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  • Writer's pictureMaine Baseball HOF

Athanasia, Mary Sr. (Woods, Florence) (1979)

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

Sister Mary Athanasia of Portland, christened Florence Irene Woods, the teenage idol of neighborhood boys because of her powerful and accurate throwing ability. She amazed members of Portland teams in the New England League at Bayside Park with her arm and batting skill. She was the envy of many a boy at Cathedral Grammar, where she mixed discipline with goodly doses of baseball in the schoolyard. Sister Athanasia’s baseball activities were largely confined to Portland’s Bayside Park and the local Cathedral Grammar schoolyard.

“Smokey” Woods caught batting practice and shagged flies for the 1913 Portland team in the New England League managed by Hughey Duffy, and played on several area teams sharp enough to exploit her throwing arm and exceptional batting eye.

She spread the baseball gospel for almost a half century as a sidelight to churchly duties.

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