Lano, Andrew G. (1982)
He was equally at home with a bat in his hand or a football tucked under his arm. Andy Lano was considered one of the more versatile and competitive athletes to have graced the Maine sportscene at Portland High and Bowdoin College.
Nicknamed “Handy Andy,” he captured back-to-back Telegram batting titles in his junior (.448) and senior (.508) years. He could play shortstop, third base and pitcher. And at Bowdoin he even caught in a pinch.
On the gridiron his versatility continued. He was a triple-threat quarterback for the Bulldogs and at Bowdoin. Defenses would cringe at the thought of playing against him.
After graduating from Bowdoin, he was signed by the Cleveland Indians. He played for Fargo, N.D., In the Northern League and had a .309 average in 40 odd games there. That wasn’t good enough, however, for the league batting title since someone named Hank Aaron walked away with it.
Traded to the Washington Senators in the spring of 1953, Lano seemed to have a good future as a third baseman with the organization after he trained with them in
spring training. However, Eddie Yost held the position a few years and then someone named Harmon Killebrew took it over.
A severe ankle injury made it all academic, however, and ended Lano’s baseball career. Instead Lano took up golf and developed into a single-digit handicapper. He worked for the E.E. Taylor Shoe Co.for 17 years before going into Home Improvement.
He was the youngest player, 15, to ever play in the Western Maine League, a fast-paced circuit comprised of former major leaguers and veteran semi-pro players.
From OOTP Out of the Park forums
The pride of Portland, Maine, "Handy" Andy Lano is considered among the greatest athletes to graduate from Portland High School. He captained the school's baseball, basketball, and football teams in his senior year, was part of the championship basketball squad in 1943 and hit .508 for the baseball team in 1946. Primarily a shortstop and pitcher, then, he earned the nickname "Handy" because he was equally adept at any position on the diamond.
After high school, Andy served in the military and played semi-pro ball until he was picked up by the Washington Senators in 1953. A knee injury ended his pro baseball aspirations a few years later.
Lano did make his mark in sports. Working for the E.E. Taylor shoe company, he invented a golf shoe that became a favorite of, and won the endorsements of, golfers Sam Snead and Byron Nelson.
Andy was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. He passed away in 2011. A Memorial Scholarship was established in his name in 2013.
From Baseball Reference
From Bowdoin Magazine
ANDREW G. LANO ’52
Andrew G. Lano ’52 died November 1, 2011, in Portland. He was born on January 6, 1928, in Portland, and graduated from Portland High School, where he was a storied athlete, captaining the football, baseball, and basketball teams his senior year and winning the Vinall Trophy in 1945 as the state’s top Class A basketball player. He also attended Portland Junior College and served to corporal in the Army before heading to Bowdoin, where he was a member of Chi Psi fraternity. He went on to play two years in the Cleveland Indians farm system and one year with the Washington Senators farm team, followed by Maine semi-pro action before a knee injury ended his professional baseball dream. He took up golf with the same passion and won three straight Val Halla club championships in the mid 1960s. In 1969, he won an MSGA father-son title with Andy II. He was a longtime supporter of the MSGA weekly tournaments and was a regular at Riverside Municipal Golf Course, where he played and volunteered his time. He was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 followed by induction into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. He worked 19 years as a salesman for E. E. Taylor Shoe Company in Freeport. In 1973, he opened his own shoe store, Andy Lano Shoes for Men, in the Eastland Hotel in Portland. At the time he retired, he was operating a successful siding, insulation, and roofing business. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Arlene Meader Lano; two daughters, Melody Amell and Maureen E. Lano; two sons, John A. and Andrew G. Lano II; and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by four brothers, George, James, Lumbe, and Spiro Lano.
From The Lano Family Foundation
Beginning in 2013, the “Handy Andy” Lano Scholarship Grant in the amount of $10,000 has been awarded each year to a Portland High School (PHS) senior student- athlete who best emulates Andrew G. Lano, one of PHS’s greatest 3-sport athletes. Funds are to be directly applied towards post secondary education.