Scott Chiasson displays a few mementos in his basement from his glory days on the baseball diamond.
On Sunday, Chiasson got a chance to relive those special memories when he became the first member of the Eastern Connecticut State University's 1998 NCAA Division III national championship baseball team to be inducted into the school's E-Club Hall of Fame.
A closer on that championship team, he celebrated his induction with family and friends.
"With a program with that kind history, it means a lot," Chiasson said. "They have produced a lot of good players."
Few, if any closers in Eastern's rich history, can match Chiasson's accomplishments.
A converted shortstop, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander was a buzzsaw, turning opposing bats into sawdust. His postseason credentials were impressive, as he didn't lose a game in two years in Little East Conference and NCAA tournament games.
During the national championship season, he established program records for appearances (28), relief appearances (26) and had a program record-tying 10 saves. He went 6-2 with a staff best 2.51 earned run average, striking out 59 in 61 innings and holding opponents to a .173 batting average. He pitched 10 times in the postseason, winning three games and saving five.
"By far, that was where I belonged," Chiasson said of the closer role. "I had the mentality to be a closer. Coming in with a game on the line and trying to get a guy out, I took adrenalin from it and pitched well."
He earned numerous awards, reaching All-America status. But the bonds that he formed with his teammates topped any individual honors.
"I just remember playing with the guys and enjoying the game and how intense the games were and how good the competition was," said Chiasson, a Norwich Free Academy graduate and resident of Oakdale.
After being selected in the fifth round by Kansas City in the 1998 amateur draft, Chiasson spent 14 years in the professional ranks, signing contracts with seven different major league organizations and also playing in the Japanese Central League.
Elbow and shoulder injuries hampered Chiasson during his career. He tasted success on the minor league level but saw limited action in the major leagues. He made his major league debut as a September callup with the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 19, 2001, striking out two in one inning in a 10-0 shutout of Cincinnati.
"It was very nerve-racking," Chiasson said.
With the Cubs, he appeared in 10 games in two seasons, going 1-1 with nine strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. His win came in relief against Houston at Wrigley Field in 2001.
He retired in 2011 after pitching in the Mexican League.
"I have no regrets, whatsoever," Chiasson said. "I was more scared to leave the game of baseball and start a new life."
Now 35, Chiasson has little interest in watching Major League Baseball. He's busy with his family - wife, Heather, and three children, Kelsey (8), Cole (4) and Kyle (1). He's also coaching a U14 baseball team.
He started a new job about four months ago as a contract analyst at Electric Boat.
"Things are going well," Chiasson said.
And when he wants to relive his glory days, he can go down to his basement and look at his jersey and photos of the national championship team on the wall.
"That probably stands out to me more than anything," Chiasson said of winning the national title. "It's something that stays in my mind as much as pitching in the major leagues."