Black, Richard, Dick (2002)
One of the standout Maine pitchers of the 1950’s was Dick Black, a slender southpaw. Black resided in Portland and chose to toe the mound for Cheverus High School from 1949 to 1952. Pitching for Bill Curran, Dick completed his high school career with a Telegram League All-Star selection in 1952. In his senior year he was 5-3, with 41 walks and a league –leading 123 strikeouts. His pitching All-Star teammates were junior, Willie Greenlaw and Garth Carmichael and senior, John Maher.
While a schoolboy, Dick was always involved in summer play, beginning with Legion baseball with Frank Archer’s (HoF ’75) Mallia Post nines and the Caldwell Post. From 1952 to 1954, Dick pitched for Freddie Harlow (HoF ’74) in the Maine-New Brunswick League. It was in this league that “Blackie” experienced what be termed his most enjoyable win – the championship game in 1953. “Okie” O’Connor, a Dodger scout, was present, liked what he saw, and arranged for Dick to talk to the Villanova Wildcats coach, Art Mahan. Mahan was looking for a left-hander and gave Dick a scholarship. In 1955, the Wildcats went 15 and 6 with Black, one of a strong staff, with 4 and 0. In the summer of 1955, Dick played about a month in the Nova Scotia League until he picked up a sore arm, curtailing his activity for a while. But Black struck out 17 against St. Joseph’s in 1956.
After graduation, Dick played Twilight League baseball off and on. In his Twi debut in 1955 for Portland Motor Sales, he pitched a three-hitter against Blue Rock Quarry but also hit a two-run homer and a double.
Dick and Ginny live in Cape Elizabeth and have three adult offspring – sons, Michael and David and daughter, Susan, who is married to Jim Ray.