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  • Writer's pictureMaine Baseball HOF

Leahey, William J. (Chick) (1982)

Chick Leahey runs a bunting drill during an early spring practice in the Gray Athletic Building. From left, Phil Carletti ’57, Bob Dunn ’56, Paul Perry ’57, Fred Jack ’56, Ralph Davis ’57, and the late Bob “Spinner” Martin. (Photo courtesy of the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library)


Veteran Bates College baseball coach William J.

“Chick” Leahey just finished his 28th year at Bates College, compiling a record of 213 wins, 257 losses and three ties.

Leahey’s 1962 Bobcat team finished second in the NCAA Eastern Regional tournament. His 76 team took the ECAC Division II-III]tournament and this year’s club was the ECAC Division II-III runner-up.

Leahey signed with the New York Yankees after one season playing under former major leaguer Ben Houser in Winthrop.

After turning pro, Leahey played in Joplin, Mo., in Class C, and moved up to Class A Norfolk, Va., in 1948 where he was a teammate of future Cooperstown Hall of Famer Whitey Ford.

Leahey left the pro ranks the next season and enrolled at Bates, graduating tn 1952.

He played for the Auburn Asa’s in the Downeast League from 49-52 and also managed the club in the '51 season. Leahey admits he spent many a game trying to figure out how to beat Freddie Harlow and Ed Hadlock.

By Bates News. Published on March 28, 2016

William ‘Chick’ Leahey ’52, revered Bates baseball coach and mentor, dies at age 90

At Bates, he coached his baseball teams to 300 wins, including the 1976 ECAC title among other post-season appearances, and his 1984 team was the NCAA Division III leader in batting average and runs per game.

In 1986, as president of the New England Collegiate Baseball Coaches Association, he issued a directive to regional coaches to ban smokeless tobacco by players and coaches.

He was a member of the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame and the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1990 the college’s baseball field was named in his honor and in 2014, his baseball jersey number 11 became the first Bates baseball number to be retired.

He was inducted into the Bates Scholar-Athlete Society in 2011 for upholding “lifelong values of sportsmanship and competition” and for “lifelong commitment to the development of scholar-athletes.”

In 2014, Chick Leahey and his wife, Ruth Leahey, together in their home on East Avenue in Lewiston. (Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

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