McFadden, Howard (2004)
Some people help others because it is their specific intent to do so. Other people help others just by living a good life. Howard McFadden of Dennysville perhaps fits into each category.
McFadden is a 1952 graduate of Lubec High School, and
a 1967 graduate of what is now the University of Maine at Machias. McFadden’s name has been synonymous with baseball in Washington County for more than 50 years. Playing the game he loved and excelled at, McFadden did as much to keep a vibrant culture alive in Washington County for the last 50 years as perhaps any other individual.
From 1949 to 1952, McFadden, who has been married to Mary McFee McFadden for 38 years, was the starting shortstop for the Lubec High School “Hornets”. In 1952, he led the team to a Washington County Class “S” championship. That year, his talent caught the eye of a Boston Braves Scout at a tryout arranged by the Bangor Daily News. McFadden stayed home, however, and spent the next seven years as the starting shortstop for the Dixie (Lubec) Eagles semi-pro team in Washington County. [he Dixie team won several Quoddy League titles, led by the infield wizardry and steady hitting of McFadden.
In 1956, he was voted the game’s outstanding player in the Quoddy League All Star Game.
In 1956, his country came calling. He began serving with Uncle Sam at Fort Dix in New Jersey. While there, he played on the Army baseball team along side such teammates as Jim Mahoney, a Boston Red Sox shortstop. In 1958, he shifted service to Berlin, Germany, and was the starting shortstop on the Berlin Bears.A highlight of his international experience, he says, was playing two games at the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium, in 1953.
In 1959, he returned home to Maine. He resumed playing shortstop in Washington County, this time around for the Dennysville semi-pro team. In 1961, he was again named the outstanding player of the Quoddy League All Star Game.
In 1962, he began a stint of military service again, and found himself at Fort Bragg, North Carolina As a reservist, he played on the Reservists Army Championship team. His teammates included Steve Barber and Ron Hansen of the Baltimore Orioles.
By the mid-sixties, Howard had thrown himself into the education field. From 1967 to 1969 he was the teacher and principal at Perry Elementary in Perry, Maine.
From 1969 to the year 2000, he served as principal territory. Meanwhile, in 1983, he had graduated from the Master’s Degree program at the University of Maine at Orono in educational administration.
Howard’s baseball career did not just shine on the field as a player. He also served dutifully as a respected umpire. From 1988 to 2004 he was a baseball umpire and a member of the Downeast Board of Approved Umpires. From 1999 to the year 2004, he was the assignor for the Downeast Board of Secondary School Umpires Association.
“Howard was one of the finest baseball players to come out of the Washington County area,” said long-time friend Phil Stuart.“Howard was an excellent hitter along with being an outstanding shortstop before switching to first base in the twilight of his career. He played through the age of 51!”
Stuart compared McFadden to other Washington greats such as Corey Feeney, Omar Norton, Chick Norton, Carleton Willey, and Tony Tammaro. David Pressley gives McFadden more credit than simply being a great player and credit to the game.
“Most of Howard’s post high school career was spent playing in the Quoddy League,” Pressley recalls. “It was here where he, along with several others, worked extremely hard to keep baseball alive Downeast. His strong interest in, and vast knowledge of, baseball has kept him active umpiring high school games”.
Neil Corbett was one of McFadden’s managers during McFadden’s tong service in the Quoddy League. He was impressed at McFadden’s longevity and that McFadden competed well with college-age players.”
Fellow Hall of Famer Omar Norton says of the McFadden selection:* You could not have made a better choice in selecting Howard for the honor of being named to the Hall of Fame.”
Howard and his wife, Mary, reside in Dennysville and have one son, Chuck, as well as two grandchildren, Howie and Samantha.