Graff, Bobby (1990)
Another excellent teacher-coach and an outstanding catcher enters the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame when Bobby Graff receives his plaque.
Bob was a three-sports star at Portland High School from 1938 to 1941 and caught for two title teams. In 1940 his Portland nines shared the Telegram Title with Westbrook, but in 1941 the Blue Bulldogs stood alone and senior Bobby Graff was the All-Star catcher. It was a stellar team and teammates Hank Stillman, ““Nundi’ Romano, Jack Silverman and Funzi DePaulo joined their popular Captain, Graff, on the All-Star club.
After high school, Bobby attended Coburn Classical Institute and then had a stint with Uncle Sam’s Army during which he managed to get in some innings with the Medical Corps in New Guinea (a “household name” in World War II days).
it was reported in 1943, upon leaving for the Army, that he was “such a brilliant catching prospect that big league Scouts kept tabs on him while he was in school!’’.
Returning to civvies, Bobby attended Bowdoin College and became one of the Polar Bears best in football and baseball]. Under the colorful and legendary Dan MacFayden, Bowdoin was enjoying a great run in baseball and Bobby was a significant part of it. The rugged backstop played on State Series Championship teams in 1949, 1950 and 1951 and was Co-Captain of the 1950 club with his battery-mate, Bernie Johnson. To this date still, Graff holds the Bowdoin record for highest batting average for a season - .433 in 1950. Bowdoin was 34-11 for the three seasons.
While attending Bowdoin and for a few years after graduation, Graff played in various circuits including the Portland Twilight League, Down East League with the Franklin Flyers, Pine Tree League, York Co. League and a New Brunswick League.
In 1955 Bob, then coaching baseball as an assistant at Portland High, teamed with his Head Coach, the late Edson Hadlock (H of F ‘76), in a very interesting Twilight League game. Hadlock pitched a one-hit shutout with 12 K’s and 0 walks. All Graff did was catch and account for the only runs in the game with a first inning two-run homer.
Prior to returning to his Alma Mater at Portland, Bobby served as baseball coach at Livermore Falls High School. In addition to his baseball duties at P.H.S. Bobby coached football for 20 years (12 as head coach) until his pigskin retirement in 1972.
Dick Doyle labeled Bobby’s wife Mary, “one of sportsdom’s most enduring, loyal gals’ and tonight Mary will be joined by their children Libby, Margaret, Jimmy and Mary-Ellen in saluting Dad.