Maine Baseball HOF
Lowry, Ben (2017)
“Ben loved the game in that intuitive, almost ethereal way that true devotees of the sport do. He loved the game and had a great appreciation for the sport. He was proud to play at Colby College and represented the school with class and pride. He was certainly the finest left handed hitter that I ever coached and was truly an outstanding player in every regard”.
- Gene Delorenzo,
Colby College baseball coach
“The one intangible that I admired about Ben was that he was not only an outstanding team player whom his teammates respected, but Ben was a leader among his peers on the diamond as well. I am proud to have has the opportunity to have played with and against Ben”.
- Tim Curley, HOF, 2010
“In watching Ben play, it was obvious that he worked at the game, took pride in his game and had respect for everyone on the field. He was a very good line drive hitter who always hit for average and occasional power. He was also an excellent defender. I remember him most as a hard-nosed third baseman that wasn’t afraid to get in the dirt and block a ball and save a run. I have always seen Ben as a throwback, a guy who loved the game, played hard, and got the job done”.
- Al Bean, Athletic Director, USM
Ben Lowry’s love of baseball began at an early age. Growing up in an athletic household in Falmouth, Ben could always be found in his yard, or that of a neighbor, playing various forms of the game with his older brother Grey and the neighborhood gang. Even when left alone, Ben would find games to amuse himself, tossing popups to himself while making diving catches, fantasizing he was on the manicured lawns of Fenway Park. As Ben grew older and he began to play more organized ball, he began to show flashes of something special. A natural athlete, Ben began to show that he could play almost any position on the diamond, with his speed and hand-eye coordination quickly distinguishing him from his peers. By the time Ben was 12, he was being selected to Falmouth all-star teams, playing alongside and keeping up with much older boys.
Heading to Falmouth High School, Ben announced to the varsity coach that he was going to be the starting shortstop his freshman year. The coach, John Croker, laughed quietly and then watched as Ben did just that, wrestling the job from a senior starter. Ben never relinquished his starting position and, in four years at Falmouth High School, Ben led the team in batting all four years, led the Triple-C in batting two years, and he led the Yachstmen to their first playoff birth in almost 30 years. As a two year captain, Ben was named to the All-state team three times and batted over .500 twice. As an athlete at Falmouth, Ben was an All-state soccer goalie, setting a record with 12 shutouts in 16 games in 1980 (and being named team and league MVP), and a two-time defensive player of the year on the perennial powerhouse basketball team. At commencement, Ben was named the Falmouth High School Athlete of the Year but, perhaps more telling of Ben’s nature and upbringing, he was also named the Sportsman of the Year for 1981. During summers, Ben played for Caldwell Post under the coaching of legends Lou Tripaldi and Kevin Joyce, getting to play with and against some future professionals like Billy Swift, Todd Lamb, Bob Raftice and Bruce Blake. Ben was a three year starter on some dominant Caldwell Post teams and was named to the All-Tourney team at the state championship event at Togus in 1981.
With assurances from Coach Waldo Covell that he would get a shot at cracking the starting line-up as a freshman, Ben entered Colby College in the fall of 1981. Four years later, Ben had capped off a tremendous collegiate career at Colby, where he was a four year starter, batting a whopping .426 in his four years on Mayflower Hill. He also was twice named to the All-Maine collegiate all-star team as a third baseman and led the White Mules in his sophomore year to their first tournament birth in nearly 20 years. As a sophomore, Ben batted .526 and hit over .800 in the tourney. As a senior, Ben was named team captain and MVP and was selected as the Colby College Sportsman of the Year, again highlighting his good sportsmanship and his leadership skills.
During a six year stretch during and after college, Ben played in the Twilight League in Portland, starting all six years as a third and second baseman. It was during this time that Ben was able to play alongside so many of the legends of the game, men who would go on to be named to The Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Players like Mike Bordick, Ed Flaherty, Johnny Gleason, Kevin and Kenny Joyce, Billy Swift, Steve Loubier, Dale Plummer, Mike Coutts….and so many more! His team even had the treat of welcoming Red Sox hero Bernie Carbo for a few games in 1984. In 1985, after leading the league in batting, Ben and the South Portland team won a championship slugfest against the Auburn Asas, loaded with the UMaine players who had just come from The College World Series in Omaha. In the 6 game series, Ben batted over .500, with a 5 hit game and a 4 hit game as well as 4 home runs in the 6 game series, one of which was a walk-off in a memorable game 2. He was awarded all-league honors for that memorable season.
Needing to get on with his work career, Ben then left Portland for Boston and law school, coming back as a semi-experienced attorney 5 years later. Ben was excited to get back into baseball and joined up with the Portland Yankees of the old over-30 league, coached by legend LeRoy Rand in what would be his final campaign. In his one season there, Ben led the league in home runs and RBI’s, leading the team to a championship season. But, it was one game in the summer of 1992 that remains so memorable for Ben. In July, the Yankee team was invited to play against the Colorado Silver Bullets, the only professional woman’s team in the country. In the game at Hadlock Field, in front of 4000 screaming fans (99% of which were rooting for the women), the Yankees faced off against Pam Davis, the only woman to ever be drafted into the MLB system. Pam threw in the mid-80’s to her backstop, Melissa Santiago, the daughter of former Red Sox player Jose Santiago, and the men began to get nervous when they could not put any distance between themselves and what they had expected to be an inferior counterpart. Heading into the late innings, things even began to get chippy as a hard slide brought players out of their respective dugouts. The fans were eating it up. These young women were standing toe to toe with these cocky men! Well, the game went into extra innings and Ben Lowry came to bat in the bottom of the 10th, two outs and a runner on second. He took the first pitch to deep center, ending the game with a double off the wall. The fans moaned and The Yankees breathed a big sigh of relief. Side note: a year later, that same Silver Bullet team beat the Yankees (without Ben)!!
Ben continued, and continued playing, all the way to age 52. The men’s leagues in Greater Portland provided a welcome respite to his hectic life and Ben remained passionate about the game into his 40’s and 50’s. Ben finally turned in his spikes after leading the over-35 league in hits as a 52 year old running on one leg.
Ben wants to thank so many people for their help and support during his long baseball career. There is not enough room here to properly thank everyone but Ben needs to say thanks to all of his coaches, his fellow players, and the umpires and administrators who all worked so hard to set the stage for his successes. Just being in a dugout and on the field with so many great people, Ben always felt a part of a very special group, those who are passionate about baseball. Ben also wants to thank his family, who have been there through thick and thin, supporting Ben and encouraging him to keep his passion alive. Since childhood, Ben has been surrounded with loving family and friends. The support they have given him has been truly inspiring.
Lowry Updates Blog Take Me out to the Ballgame
Here's Ben. The New England team lost in the semi-final round so they did not emerge as the champions, but Ben, who played second base and shortstop, said it was all wonderful fun---well, here's his actual description:
I got back from the Fall Classic in West Palm last night and wanted to let you know what a great experience it was. The New England team, made up of 15 guys from Maine, NH and Mass (and called “The Maine Diamond Dogs”) lost in the semi-finals, 3-1, to a team from New Jersey. Along the way, we beat the Puerto Rican team in the 6000 seat main stadium, which was the highlight of the trip. I also got the chance to play next to John Collins, an old friend from Colby, which was great. Our team finished with 3 wins and 2 losses. I batted cleanup and hit .333 for the tournament, playing shortstop and second base. No, no home runs. I also got a chance to play against Dante Bichette, a former major league all-star who holds most of the all-time records for the Colorado Rockies and finished his career in Boston. Fun stuff, for sure.
His two sons tend to use the very descriptive word "funnest." I think it might apply to Ben's baseball week.