Berlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Michael Church

Michael Church graduated from Berlin High School in 1991 and was a two-sport participant. He was a four-year varsity starter on the soccer team and was a two-time selection to the NWC All-Conference team in 1989 and 1990. During the 1990 season, he was selected as a member of the CHSCA/Hartford Courant All-State team.

Church was also a three-year varsity starter on the baseball team with the 1990 team winning both the NWC Championship and the Class M state championship. He continued his baseball career first at Western Connecticut State University where he was a member of the 1991 team before transferring to CCSU where he was a starter on the 1992, ’93 and ’94 teams and was a co-captain and All-ECAC selection in 1994. Church was also an assistant baseball coach and recruiting coordinator at CCSU in ’94 and ’95 before pursing an amateur baseball career.

He played with the Byron Athletic Club out of Fairfield in 1992 and ’93. In 1992, Church played in the World Series in Battle Creek, MI and in 1993, played in the World Series in Louisville, KY. He then moved on to the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 1994 and was the all-star game catcher and received the 10th player award.

Church then started a professional baseball career from 1995 to 2006, during which time he played for the Newburgh Night Hawks in 1995, Waterbury Spirit from 1996-’99, Adirondack Lumberjacks in 2000, New Jersey Jackals in 2001 - where he was an all-star catcher - and with the New Haven County Cutters where he was the assistant manager in 2002 and the manager from 2003-’05, managing the all-star game in his last year. Church then moved to the Bridgeport Bluefish where, from 2005-’06, he was the Director of Player Procurement and Operations.

Church is the owner Diamond Kings Baseball and Softball Academy in Bristol since 2003 as well as the owner of Parisi Speed School sports performance training facilities with locations in Bristol, Hartford and Enfield since 2008. He is also the founder of Thorium Bat Company. Church and his wife, Leigh Ann Shields, were married in 2009 and reside in Berlin.

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