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  • Writer's pictureMaine Baseball HOF

Ladd, William E. (1984)

Updated: May 6, 2021

Bill Ladd’s talents on the baseball diamond as a third baseman and a pitcher were considerable but his zealous spirit as a youth sports leader and booster was legendary.

One of Deering High's finest all-around athletes during the World War II years, Ladd twice was named AH- Telegram League third baseman and All-Maine halfback. A star-studded stint at Exeter Academy followed graduation from Deering in 1944.

Ladd had the professional scouts drooling when he turned to pitching in the Portland ‘Twilight League. He was a “natural,” but was well into his 20s and had a family to raise with his wife, Ruth. So baseball on a semi-pro level would have to suffice.

However, his son Peter carried the genes even further by become a professional baseball player with the Milwaukee Brewers, where he snow a star reliever. Two other sons —Bill Jr. and Mike —were football standouts. It wasn’t surprising that sports ran in the family bloodline. Ladd’s father, Myron, was an esteemed sportsman physician who helped found Portland's Osteopathic Hospital After his Twilight League career ended following service as a Navy gunners mate during World War II, Ladd, born in Mass.. started the Greater Portland Football League for youngsters, he was a virtual one-man operation at first, but his infectious gusto overcame the odds and developed the program.

He coached football teams at youth and high school levels, and helped build Caldwell Post into an American Legion powerhouse.

Donating time to youngsters was part of his good nature, He died in 1976, leaving an inspirational legacy that won't be forgotten, Said rival Portland football coach Jimmy Sibson: “Bill Ladd was one of the finest athletes, sportsmen and gentlemen I’ve ever encountered in or out of sports. Win, lose or draw, twas a pleasure to go up against his Deering teams a great competitor he was.”

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