Boothby, Art (1998)
Art Boothby’s credentials for the Maine Baseball Hail of Fame include superior performances at several levels and the reinforcement of those who saw him play.
“Art Boothby excelled at every level during his baseball career and always brought a fiery intensity and iron will to the baseball diamond,“ observed Don Douglas. Douglas, (MBHOF, 1991), said Boothby's love of the game Is evident as he continues to play in the over-30 and over-40 leagues In Hartford, Conn.
At Gorham high school, Boothby was a four-year letter-winner in soccer, basketball and baseball. He was a four-year starter on the baseball team, playing center field as a freshman.
Boothby became a pitcher as a junior, earning team MVP. In his senior season, he struck out 18 batters against Greely. His high school! pitching record was 10-1. In basketball, Boothby was point guard as a Junior on the top ranked team in Western Maine for most of the year. the Rams were unbeaten, 16-0, going into the tournament, won two more games then lost In overtime to Traip Academy in the Western Maine final.
“One of the great disappointments of my career, he said. “ Traip went on to stomp Schenck in the state Final.”
But summer was for baseball. Boothby was a three year starter for Manchester Post in Westbrook.
“| learned a lot from Jimmy Burill (MBHOF ’92) but we were always second to South Portland so we never got to the state tournament,” Boothby said.
Boothby went on to prestigious Amherst College where he played basketball and baseball as a freshman, varsity soccer as a junior and varsity baseball as a three-year starter 1971-1973.
As a senior, Boothby was chosen first team New England when he hit .3/78 and led the Lord Jeffs in stolen bases. he was also voted honorable mention All America by the AACBC.
During and after college, Boothby played in the Portland Twilight League from 1968 to 1973 and again in 1976. He was a player-manager of the Gorham team in 1970 at the age of 19 and won the batting title in 1973 with an average of .478.
He then moved to Connecticut and played in the Hartford twilight League for 19 years, 1974-1988.
in the summer of 1976, he played in both the Hartford and Portland leagues, trying to play in 12 games in Portland so he could qualify for the playoffs.
“| Was probably the only one stupid enough to ever try to play In both these leagues at the same time, he said.
Boothby finished second for the batting title in Hartford that summer, hitting 431 and losing the championship (for batting), on his last at bat.
“| think | would have been the only one to win a batting title in both leagues at the same time’, he said.
One summer one of the pitchers he faced was Billy Swift who was tuning up for a trip to the Pan-Am games.
Boothby played in the over-30 league from 1989 to 1994 and was selected to play on three over-40 teams that qualified for the World Series in Arizona.
He was the leading hitter at .435 on the team that lost in the finals to Chicago. The opposition included five former Major Leaguers including Jose Cardenal at shortstop.
He was also selected to play on an All-Star team in the over-30 league that played against Bill Lees Gray Sox team that Included Bobby Bonds, Dick McCauliffle, Bill Almon, Dalton Jones, George Foster, Bob Stanley, Mark Fidrych and Junior Ortiz.