean's "Muscle In" - 1615 Ocean Front, Santa Monica, CA
Host: Alumni Ambassador Brian McWilliams '78
Chicago: Timothy O'Toole's Pub - 622 N. Fairbanks Ct, Chicago, IL
Host: Alumni Ambassador Bernie Lubell '10
Coral Springs, Fla: Bru's Room Sports Grill - 1000 N. University Dr, Coral Springs, FL
Hosts: Alumni Ambassadors Matt Smith '05, Colleen Smith (McCarthy) '05, and Kristen Brust '05