Islander Tad Gold is named Division III baseball player of the year

Tad Gold on the bases for Endicott College. — Photo courtesy of Rob Palardy, E

Tad Gold hit for the cycle in baseball honors this year.

The 2009 graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS), now a 2014 graduate of Endicott College in Beverly, last week was named the national NCAA collegiate Division III Player of the Year, one of five honors marking his 2014 collegiate baseball performance.

A center fielder, Mr. Gold has also been named to the Division III All-American first team and he has been selected as the All-New England Player of the Year by and as Player of the Year by the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). More than 700 student-athletes were nominated for the eighth annual All-America Team. On May 27, Endicott announced in a press release that Tad was selected as a first-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

In 2014, Mr. Gold led the Endicott Gulls (34-16) to their second consecutive CCC title and to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA New England Regional Finals with a .429 batting average and a .493 on base percentage. For perspective on Mr. Gold’s achievements, baseball statistical norms regard a .300 batting average and a .370 on base percentage as the standards for above-average performance.

A three-year player for the 2013 Futures Collegiate Baseball League champion Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, Mr. Gold will be honored at Tad Gold Night on Saturday, June 7, at Vineyard Baseball Park (aka The Shark Tank) located behind MVRHS. The ceremonies will precede the first pitch at 7 pm. The Sharks also feature infielder Jack Roberts, a 2013 MVRHS graduate who hit .302 as a starting infielder for Williams College in 2014.

Mr. Gold is vacationing in Australia this week but his mother, Melissa Gold, said the recent spate of honors and accolades Tad has received is “very exciting and humbling, in a way. He’s worked really hard for this. And he graduated, right on time. Yay!,” she said in an interview last Sunday evening.

She said the four-year hockey and baseball player at both MVRHS and at Endicott will pursue a baseball career. “He wants to play someplace,” she said, adding that Mr. Gold has received an invitation to tryout on June 28 for the Rockland Boulders in the independent Can-Am minor leagues in Pomona, N.Y., about an hour north of New York City. Jamie Keefe, the current Boulders field manager, managed at Pittsfield in the FCBL for several years during Mr. Gold’s Sharks career.

Over the past several decades, independent minor leagues have become an important feeder system to Major League Baseball’s minor and major league franchises.

“I support him in this,” his mother said. “He loves the game and why not give it a try? You don’t want to look back in 20 years and regret not having done it.”

His father, Wally Gold, loves baseball and is proud of his son’s baseball achievements. “I’m still in kind of a daze and just really proud of him for his baseball accomplishments but the kind of person he has become outshines his baseball achievements. He’s got his priorities straight. We get comments all the time on the kind of friend, teammate and mentor Tad is. He’s made spectacular life plays, but he makes the routine plays in life, does the right thing, without fail.”