Card, Al (1993)
Al Card, A humble man recognized by his omni present smile, received countless awards in his distinguished teaching-coaching-officiating career, but none greater than his HoF induction tonight.
Al was a catcher at Paris High School
(1944-1948) and at MCl in 1949.
He was selected by scouts to play for the Press Herald Braves, where It was said he was a ‘sturdy catcher" who “caused considerable comment’.
From 1951-1953, Al played at UMO, where he was the captain and catcher on Hal Raymond’s Yankee Conference co-championship team in 53. Vic Woodbrey (HoF ‘85), Card's teammate with the Braves and at UMO and later coaching mate at Fairfield, labels Al “a smart receiver, fine leader, and a guy who could swing a good bat’.
Card touched a lot of bases In semi-pro ball: St. Croix League, Auburn Asas, Bates Manufacturing team, and, in 1955, caught for the 272nd infantry Regiment, as well as the Fort Dix All-Star team.
in 1957, he caught and managed the Fairfieid team in the Central Maine League.
As an umpire, Al Card worked over 2,000 games and was long recognized as one of the best. Chick Leahey, former Bates Coach (HoF'82), described him as “a person who is in charge of a game, but not one who makes you feel he’s a tyrant’.
he was decisive, cool, and always hustling.
And he was very Knowledgeable about all the rules.
He worked on all levels, from high school ball (23 years of interscholastic tournaments) to AAA pro ball, where he got calls for International League games at Old Orchard.
He was a fixture at Togus “calling ‘em for 22 American Legion tournaments. He appeared in three Babe Ruth World Series. In the collegiate ranks, he worked four decades and, in 1987, served as plate umpire in the New England College All-Star game at Fenway Park. The New England Intercollegiate Baseball Coaches Association presented Al with its Distinguished Service Award. Al is especially proud that in 33 years of umpiring he ejected only one coach and no players.
in 1986, Card was recognized for excellence in teaching by the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at UMO. His 35 years in education included stints at Lawrence High in Fairfield, MCI and Cony, and at each he served as football coach.
Also, in 1986, Al received the Ray Bicknell “Man of the Year" award from the Maine College Basketball Coaches and Writers Association. You see, Al Card was also a top-notch basketball referee.
Now retired from teaching and officiating Al, now 63, lives in Augusta with his wife Irene. He has a daughter, Linda LeBlond of Cape Elizabeth, and a son, Ryan who graduated from Ithaca College in June.