McConnell, Jerry (2004)
Jerry McConnell (1913-1976)
Our Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome one of the top umpires of the 1940’s and ‘50’s from Kennebunk: Jerry McConnell.
Jerry was a past president of the Portland Telegram League Umpires Association and worked games for all the York and Cumberland County teams. He worked with Hall of Fame Umpires such as “Sonny” Noel C80O), Joe Tardiff (83), Carroll Rines (75) and Paul Demers (77). He worked many American Legion games and Legion baseball was big in Saco, Sanford and Kennebunk.
Jerry often got the call when the House of David and New York Colored Giants barnstorming black teams appeared in Saco and/or Sanford. These were annual features on the schedule.
Jerry was a regular in the Downeast League which included the Portland Pilots, Kennebunkport Collegians, Goodall Sanford, Augusta Millionaires, and Auburn Asas. He also worked the New England League games in Portland when the Pilots played Nashua, Lynn, Fall River, etc.
Son David, a great baseball man himself, describes his dad as a quiet man, a true gentleman, liked by all who met him and a man who thought of others before himself. He was also a man of great courage.
This courage was displayed when he battled Hodgkins disease from 1969 until his death in 1976 at the age of 63.
David recalls some of the highlights of games attended with his Dad such as portable lights at night games, Edson Hadlock’s pitching and Andy Lano playing third base with Eddie Mathews (later of the Boston Braves) at first.