Davis, Frank (2007)
Described as one of the leading players of his time, Frank Davis began his baseball career in the late 1950’s in Medway, Maine. Frank grew up learning the game of baseball in a cow pasture that his father had converted into a baseball field, and early on, it was evident that Frank was going to be a talented player.
As a freshman at Schenck High School in East Millinocket, Frank led the team to the league championship, hitting an impressive .428. Frank played baseball whenever and wherever he could find a game. In the summer of his junior year of high school, Frank played three times a week for the local Babe Ruth team, played for the Lincoln American Legion team on Saturdays, and traveled to Eastport on Sundays to play for the Eastport Lobsters. In his last year of high school, Frank played for his hometown team, the East Millinocket Ruffians.
Upon graduation from Schenck High School in 1968, Frank declined a baseball scholarship from the University of Connecticut and opted to stay in Maine and play for Coach Jack Butterfield at the University of Maine. “Frank would do anything asked of him to win,” says Dennis Libbey, a friend and teammate of Frank at the University of Maine. “His name was Pig Pen, Jack Butterfield named him that because his uniforms was always dirty. He dove for everything and slid every base.” As a freshman at Maine, Frank went undefeated as a pitcher for the freshmen team, ending the year with three wins. But even more impressive, he played eight different positions in the field during his collegiate career. In his sophomore year at Maine, Frank made the varsity team as a relief pitcher and utility player. In his junior year at Maine, Frank made the varsity team as a relief pitcher ending the season with a .292 batting average. That summer, he stayed in Orono and played third base for the Bangor Comrades, leading the team to the State Championship on 8 for 16 hitting, earning him MVP honors. As a co captain for the Black Bears his senior year, Frank hit .296 and was named an All-Yankee Conference Honorable Mention selection at third base. Looking back on his playing days at Maine, Frank’s memories are playing with one of the best fielding percentage infields in college baseball at the time . . . with Alan Livingston at second base, Dennis Libbey at shortstop and Frank at third base.
Frank continued his playing career after college, playing for South Portland in the Twilight League, leading the league in hitting. He was named league MVP and an All-Star, capping off a fine performance in the All-Star game with a grand slam home run. His team won two straight state semipro league championships. One of his fondest memories of playing in the Twilight League, however, was traveling up from Cape Cod (where he was attending the Ted Williams Baseball Camp) to South Portland to catch Bert Roberge and Steve Conley in a double header. Ironically, catcher was the only position Frank had never played in his career.
That winter, Frank began his teaching and coaching career Woodland High School, where his baseball team lost in the Eastern Maine Finals. In 1973, an opportunity to return to his roots was presented, and Frank accepted a teaching position in East Millinocket. Still passionate about the game, Frank would travel 3 and a half hours to Cutler to play for the Cutler Cardinals in the Quoddy League. In the championship game, Frank pitched the Cardinals to a 3 to 1 win over the a talented Peter Dana Point Indian team, knocking in the winning runs with a triple.
In 1974, Frank moved to Fairfield, where he would coach and teach for the next twenty years. Still an active player, he played for Yarmouth in the Twilight League. A bad cases of mononucleosis ended his playing career in 1975.
With the end of his playing career, however, came the beginning of a great coaching career. Throughout the years, Frank has coached baseball, softball, basketball, cross county and every sport in between, at all levels, both boys and girls, and has had a tremendous influence on many young lives. He spearheaded the intramural volleyball program while in Fairfield, and had as many as 200 participants on twenty teams playing volleyball five days a week.
Another opportunity to go back to his roots led Frank back to Medway, where he began teaching at Medway Middle School. Frank retired from teaching four years ago, but he is just as busy as ever. Frank still spends his days outside on the field, not as a baseball player but as a master gardener. He and his wife, Ann, spend their days tending to their 110 acre farm just outside of Medway. Longtime friend Dennis Libbey said, “More than a baseball player, Frank was an outstanding person - teacher, coach, son, husband.” Frank Davis, with his passion and enthusiasm for the game, has undoubtedly left his mark on Maine baseball.