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  • Writer's pictureMaine Baseball HOF

Dawson, Philip (Jack) (1994)

Dawson, Phillip

For the past thirty years, Jack Dawson has been well-known as a football coach, baseball referee, camp director, guidance counselor and, most recently, as a Portland City Councilor.

All of these roles have obscured the accomplishments of Dawson, the baseball person.

As a youngster, he preferred to catch, but under the tutelage of the legendary Frank Archer, he switched to pitcher and infielder to play for the Paul Mallia American Legion team in 1949 and 1950.

At Cheverus H.S. Dawson, who also ran track and played football, played shortstop for the 1951 and 1952 teams.

But it was in summer ball that Jack really made his mark. Dedication and versatility made him a welcome addition to anybody's roster. He was always ready to play.

In 1951, the Mallia Post now out of the baseball business, Dawson joined his Deering neighbors on the Ralph Caldwell Post and played third base.

in 1952 he enjoyed a fine season with the Deering Hoboes and was selected to the Twilight League All-Stars with teammates, including Bill Ladd, Herbie Swift, Frank Archer, Yudy Elowitch, and others who grace the Maine baseball HOF.

From 1953 to 1956, Jack played with the Boston College Eagles, lettering in ‘56 as a third-baseman-outfielder. During the summers, he always returned to the Twilight League:

1953 and 1954, Portland Copper; 1955, Blue Rock; 1956-57, Forest City Motors, where he added an occasional catching chore to his portfolio.

it was playing with the Motormen that he and the late Pete Harnois had a memorable outfield collision that sent the two fearless competitors to the hospital.

in 1956, he was offered a White Sox tryout at Seals Stadium in San Francisco, but a 14-day odyssey across the country left him too late for the tryout but on time to start a teaching-coaching career in California.

Another opportunity presented itself in 1957 in the form of a tryout with the Class C Salinas (Calif.) Blue Jays, but it was time to start graduate school at B.C.

In 1958, Jack returned to Cheverus to assist his former mentor, Bill Curran, with football and to assume the baseball reins.

Blessed with some excellent young ball players who continued to blossom under his sturdy leadership - Cheverus in 1959 won its first Telegram League title since 1936. The 1960 club, captained by Phil Conley and featuring Paul Sullivan and Dick Joyce, both future pros and HoFer’s, repeated.

Jack then took over the head football job and had to yield the baseball coaching to Hank Stillman, and the 1961 club became the only undefeated Telly League team.

Ana those were Cheverus last title teams.

When Cheverus gave up football, Jack left for Westbrook and has been there since.

But he never really left baseball because he has instructed many youngsters at his popular Sports Camp, occasionally umpired in youth programs and is the dean of pitchers in the local Over-30 League.

Jack is married to the former Eileen Cavallier and is the father of 4 daughters and son James, a promising all-round 8th grade athlete.

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