Kiley, William T. (1981)
WILLIAM T. KILEY Abraham Lincoln’s immortal words: “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time” applies to baseballer William T.
in 1921, in a Portland-Deering Thanksgiving football game, Kiley (on the Bulldog side) shattered his right wrist. “When they took me off the field my arm was just hanging at my side, completely useless,” the now deceased Kiley said at the time.
Nonetheless, for nine seasons, he played outstanding semi-pro baseball at second base, despite being unable to throw effectively. Not many picked up his deception but he couldn’t fool manager Duffy Lewis of the Portland team in the New England League who opted for alive arm, even though Kiley was batting .438 at the time.
Nonetheless, Kiley was honored this year by being tabbed for the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
Before the injury, Kiley owned a rifle arm. He always had speed to burn and a potent bat. He first started playing baseball in 1917 at Catholic Institute Grammar School, later going to Cheverus for two seasons before transferring to Portland to play for famed coach Fred Ostergren.
infield mates on the Portland club were Major League stars and Maine Hall charter members Fred Parent and Harry Lord.
Kiley retired from the game in 1930 with the Portland Athletic Club of the Twilight League.
But Kiley was more known for the administrative side of sports. He was area recreation director for the National Youth Administration from 1935 to 1940 and was named assistant semi-pro baseball commissioner in Maine in 1942. In 1944 he became Cheverus High baseball coach.
Moreover, Portland’s Recreation Activities Director for 16 years (1944-60, the year he died), and father of six daughters with wife Louise, wrote a series of newspaper articles on baseball and an informative booklet on softball. The Eastern Promenade’s Kiley Field, known for fastpitch softball, was named in his honor.