Dick McGuire didn't play much baseball as a youth around Augusta.
Football was his game.
But baseball and McGuire have become synonymous - so much that his contributions are deservedly acknowledged with induction into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
“I am sure when the game of baseball in Augusta is discussed, that at some point in the conversation, Dick McGuire’s name will be mentioned,” said Gary P. Burns, Supervisor of the National Service Office of Disabled American Veterans.
McGuire was honored for his contributions and dedication to local youth programs and an award was established in his name by the Kennebec Journal.
For 45 of his 68 years, McGuire has worked to promote youth baseball in Maine.
According to Jerry Lauzon, sports editor of the Kennebec Journal. McGuire once owned a boat and liked to fish, but baseball was his first love and consumed his free time.
“| was so Involved in Babe Ruth that I never went fishing,” McGuire told Lauzon. “I had a boat but | never used it. | finally got rid of it.” McGuire started Babe Ruth baseball in Augusta in 1957 and has done everything from organize tournaments to line fields.
One of his distinguishing characteristics is the ability to get other people involved.
he helped organize the Augusta Boys League in 1951 which grew into a Little League and was then followed with the Augusta National Guard Babe Ruth in 1957.
He continues to serve as President of the State Babe Ruth and Senior Babe Ruth Leagues.
Over the years, McGuire has served as state commissioner for Bambino and Babe Ruth and as a zone commissioner for American Legion baseball.
Augusta was the cite of the New England Babe Ruth Tournaments in 1974 and 1983.
Many of the games were played at McGuire Field, named in McGuire’s honor
Many former players have remained active in the game through McGuire's influence.
“My plate coat is the one Dick McGuire gave me about 20 years ago,” said umpire Mike Parquette. I still wear it today. and it's an honor to wear it.
“He started me out doing Babe Ruth games. After a game he’d call you over and you’d learn from him about what you’d done.
he’s like a father to you.”
Richard Small, a part-time professional baseball scout, recalls growing up in McGuire’s old neighborhood near Capital Park.
“He took the place of my father on hundreds of occasions,”said Small.“What a role model.”
Burns recalls playing for McGuire 42 years ago.
“He was the first coach on the first team that | ever played on.
| remember vividly his enthusiasm and dedication.
Dick was without question tor many years one of the movers and shakers in Augusta in having baseball in our city improve and expand.
“Augusta has a pretty respectable reputation in the baseball community.
No one is more responsible than Dick McGuire.
He has touched virtually hundreds of youngsters through his dedication to baseball.
Dave Fletcher who organized a testimonial dinner to honor McGuire in 1974 sums up his friend’s dedication.
“We always talk about giving 110 percent.
It there was a way to give 200 percent, Dick would be the first in line.”
From Babe Ruth League
Babe Ruth League President/CEO Ron Tellefsen said, "Dick McGuire served Babe Ruth League, Inc. for close to 40 years. His most enjoyable times were when he was able to watch a youngster play the game and have fun. He was truly a dedicated volunteer and played a major role in the success of Babe Ruth Baseball on all levels."
From 1957, when he was instrumental in starting the Babe Ruth program in the city of Augusta, until his death in 1966, Dick was a tireless worker and promoter of Babe Ruth League, Inc. in the state of Maine.
During his tenure as Maine State Commissioner, the Cal Ripken program experienced tremendous growth and the entire Babe Ruth program expanded into the northern area of the state.
Board Member/Regional Commissioner Joe Lamy said, "When Dick was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996, many of those who spoke praised him for his ability to reach kids through baseball. Dick may have had four daughters, but he had many 'sons' playing on many baseball fields. He was an excellent role model, and his influence can still be felt by his many 'sons' who are even now involved in baseball in some capacity around the state."