Joyce, Kevin (2010)
The Kevin Joyce resume for induction into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame shines with excellence—from a stellar playing career at the high school, collegiate, and Twilight League levels to a 28-year tenure as one of Maine’s premier umpires.
Kevin grew up in Portland playing baseball in the Deering Center neighborhood. After playing Babe Ruth ball under the tutelage of Maine Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Tripaldi, Kevin starred at Cheverus High School as the varsity catcher for four years, earning All-Telegram League honors in 1974. Kevin also played three summers for the Andrews Post American Legion team.
Kevin continued his career as a four-year mainstay behind the plate for the University of Southern Maine and showed his versatility with an occasional mound stint for Coach Dusty Drew’s Huskies. He still holds the school record for the longest outing by a starting pitcher, toiling 10 innings in a 4-3 loss to UMaine Orono in 1978. Kevin carried his leadership mantle proudly during his collegiate years, being voted the USM team captain for his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. A .348 career hitter, Kevin was an NAIA All-Conference selection three out of four years and led USM to its first-ever regional tournament in 1978, where they lost 9-8 to George Mason University in the final game. When his collegiate playing career ended, Kevin stayed at USM as Drew’s assistant for four more years.
Playing variously for the Yarmouth Townies, Maine Merchants and Intown Portland over an 11-year career in the Portland Twilight League, Kevin deferred to teammate John Gleason behind the plate and ended up playing the outfield and pitching most nights.
In 1983, his playing career behind him but his devotion to baseball still ardent, Kevin turned to umpiring as a way to stay in the game. Encouraged by his buddies and men in blue, Ed McDonough and Chris Gratto, Kevin became a member of the Western Maine Board of Umpires and embarked on a second career of regional and national prominence.
In 26 of his 28 years behind the plate, Kevin has umpired a state championship game, a selection based on coaches’ recommendations and overall ratings. For the past 20 years, he has served as the Rules Interpreter for the State of Maine and also sits on the Maine Principals Association Baseball Committee as the liaison for umpires.
At the collegiate level, Kevin is a founding member of the Maine College Board of Umpires Association, a certification that allows Maine college umpires to officiate anywhere in the country. He has umpired at all collegiate levels, including numerous conference and district tournaments, and in 2006 worked the Division III College World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Portland Sea Dogs fans will often recognize Kevin in the umpiring crew at Hadlock Field, as he has filled in for seven or eight games a year since 1993 as a substitute umpire.
Player, coach, umpire—three roles performed with distinction—land Kevin Joyce a well-deserved place in the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.