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  • Writer's pictureMaine Baseball HOF

LaVallee, Henry (Hank) (1984)

Henry (Hank) LaVallee

Hank LaVallee was a born leader. His leadership credentials are astounding. He was one of the most successful baseball coaches and athletic directors 1n state history at South Portland High. He was a member of the Bates student council; manager of the Bates Glee Club; a major in World War II; class speaker at Bates; and a well regarded history teacher.

This ‘‘man for all seasons’’ was also an excellent athlete. At Thornton Academy, LaVallee played basketball, football (he was a shifty quarterback) and was the captain of the baseball team in his junior and senior years. At Bates, he shone as a pitcher, after also having played shortstop at Thornton.

The southpaw was a Maine scout for the Milwaukee Braves. The tutoring he received at Bates from ex-Boston Red Sox manager Bill Carrigan helped LaVallee in his scouting capacity.

LaVallee was a sparkling blend of humor, humility and gratitude.

And he never forgot his roots. Upon retirement alter 25 years at South Portland High, he returned to Thornton Academy as executive secretary of the school’s Committee on Development.

who also excelled in semi-pro baseball, found time to coach in Junior Legion and Little League, besides a short stunt coaching basketball and baseball (including one league title) at Thornton Academy. But it was at South Portland where LaVallee ruled the

Telegram League, leading the Red Riots to five league crowns and three state championships. The Red Riots captured four straight league titles (1947-50).

LaVallee’s ball clubs were known for their discipline and neat appearance and they played aggressive baseball. Taking the extra base and exploiting hit-and-run tactics dazzled opponents.

But winning wasn't paramount to LaVallee. He preferred getting each player totally involved in the athletic programs to reap full benefits. LaVallee cared about his players as human beings, not as tools to his winning kudos.

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