Boynton, Bob (2003)
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Many will tell you that Bob Boynton was the best ballplayer to come out of Millinocket.
Robert C. Boynton was a gifted three-sport athlete at Stearns High School, graduating in 1944. Boynton attended an open tryout in Brewer in 1946 and caught the eye of legendary baseball scout Clyde Sukeforth.
Boynton was a “5-tool” player before the term was invented and his efforts were rewarded with a contract offer to play professional baseball in the Brooklyn Dodgers organization.
In March of 1947 Boynton reported to the Dodgers’ spring training facility at the Pensacola Naval Base in Florida. Under the guidance of baseball guru Branch Rickey, the Dodgers were revolutionizing spring training, and Boynton was indoctrinated into the Dodger way through repetitive instruction and assembly line training techniques. Boynton recalls learning the art of stealing home from the former Gas House Gang leader Pepper Martin.
Boynton played the 1947 season with the Kingston GNY) Dodgers in the Hudson Valley League.The local Kingston paper that spring noted:“A second addition to the rapidly growing roster is Bob Boynton, an outfielder on option from Danville.
Boynton, a 165 pounder who stands 5’10”, is a native of Millinocket. He throws right and bats left and in the words of manage George Scherger, ‘he runs like a deer’.
Boynton was not offered a contract the following year and returned home to Millinocket to begin a 42-year career as a mechanical supervisor with Great Northern Paper.
Bob’s baseball career continued with the semi-pro Emerson Pills (named by the team’s owner and local druggist, Robert Emerson). Boynton patrolled the outfield and added mound duties over the next 15 years for the Pills, who competed in the storied Eastern League against other Penobscot County teams from Old Town, Bangor, Milo and Lincoln. Boynton did not forget the lessons learned from Pepper Martin and enhanced his growing reputation as a fearless base stealer.
Boynton retired from Great Northern in 1986 and lives today in his hometown of Millinocket. Bob’s wife of 47, Fredericka, passed away in 1991 Their four children, Laurie Cormier,Angel Hibbs, Bruce Boynton and Robert Boynton, Jr., all live close by, however, and proudly lead the acclaim for the induction of their dad and Millinocket’s native son into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.