Herrick, Malcolm “Mac” (2009)
Growing up on a family farm first in Otisfield and later on in Gorham, Malcolm Herrick and his older brother Omar had only each other to ignite the boyhood baseball fire. “We’d throw to each other, hit flies and grounders by the hour,” recalls Mac, “there was no one else to play with.”
Mac often rode a horse or a sleigh to school in Casco Village (“it beat 3 miles of walking”) before his family moved to Gorham in 1939 when Mac was in 4th grade. While in school, he played basketball and baseball and discovered both the opportunity and aptitude for catching: “Our catcher was screwing up and the coach asked if anyone else would try it. I wanted to play so that became my position,” says Herrick.
Mac attended Gorham High School, leaving in the spring of 1946 to join the Navy. World War II was winding down but Mac served in occupied Japan aboard the U.S.S. McKean before attending submarine school in New London, Connecticut.
Following his discharge from the Navy in 1950, Herrick returned to the family farm, eventually buying it from his mother in 1960 and continuing to raise pigs until selling it in 1987.
Herrick coached Little League baseball for 4 years and Babe Ruth for 6 years. His enduring contribution, however, emerged in 1971 when his interest in umpiring was sparked. “Eddie Ainsworth was the biggest help in getting me started,” say Herrick. “I umpired my first varsity baseball game with him and he really got me going. I thought the world of him.”
Herrick’s 38-year umpiring career at both the high school and collegiate level was highlighted by his designation as Assignor for the Western Maine Baseball Umpires Association, a responsibility he has held since 1987. Assigning umpires for all games in the Western Maine and SMAA high school conferences in York and Cumberland County, plus the middle schools is a daunting and sometimes thankless job but one Mac relishes with characteristic no-nonsense aplomb.
Herrick also officiated soccer for more than 20 years and was a member of the Western Maine Soccer Officials Association. Longevity being a trademark of all Mac’s endeavors, he has been the timekeeper at all Gorham High School soccer games for over 40 years.
Mac and his wife Shirley ran the concession stand at Gorham for many years and were recognized for their contribution with a Distinguished Service Award from the State Athletic Administrators in 1999.
Mac recalls his wife’s remarkable transformation from a disinterested baseball fan when they were first married in 1951 to a passionate rooter for the Boston Red Sox who listened to the games weekdays on the radio while doing farm chores and eagerly anticipating the weekend when the games were televised. . Shirley passed away in 2003 as staunch a supporter of baseball and Gorham High School as Malcolm himself. His wife of 52 years is undoubtedly smiling today as the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame welcomes the arrival of a most deserving “man in blue.”
From Legacy Portland Press Herald LEWISTON - Malcolm E. Herrick Sr., 87, formerly of Gorham, passed away peacefully Oct. 26, 2016, at his home in Lewiston.
"One of Malcom's greatest pastimes was baseball where he coached and umpired for 30-plus years. In 2009, Malcolm was inducted to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
Malcolm and his wife Shirley dedicated over 50 years of service to the Gorham Athletics. Their contributions ranged from keeping time and running the chains in football, where most of the community remembers them running the snack shack.
Malcolm and Shirley were the recipients of a State of Maine Ded-ication to the Community Award in 1997.