Season: 2018

Charlie Hesseltine

Born in Meriden, CT on January 19, 1985. Hesseltine graduated from Maloney High School and was named an All-State pitcher in 2002 and 2003. He was drafted in the 42nd round (1,245th overall) of the 2003 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers – the only CT player chosen that year. Hesseltine chose to attend Pensacola Junior College in Florida seeking a higher draft pick, however tore his ulnar collateral ligament during the second week of the 2004 season. He underwent Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, AL. After rehabbing, Hesseltine played in the GHTBL during the summer of 2005. By 2006, he signed to play professional baseball for the Atlantic City Surf of the Atlantic League. He ended his professional career with the Bridgeport Bluefish in 2008 and was inducted in Maloney High School Hall of Fame in 2014. Hesseltine has worked as a pitching instructor at Home Run USA in Cheshire and has continued his role as ace pitcher in the GHTBL. He stepped up to manage the Record-Journal Expos in 2017. Hesseltine is a carpenter for Central Connecticut Acoustics Inc and lives in Hamden, Connecticut with his wife Karla.

Weston Ulbrich

Born on July 10, 1987, in Middletown, CT. Ulbrich learned the game of baseball at Porky Vieira’s summer camp at the University of New Haven. He attended The Gunnery School in Washington, Connecticut and played under Jeff Trundy, longtime Head Coach of the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod Baseball League. In 2004, Ulbrich manned third base when Gunnery won the Housatonic Conference championship and was a member of the Middletown Post 75 American Legion baseball team. Ulbrich joined the GHTBL in 2007 as an infielder for the People’s Bank franchise. He then played as a walk-on at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. After earning a degree in Political Science in 2010, he returned to the GHTBL. As shortstop for the Ferguson Waterworks franchise, he helped the club win three championships in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Ulbrich assumed leadership of the franchise and was named GHTBL Secretary in 2015. He established GHTBL.org and has worked with President Holowaty and managers to develop the league. He is a Realtor for RE/MAX Right Choice, a writer for the Society for American Baseball Research and resides in Milford with his wife, Gabriella.

Gary Burnham Jr.

Born on October 13, 1974, in Hartford, Connecticut. Burnham is one of Connecticut’s most prolific baseball players of all-time. Though selected in the 22nd round of the 1993 MLB Draft out of South Windsor High School by the Chicago Cubs, he opted to play at Clemson University. In 1995, he was named a third team All-American by Baseball Writers of America. The Oakland A’s chose Burnham in the 40th round of the 1996 MLB Draft; but again, did not sign. During the summer, Burnham played in the Cape Cod Baseball League for Orleans and then Falmouth. He was an All-Star both years and earned MVP of the 1995 Cape League All-Star Game. Returning for a senior season at Clemson, he hit .391, tied for 5th in the ACC. Burnham was chosen by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 22nd round of the 1997 MLB Draft and signed. By 1999, he was first baseman for the Reading Phillies of the Eastern League with the best batting average in the Phillies farm system. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays during Spring Training of 2002, proceeded to hit 17 home runs and 88 RBI and won team MVP. His 2004 season was split between the St. Louis Cardinals’ Memphis Redbirds affiliate and the Cincinnati Reds’ Louisville Bats. In 2006, after a hot stat with the Bridgeport Bluefish, Burnham returned to the Phillies system. He led the 2007 International League in OBP for the Ottawa Lynx and was named team MVP. In 2010, the Reading Phillies named Gary Burnham to their All-Decade team as an outfielder and was later inducted into the Reading Phillies Hall of Fame. Burnham continued to play professional baseball in Taiwan, Japan and Europe and once hit a game-winning homer off Masahiro Tanaka in 2009 as a member of the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japanese Baseball League. In his return to Connecticut, Burnham has worked in medical device sales and owns a property management company. He has been a contributing sponsor, player and General Manager of the South Windsor Phillies since 2018. He lives in South Windsor with his wife Rachel and three children.

Ron Pizzanello

Born on October 13, 1954 in Hartford, Connecticut, Pizzanello is one Hartford’s top catchers of all-time. He led Hartford to Connecticut’s Little League championship in 1967. Pizzanello was a star catcher for the city’s Jaycee Courant and American Legion programs. He was captain of the Bulkeley High School varsity baseball team, named All-CDC catcher and graduated in 1972. At Eastern Connecticut State University, Pizzanello was elected captain, played in two DIII National Championships, selected to the All-New England Team and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1976. During this time, he played summer ball in the GHTBL from 1971 to 1989, mostly with the Vernon Orioles. In 1977, he was signed to catch for Nettuno of the Italian Baseball League. After his professional stint, Pizzanello focused on coaching in the Town of South Windsor, Connecticut including Little League, Jaycee Courant, Senior League and American Legion. He worked for 37 years at Hartford Insurance Company and IBM in information technology and technical services. In 2017, after being inducted into the Bulkeley High School Athletic Hall of Fame, he became the first manager of the South Windsor Phillies club and won the 2020 GHTBL Regular Season championship. He lives in Eastford, Connecticut with his wife Charlene and have three children.

Jack Ceppetelli

Born on  January 27, 1965, Jack Ceppetelli was raised in East Windsor, CT. He attended East Windsor High School, class of 1983 and played baseball at Assumption College for four years. Ceppetelli competed in his first GHTBL season in 1985 and returned in 1991 as a pitcher. He also pitched for s years in the Tri-County Baseball League in Massachusetts. Ceppetelli earned GHTBL’s Most Valuable Playoff Pitcher in 1999. He has been manager of the Vernon Orioles since 2001, winning twelve league titles in the last 20 years. In 2003, he was inducted into the East Windsor High School Hall of Fame. Ceppetelli lives in South Windsor, CT, is a tax accountant and certified CPA.

Thomas Abbruzzese

Born on August 11, 1943, in Hartford, CT. Abbruzzese is the longest serving GHTBL manager in history. He is a graduate of Wethersfield High School and Fairfield University (1965). Abbruzzese Coached Junior. and Senior Division Jaycee Courant League from 1971 to 1978. He entered his first team, Society for Savings, into the GHTBL in the summer of 1976. The same uninterrupted franchise has gone by Bank Boston Bank and then People’s United Bank until present day. Teams managed in both leagues have won multiple regular season and playoff championships. He earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of Connecticut (1996). His current profession is as Director of Adult Education, in Newington, CT.  Previously he was a Vice Principal of Ledyard High School Ledyard High School (1974-1995) and before that, Recreation Leader for the City of Hartford (1963-1976), According to Abbruzzese, he’s, “thankful not only for the outstanding players I have had the privilege of coaching and continue to have, but most importantly for their exceptional character as well. These two qualities are the ingredients for success.” Abbruzzese resides in Wethersfield, CT.