Anthoine, Bob (2015)
“Baseball enriched my life, expanded my horizon, exposed me to countless opportunities that would have been otherwise missed”
- Bob Anthoine
“Bob Anthoine taught several generations of baseball players to respect the game of baseball through proper preparation, how to compete at the highest level while fostering team work and commraderie”
- Derek Soule
It is no wonder that Bob Anthoine displayed a common thread of competitiveness, mastery of fundamentals and unerring respect for the game at each stop along his baseball journey (Deering, UMO and Greely) since he learned his baseball lessons early on from the masters – Freddy Harlow and Lou Tripaldi – took advanced classes under the legendary John Winkin, and put his personal stamp on the baseball “rule book” with his coaching career at Greely.
Bob was the third of four sons born to Charlie and Ruth Anthoine, a family as close to Deering High School royalty as you can get. Though not the type to crow about it, Ma and Pa Anthoine took quiet pride in never missing an athletic contest in which their four sons participated during their junior and senior high playing days. Bobby followed older brothers Neal and Steve (and Billy followed Bobby) in leading the Rams on the gridiron and diamond and added the hardcourt for good measure. Bob captained all three of those sports his senior year and was an All-Telegram selection and baseball MVP his senior year. Bob pastimed in the summers for the Caldwell Post under Coaches Leon Freeman and Rick Piacentini.
Coach Harlow bestowed the ultimate compliment on Bobby when he dubbed him one of the chosen few who had “the ole’ Mahuska.”
As many talented and hungry Maine ballplayers did in those days, Bobby answered the persuasive call of Coach Winkin and trekked up to Orono on a full scholarship in 1977. He played sparingly his freshman year but soon developed into a reliable second baseman, holding down that position capably for the next three seasons. In 1978, Bobby was named to the All-Tournament team in the prestigious Riverside Invitational Tournament in California. The Black Bears’ tournament wins included victories over nationally ranked powers Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.
Bob said the chance to stay in Maine to play Division I baseball was the biggest factor in his attending UMO. “I was fortunate to play in an era when Coach Winkin believed in Maine kids and didn’t hesitate to put us up against the national schools. Every year I played, the core of the roster was from Maine.”
Bobby also played for two Maine Hall of Famers during college – South Portland’s Bob Philbrick in the Portland Twilight League, and Merrill “Red” Wilson of Dennis-Yarmouth in the Cape Cod League.
Following graduation, Bob entered the teaching profession and landed his first JV baseball coaching job under fellow 2015 Inductee Rod Choroszy, then head coach at South Portland. Then it was on to Foxcroft Academy where he taught physical education and served as athletic director from 1981-1984.
From there Bob moved to his teaching and coaching sweet spot at Greely High School in 1984. Taking over as head baseball coach in 1985, Bobby turned around a struggling program with a firm insistence on instilling the core values of the game that had defined his own career: solid fundamental play, competing with every pitch and respecting the game and the opponent. In this 14-year coaching career at Greely, Bob Anthoine amassed 171 wins, including 20 state playoff victories, 2 league championships, 4 Regional titles and 2 Class B state championships.
Bobby “retired” from his head coaching position in 1999 to follow the athletic careers of his children Travis and Kelly who were both forging their own illustrious chapters in Anthoine family annals, Travis enjoying a productive college baseball career at Wheaton College and Kelly being named field hockey captain at Portland High.
For the past 8 years, Bobby has returned to the Greely diamond and assists Derek Soule, one of his former players, with hitting instruction and infield play.
When asked to identify what sparks his baseball life today, Bob replied: “I love to teach the game, to show how baseball needs to be done the right way. I was inspired by some really great coaches in my life – Harlow, Tripaldi, Tom Dibiase, Winkin of course, and Ed Flaherty. I never missed one of his clinics and I used to pattern my practices and drills on what I picked up from him.”
With the coaching spark still lit and burning brightly, there’s little doubt Bob Anthoine’s own coaching tree will be bearing a plentiful harvest.