Lemieux, Ron (1999)
“Pound for pound, there may not have been a better performer and competitor than Ron Lemieux” — Al Bean, USM Athletic Director and former pitching coach. (HOF 77)
in the summer of 1970, Ron pitched sparkling ball in the State Babe Ruth tourney for the Portland All-Stars. He was 3-0 with 28 strikeouts and he yielded only 6 hits in 21 innings. He was an obvious choice tor the Frank Vail trophy awarded to the MVP of the tourney.
The next year, Ron went 7-1 for Cheverus and led the telegram League in strikeouts. He was an All-Telegram League selection.
in the summers of 1971 and ’72, Ron was a vital contributor to two Caldwell Post American Legion State titles.
Lemieux attended UMO before falling victim to tendinitis in his sophomore year. He transferred to USM and still holds the Huskies’ record for lowest career ERA for pitchers of more than 100 innings - 2.56. He yielded only 6.8 hits per game, another USM record.
in 1977, he fired a no-hitter against UNE and in 1977 and ’78, played for USM district champions. In 1978, Ron was chosen for All-Conference and All-District teams.
As good as his playing career was, his coaching record is better -in fact, it is unparalleled:
11 years in the Portland Babe Ruth League 6 regular season titles 10 All-Star State Championships 1 New England All-Star Championship (1981) - first Maine team to play in the World series - 4th place finish 4 years coaching Andrews Post American Legion team 3 State Titles 2 New England regional finalists. The only person to play for consecutive Babe Ruth State Championships and to coach 3 straight champions (1985-’86-’87) Coached 5 seasons at Greely 9 years at Cheverus In 1993 lost to Deering in Western Maine final. Also qualified for 1994 tournament. Also coached Greely softball with daughter, Brianna, his leading hitter.
A telling testimony to Lemieux’s influence comes from Mike D’Andrea, current coach of Deering High’s State Champions: “When | think of youth baseball during the late 70s through the mid-80s, | remember a decade of Portland youth baseball dominating the state. The person who led that domination was Ron Lemieux.” Mike Rutherford labeled Ron ”fair, hard-working and honest’.
Garry Smith noted his “class and dignity” and everybody lauds his knowledge and love of the game.