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Carmichael, Garth (Gus) (2003)

Carmichael, Garth (Gus) (03)

G.L. “Gus” Carmichael

A native of Monticello, Maine, Garth L. “Gus” Carmichael grew up in South Portland, where his family had moved when his father got a job in the shipyard during WWII. Also playing football (two years) and basketball (four years), he was a star pitcher for South Portland High School, with occasional duty at first base for his batting. In his junior year (1952), Carmichael was the best pitcher in the Telegram League (All-Telegram Team) with an 8-2 record.

Also batting .426, Gus led the team to the Telegram League title, and beat Augusta’s Cony High in the state championship game for Class L (Large school). Although hampered by a knee operation early in his sophomore year because of a childhood injury, he compiled a 19-4 record in the Telegram League in his South Portland career, as well as two tournament wins including the 1952 state championship game.Vern Putney, a local sports writer, asserted that Carmichael possessed “a good fastball and a curve with enough wrinkle to fool most batters.” While in high school, Gus also pitched in summer semipro ball for Falmouth in the Casco Bay League, the Farmington Flyers in the .

Downeast League, and Wholesale Tire Company in the Portland Twilight League.

After graduation in June 19534, he signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, who outbid the Milwaukee Braves, two of four teams which had courted him.The scout who signed him declared that Carmichael had a “live fast ball.” Gus was assigned to Granby, Quebec in the Provincial League, where he led the team to a championship with a 12-4 record. Drafted in to the army after that season, Carmichael missed the 1954 season while in the service. At the start of the 1955 season, Gus was again assigned to the Provincial League with Trois Rivieres (Three Rivers), Quebec, although he initially heard he would go to the AAA Miami Marlins, which had Satchel Paige on its roster. After posting a 3-1 record for Three Rivers, Carmichael sought his release from the Phillies, and signed late in the summer with the Washington Senators organization. Gus was assigned to Erie, Pennsylvania of the New York-Penn League, where he was 4-1 in five games.

Again requesting his release, Carmichael signed with the Cleveland Indians organization in 1956, and played for Port Arthur, Texas in the Big State League, earning a 6-4 record. Sold to the Cincinnati Redlegs organization during the season, Gus was assigned to Savannah, Georgia in the South Atlantic (Sally) League. Pitching one game for Savannah, he was quickly promoted to High Point, North Carolina in the Carolina League, and had a 3-1 record in helping to win the championship.

Still with the Cincinnati system in 1957, Carmichael started the season with Clovis, New Mexico in the Southwestern League. Early in the season, the franchise failed, and the players were transferred to Wenatchee, Washington in the Northwestern League. Having had a 3-1 record at Clovis, Gus helped Wenatchee win the championship with a 7-6 record. Requesting his release after the 1957 season, he pitched in 1958 for Salem, Oregon, an independent team also in the Northwestern League, compiling a 4-1 record, before being released when the Yankees stocked the club with players. In five major league seasons, Carmichael won two-thirds of his decisions, as well as winning playoff games for all three of his championship teams without a defeat.

He is the younger brother of Richard “Dick” Carmichael, also a stellar south Portland High athlete, minor league pitcher, and member of the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Retired form the Postal Service, Gus and his wife Geraldine reside in Cumberland Foreside.

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