Heal, Earl (1984)
An athlete like Earl Heal comes along about as often as Haley's Comet. The stocky Bangor High great relied on great speed to outdistance opponents in baseball, football, basketball and track.
He could, and did, play all the positions on the diamond. His favorite spots, however, were shortstop and second base. Born in Lagrange, he took Bangor High by storm, starting in all four sports as a mere freshman. In baseball, he always seemed in the right spot at the right time —his foot and hand quickness of legendary proportions.
Following graduation from Bangor High, college offers poured In. Nonetheless, Heal chose a professional baseball career with Brewer of the flourishing Eastern League. He sparkled in the field and batted .365 over four seasons. He managed the ballclub the last two seasons. He then joined the Eastern League’s Great Works team for three seasons, managing his final year there. By now, major league teams, including the Red Sox and Athletics, wanted to sign him. They couldn't corral Heal, who instead made a considerable mark in pro basketball with Bangor’s Queen City Five and his own touring quintet —the Earl Heal Five. He also starred with the Boston Whirlwinds.
Heal, now retired in Winter Haven, Fla., after working for the Bangor Police Department and Penobscot County Sheriff's Department, told the Sunday Telegram in 1959 that “‘maybe I made a mistake in turning down the college and major league bids. And maybe I didn’t. There’s no way of knowing. Anyhow, I’m happy and have no regrets.»
An avid fisherman and woodcock hunter, Heal also was a topshelf official in baseball, basketball and football. Heal also is a member of the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.