Steinert High School has been fortunate to have a wealth of top-notch baseball players, including an abundance of high-quality pitchers.

Count Tom Phillips among the all-time leaders of that illustrious list.

While compiling a career record of 24-5, which puts him among the top pitchers ever at SHS, Phillips has an interesting statistic he is the winning pitcher in four Mercer County Tournament championship games. No other school has won the county tournament four consecutive years and Phillips had a lot to do with Steinert's major accomplishments there. While Phillips was a member of the SHS varsity from 1991-94, the Spartans went 103-17 and won four MCT crowns. Steinert also won three conference, two sectional and one group state championship during that span.

"My top memories from high school include being a part of the 1992 team which was a 31-1 state championship team," he said.

His last trip on the hill for the Spartans was memorable, too, as he threw a no-hitter on the state tournament trail in his final high school appearance. The 94 team was ranked nationally, cracking the top three in the country.

"He was a very consistent pitcher, always with improvement, always pitching well in big games," said retired coach Rich Giallella. "He is highly respected and highly thought of. He was a pitcher with a high level of ability.

"As a junior and a senior, it was him and (fellow all-star and SHS Athletic Hall of Famer) Chris Reyes and Tom earned everything that he got."

Phillips went on to have a what else? four-year varsity career at Rutgers University where he earned a B.S. degree in Administration of Justice.

He credits his family members and coaches for helping him to succeed as a student-athlete.

"Obviously my parents were very supportive of me," he said. "I had a great time being able to play on the same team as all the guys I grew up with and hung out with. And, obviously, Rich Giallella. Without his help there would be no hall of fame for me. Same could be said for Rick Freeman during the summer Legion seasons at Post 31."