A strong schoolboy career, outstanding collegiate credentials, plenty of summer successes, and a few seasons of pro ball are the ingredients that made Jack Gaudette a Maine HoFer.
Jack began his high school diamond career as a reserve infielder on Westbrook's 1951 State championship team and finished it as an All Telegram leaguer with the Blue Blazes of 1954.
in between, he spent his junior year at Rumford's Stephens High, where he performed with the Androscoggin Valley League Championship team of '53. Jack hit a combined .355 in high school and pastimed summers with Westbrook’'s Manchester Post Team that he captained to a Legion state title in '53.
From 1955 to 1958, Gaudette played at Rollins College and his .335 four-year average helped Rollins mates to trophy-laden campaigns: NCAA Eastern Region champs, a NAIA National runner-up award, and Florida intercollegiate title. Jack left Rollins in his last term to sign with the Cincinnati Reds organization.
While in college, Jack played summers with Yudy's Tires and the Capital Theatre Red Sox in the Portland Twilight League and his .424 with the Red Sox won the 1956 Twi League batting title.
In the minor leagues, Jack played third base and caught for Graceville In the Florida-Georgia Rookie League, hitting .275, and Orlando, in the Florida State League, where he added first base to his log with a .289 average.
He hit a league-record 3 consecutive home runs at Cocoa Beach.
After a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gaudette's contract negotiations broke down and he retired.
Tossing the bat and glove aside, Jack returned to his native Pine Tree State and began a long and varied career in education.
He received his B S. in Education at Gorham State in 1963 and his M.Ed. from the University of Maine at Gorham in ‘69.
In between, he taught and coached at Westbrook Junior and Senior High Schools, and called balls and strikes as a Western Maine Board Umpire. Administration beckoned and Gaudette served as principal and guidance counselor at Buckfield Junior and Senior High School (1968-72): principal at Lawrence High School (1972-76); and as assistant principal at Cony High School (1976-86).
Today, Jack works part time with the American Lung Association, records MSPA Heal Point statistics and coaches the Varsity Girls’ basketball team at Maranacook High School.
(While at Stephens, Jack won the Vinall Trophy as the Western Maine Basketball Tournaments outstanding player-sportsman.)
Jack and his wife Antonia Jean live in Winthrop and have daughters Christine and Katherine and a son, Kyle.
From Westbrook Historical Society
Little did this team know that when they won the Telegram League and State Championship in 1951, that it would be FIFTY-THREE years before Westbrook would ever capture another such title!
Below is the team information as it appeared in the Westbrook High School yearbook The Blue & White 1952:
The Westbrook High baseball season of 1951 was really successful. Our team captured the Telegram League and State Championship.
When we entered the final game with South Portland, we had a 12-3 record and were tied with the Capers for first place. We won the game 4-3 in ten innings behind Bill Cary, ace moundsman. The winning play turned out to be the "double-squeeze" which Coach Harlow had had the boys practicing all year.
We drew a bye in the first round of the State Tournament and faced South Portland again in the second round. With another close game expected, a large crowd turned out. Cary again held the Capers and we pounded out a 7-1 victory. With South Portland out of the way, we faced Lewiston. Cary went to the mound again and we smacked Lewiston, 9-4, to win the Western Maine Championship. This gave us the right to meet Presque Isle for the State Championship at Bangor. Gary went to the mound and pitched tremendous ball to hold Presque Isle to three hits. We won the game, 9-0, and ended a very successful season.
As anyone who followed the team could see, it was built around ace southpaw Bill Cary, who pitched terrifically all year. Bunky Buotte rounded out the other half of the battery doing a great job of receiving Cary's southpaw slants. The infield gave Cary good support during the year. Mal Roma was at first base, Freshman Bob Bernier was at second base and Joe Morse was at third base. Bob MacHardy, the batting star of the club, was at shortshop. The speedy outfield consisted of Larry Robicheaw, a great defensive outfielder, in left; Toots LaBrecque, a former second baseman, in center; and Dick Fortin, a transfer from Cheverus, in right. A good spot pitcher was Erlon Knight, who had a 3-0 record. Reserves who played an important part were Jackie Gaudette, Armand Caron, Wayne Worcester, Maurice Harvey, and Bob Barrows. Cary, Buotte, Robicheaw, and MacHardy were selected for the All-Telegram League Team, while LaBrecque, Morse and Fortin were given honorable mention.
A great deal of credit should be given to Coach Harlow, who brought the the team through in beautiful style. His knowledge of baseball and his love for the "world's greatest game" inspired the team throughout the season.