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  • Writer's pictureMaine Baseball HOF

DiFrederico, Jim (1988)

From 1948 to 1949, the Augusta Millionaires of Ben Houser and Don Brennan (both Maine Hall members) were billed as ‘‘Maine’s Outstanding Independent Baseball Ciub’’. In 1949, Millinocket’s Jim DiFrederico was a 9-0 hurler with the capitol City nine and on his way to a brief career 1n the Boston Red Sox system. Jim comes to The Maine Baseball Hall of Fame with a recommendation by Hugh Lord, veteran sportswriter, as one of the Easter Maine’s best. He must have been one of Maine’s top moundsmen.

Jim first attracted attention at Stearns High School and Ricker College, where he was a hard-throwing right-hander. In 1948, while at Ricker, Jim pastimed with the Houlton Collegians and lost a 1-0 decision to the fast Millionaire club — a game in which he struck out 15. So impressed was Houser that he invited the Millinocket youngster to a tryout in 49. With the fabled Millionaires, DiFrederico joined future Red Soxers Harry Agganis and Ted Lepcio, and a host of other top performers, to help write one of the most interested chapters in Pine Tree State baseball history.

His perfect 9-0 log attracted the eye of Neil Mahoney, Bosox scout, and DiFrederico, 22 years old, packing 180 lbs on a 5’10’’ frame, was off to a minor league career that included stints at Roanoke, VA and Oneonta, NY.

At Roanoke in the Piedmont League, he hurled a two-hit gem against the Newport News Dodgers besting future World Series’ hero, John Podres. He also opposed Roger Craig, present San Francisco Giants manager, while Craig was a Dodger farmhand. At Oneonta, Jim's first shutout was a three-hitter against Three Rivers. He pitched 7 complete games in his first 9 minor league starts, but he also had tough luck, suffering a shoulder injury sliding into home.

After his stint in pro-ball, Jim returned to his native Millinocket, where he was a popular mailman and active coach in several athletic programs for the town’s youth.

He also gained recognition as one of Maine's top basketball officials and baseball umpires.

Jim died in 1985 and is survived by his wife, Pat, three sons and a daughter.

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