Maine Baseball HOF
Buotte, Phil (Bunky) (1990)
Philip “Bunky” Buotte
Westbrook High School has given Maine many of its most colorful and proficient athletes and one of these was the peppery little back-stop, “Bunky” Buotte. Although Buotte garnered 13 letters in football, basketball, track and baseball and was Vinall Trophy winner in the Western Maine Basketball tournament of 1952, it is for his diamond exploits that he is honored tonight.
““Bunky’ caught for the Blue Blazes from 1940 to 52. He was almost a clone for his equally colorful and combative coach, the inimitable Freddie Harlow. In 1950, ‘““Bunky” hit .367 - a very good sophomore season. In 1951, “Bunky™ and his teammates reached the heights with a Telegram League title and the State’s Class L (large school) championship. Westbrook boasted a superb southpaw Bill Cary (10-3 with 13 complete games) and a .397 hitting, far-ranging shortstop Bob MacHardy. When the All-Telly team was chosen “Bunky” was the only underclassman on the team. He was the highest hitting catcher in the league and led the loop with 22 stolen bases. In the State Championship game at Bangor, ‘“‘Bunky” went 3 for 5, stole three bases and scored three runs as Cary shut out Presque Isle 9-0.
In 1952 when the Boston Braves scouts selected a 15-man All Star team at the conclusion of a three-day Press Herald-Braves Clinic, one of the two catchers selected was “Bunky” Buotte. Labeled “compact and speedy’, it was indicated that he impressed defensively and would swing the bat satisfactory.
Buotte played for the Manchester Post Jr. Legion team in 1948 and 1949 and entered the Twilight League ranks in 1950 when he pastimed for Yudy’s Tires. He also played with Pallotta Oil and D.A.
Fogg nines. In 1952 he played with the Auburn Asas in the fast Down East League. After this stint he was reportedly offered a Brooklyn Dodger contract but he entered the Marines from 1952 to 1956 and his ball-playing was limited to a brief stint at Parris Island.
Returning from the service - a stint in Korea included -“Bunky” played for the Capitol Theater Red Sox in the Twilight League and coached the Westbrook Lions Little League team.
When Coach Harlow was leaving Westbrook for Deering High he was reported to Nave selected Wil Gouzie and “Bunky” Buotte as “the most outstanding athletes participating in all three major sports. - a tremendous accolade indeed!
In 1954 “Bunky , who now resides in North Windham, married Lorraine Kneeland and the couple had three children Mark, Bruce and Kathy.