Hall of Fame Bio
I was born and raised in Alexandria just south of Old Town, about halfway down the parkway towards Mount Vernon. My baseball career started at an early age. I am the middle of 3 boys and my dad had a passion for coaching us in baseball. Because I was the middle child, I was always coached by my dad, either on my older brother’s team (Dan) or younger brother’s team (Casey) from t-ball, to little league, to travel ball, all the way up until varsity at Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria. I grew up playing Fort Hunt Little League and have many fond memories of being coached by my dad and playing ball with my brothers during those years.
After graduating Randolph-Macon College in the spring of 2007, I moved in with my older brother Dan and some buddies in Arlington. During the winter of 2007-2008 my brother and my roommate Paul D’Ambrosio were sitting around drinking beer reminiscing about our years playing ball together in Fort Hunt and the travel team my dad coached, the Kiwanis Red Birds. We had all played in softball leagues, but softball never felt the same to us as it felt to play baseball and wanted to play again.
Dan and Paul knew of someone who was playing DCMSBL and his team was disbanding the next season. We decided that night that maybe we could pick up a few players from the team that was disbanding and call around to our friends who we had played with over the years to put a team together. We also came up with our team’s name that night, Arlington Arsenal, because we liked the idea of having our team logo be “AA.” I was 22 years old and my brother Dan was 24.
We were able to get the team off the ground for our first season in the spring of 2008 and had recruited EJ Strittmatter and Brett Hanlon who my brother Dan and I had played baseball with since Fort Hunt T-Ball, through travel ball and Bishop Ireton High School. EJ, Brett and I are the 3 original players who played in our first season and who are still playing on the Arsenal 16 seasons later. The following year we were joined by my younger brother Casey for a few seasons and Brett’s twin brother Curt who has been playing with us for 15 seasons.
The Arsenal started in the 18+ division, which is the same division we play in today. We struggled the first couple seasons. In those early years I remember my dad coming to watch one of our games. We were getting beat badly when I went to visit him in the stands and he made a comment that has always stuck in my mind, he said very bluntly, “so, you guys ever think about playing softball?” Over time we were able to build the team up to become one of the more competitive teams in the league. My brother Dan coached the club for 8 seasons, taking us to two Championship Series where we fell short both times. Dan moved away after the 2015 season.
I took over as coach in 2016, that same year we lost 8 players which was half our team. We had a couple rebuilding seasons through 2016 and 2017 then went on a run making the Championship Series the last 6 seasons, winning 4 of them.
My favorite memory playing DCMSBL ball so far would have to be our 11th season in the league and still chasing our first 18+ Championship victory. It was 2018 and we were 3 outs away from closing the Dodgers in game 2 after winning game 1 of the series. It was the bottom of the 9th inning, the game was close, we were up by 1 or 2 runs. Joe Dooley was the oldest guy on the team at the time and his last few years in the league were plagued with arm issues. He wanted to close out the game badly, so I gave him that opportunity.
If you have ever had the pleasure of facing Joe, you know that he throws hard. We had clocked his fastball in the low 90’s. But he could only throw like that for 1 inning, then he was done for the game. He would have to resign to the bench to ice his arm and would need a week or two to recover.
Joe was emptying the tank and had just recorded the second out as the Dodgers best hitter was walking to the plate, who had already hit a homerun off us in the prior game. I jogged out to the mound fairly quick, quick enough to be standing on the mound before Joe got the ball from the 3rd baseman. When he saw me standing out there, he immediately said, “I’M NOT (EXPLITIVE) WALKING HIM!” I said, “Joe, you don’t even know why I am out here!” He just kept repeating “I’M NOT (EXPLITIVE) WALKING HIM!” I followed up “Joe this guy hit a homerun game 1, I’ve seen him hit a ton of homeruns off us, 1st base is open. “I’M NOT (EXPLITIVE) WALKING HIM!” Realizing this was probably the only words that were going to come out of Joe’s mouth, I said, “Ok Joe, then strike him out!” And that is exactly what he did to win the Championship.
Joe retired after that season, and I am sure he felt like he was ending his baseball career on a high note. There are many stories I have like this one that demonstrates the thrill of playing competitive baseball in this league. A thrill that many players feel is over after graduating High School, College or ending their career at a higher level, but still exists in competitive men’s leagues like DCMSBL and it is something that is truly special.
I would like to thank my dad Bill Hogan for passing the love of baseball on to me. I’d like to thank my brother Dan for putting the Arsenal together 16 years ago, showing me how to run this team by example and continuing to manage our team website which has kept the Arsenal stats for every season back to 2008. I’d like to thank EJ Strittmatter, Brett Hanlon, Curt Hanlon and Andy McEnroe for helping me keep this team running, providing me with support and being the core foundation that has allowed us to continue to put competitive teams on the field that love to play ball every Sunday.
I never thought I would be playing baseball after college and certainly never thought I would still be playing at 39. I am very grateful for the opportunity this league has given me and appreciate all the hard work the league puts into making each season possible.