Collette, Louis (2002)
Louis Collette grew up in West Farmington and graduated from Farmington High School in 1947. Louis was truly a gifted athlete, doing it all in football, basketball, track and his great love, baseball. He was the creme de la creme on the baseball diamond. He was the complete package: he could hit for average, hit with power, possessed blazing speed on the base paths, and could run down fly balls with the absolute best and had a strong and accurate throwing arm. After high school “Sonny” was recruited to play for the Farmington Flyers Semi-Pro Team in Farmington and was later named to the All-Star team for West Central Maine.
Louis had a try-out with the St. Louis Cardinals the summer of 1948 and was signed to a minor league contract by the great John Dickson, who was chief scout for the Cardinals in the area. In the spring of 1949 Louis reported to the Cardinal training camp in Albany, Georgia and started the regular season with the Hamilton Red Wing Club in Hamilton, Ontario where he was the starting center fielder. From there on he was assigned to the Geneva Club in the Alabama League and the Salisbury, Maryland Club on the east shore, ending the season with a .308 average. Louis played a total of five years in pro ball.
He elected to serve in the military at the height of his career during which time he played in the Transporters International League for four year. Upon completing his military obligation he reported for spring training in 1955 when he incurred an injury that rendered his throwing arm “dead”.
He enrolled at Gorham State Teachers College and later graduated “with honors”, from Montana State University with a degree in physical education. In the fall of 1959 he started his long and successful teaching and coaching career in Maine, first at Lisbon High School, later Rockland High and Brunswick High until his retirement. As a ball player and later as a coach, Louis was an exemplary specimen of physical fitness who never asked a student or player to do a physical activity he couldn’t personally demonstrate beforehand.
Always a gentleman he had the respect of his team mates, students and his contemporaries. His sense of propriety, his virtue and his belief system set him aside from others – he was truly a great athlete. Welcome, Louis, to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.