New Jersey’s Todd Frazier Welcomed Home from Tokyo Olympics With Silver Medal
From Toms River to Tokyo and back, Toms River's own Todd Frazier was given a special kind of welcome home to Ocean County on Monday night as he brought home the Silver Medal he and Team U.S.A. won during the Tokyo Olympics.
Family and friends were on hand outside of Frazier's Toms River home on Monday night waving American flags, chanting "U.S.A." and joining in on celebrating Todd's return home as police and fire crews escorted him down the street.
It was a surprise gathering for Todd, thinking only a few people would be there when he got home but then something told him that it might be a little bit bigger than that.
"I was FaceTiming my wife and saw that her hair was done so I knew something was going on. I thought it was just going to be a couple family and friends over, this is beyond my wildest dreams and I couldn't be more excited," Frazier told 92.7-WOBM/Townsquare Media News on Monday night. "I appreciate everybody, friends and family, the whole town of Toms River and the state. This is a dream come true."
His Olympic experience in Tokyo was something that he'll cherish forever being able to meet new people, make new friends, and being able to watch all the competitions unfold among the world's best athletes.
"There were some specimens there from guys that are lifting hundreds of pounds to women who are so super-fast, the food was unbelievable and what I'm going to take home is just the unbelievable experiment Tokyo did, the workers there, it was one of the cleanest cities I've ever been apart of and praise to the people that work there," Frazier said.
On the baseball diamond competing with Team U.S.A. during the Olympics Frazier was reunited with a couple of old teammates from his time with the Yankees in 2017, Tyler Austin and David Robertson, and collectively as a group, they found a renewed energy playing baseball.
"It reenergized me from knowing the guys that I played with and younger guys, I kind of built off of both of them, the energy from the younger guys and the wisdom from the older guys," Frazier said. "We came together real quick, it's a great fraternity, I wish everyone could understand the severity of playing in the Olympics and playing for Team U.S.A. I'm so glad I got to be a part of this and the dreams that'll last a lifetime."
One of the heroes of the 1998 Toms River East Little League 'Beasts from the East' team that beat Japan for the World Series Championship, Frazier once again had the opportunity to represent his country in 2021 and play in an international tournament pushing for the top prize of a Gold Medal.
"Israel was playing there, they had a really good team -- mostly Americans, Mexico of course, the Dominican Republic (is) always a powerhouse and South Korea and especially Japan. We had a real good opportunity to win, unfortunately we didn't but it's pretty cool to even have a Silver Medal though," Frazier said. "They had the best of the best and we had our best too, we put our best foot forward and to be home celebrating like this -- I pinch myself everyday."
There's a possibility that the Gold Medal game Team U.S.A. played against Japan in the Olympics was the last time Frazier plays in uniform after 11-seasons in MLB with the Reds, WhiteSox, Yankees, Mets, Rangers, and Pirates.
"I really thought about it the day before the last game how this might be my last game so I wanted to put my best foot forward and unfortunately I didn't get any hits, I played good defense but if it is, it is. It's been a remarkable career, in my eyes at least, and I hope I made everybody proud and we'll see what happens after this," Frazier said. "I'm hoping to play, I want to play as much as I can, don't get me wrong, but I'm okay with it, I'm in a good place and not many people say they can finish off their career with a Silver Medal, so it'd be pretty nice."
While the final chapter in his on the field baseball career has yet to be written, he'll always be one of the key members of the Home Team, his home, right along with his family.