Kitchen, Earle (1982)
Originally being a country boy, Earle Kitchen possessed idle thoughts that he couldn't play baseball with the city boys so he didn’t try out until his senior year at Portland High School.
The native of Weston, having moved to Portland when 13, promptly pitched the Bulldogs to the Telegram League title in 1945. That year he was undefeated at 4-0, with 13 strikeouts in one game.
Ten outstanding seasons in the Twilight League followed. In 1948 he was chosen as one of the representatives of the state to play in a New England All-Star game at Braves Field in Boston.
Now, at 54, Kitchen lives in South Portland and works as a commercial salesman. The Philadelphia Phillies were sold on Kitchen in 1949 and gave him a tryout. The southpaw played for the Phillie farm team in Seaford, Del., but came up with a sore arm. A short stint in the Instructional League in Cocoa, Fla., the next season marked the finish of his pro career.
However, his career was far from over. Kitchen captured the Twilight League batting crown in 1948 and took the first-half hitting title in 1953 with a remarkable .511 average.
Kitchen, despite all his talents, remained a humble player who kept his feats to himself. Wrote Sunday Telegram sports writer Frank Curran: “He is a good competitor and slow to anger... he loved the game but doesn’t like to talk about Earle Kitchen.
From Legacy Portland Press Herald
PORTLAND - Earle Leo Kitchen, 90, of Portland, passed away Aug. 12, 2018.
Born in Aroostook County, Maine on April 6, 1928 to Leo and Bertha Kitchen, Earle was the youngest of five. His family moved to Portland when he was 15 years old. He graduated Portland High School and was proud of the fact that he never lost a baseball game pitching for the Portland Bulldogs. He was drafted as a pitcher by the Philadelphia Phillies out of high school and he returned to Portland Maine two years later. He continued playing baseball in the Portland Twilight League for many years.
Earle married Alice True in 1950 and they raised four children in the North Deering section of Portland. Earle and Alice spent their summers on Range Pond in Poland with family. Earle's working years were spent at Noyes Tire Company as a commercial sales representative. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and was a world champion candlepin bowler. Earle was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He had big hands and a big heart that turned into an effortless athlete.