McNaboe, Jack (2008)
Jack McNaboe was a leader both in school and on the playing fields of Cheverus High school during the early 1950’s. During his four years at Cheverus, he excelled in both baseball and basketball for the venerable Bill Curran. In baseball, he was a four year varsity player. As a leader in school, he held a variety of class offices and was elected as the first president of the Cheverus High School Key Club International in 1953.
Jack played two years of American Legion ball for the Stewart P. Morrill Post. In 1952, he was the sure-handed second baseman and lead-off hitter for the state championship Morrill Post team, which advanced to the semi-finals of the regional playoffs before being eliminated.
Jack continued his outstanding play at second base for Cheverus, earning All-Telly honors as a junior in 1953. During that summer, he attended the Press Herald’s Milwaukee Braves clinic, put on by the Braves scouts, and was selected to play on their all star team. A Stag co-captain in his senior year, in order to take advantage of his quick reflexes, Jack was moved to third base.
McNaboe followed the 1954 Telly season with a smooth transition to the Portland Twilight League. Jack brought his outstanding glove work at third base, along with his hustle and clutch hitting to this high caliber league for the next few seasons. Led by player/manager Herbie Swift, the 1954 Portland Copper club lost in the playoff finals and the 1955 Blue Rock Quarry team captured the league championship. Among John’s teammates on those talented teams were fellow Hall of Famers Herbie Swift ’76, Sonny Conley ’95, Jack Dawson ’94, Andy Lano ’82 and Fred Stone ’93.
Jack attended Holy Cross (1954-55), playing one season of fall varsity baseball under
legendary coach Jack Barry. After a very distinguished major league career, Barry’s Holy Cross coaching career spanned forty years and included coaching Jack’s father in 1927.
From 1956 through 1959, McNaboe played for the U.S. Army baseball, basketball and football teams in Japan. In 1958, the Army baseball team, with Jack playing second base, won the Inter-service Championship of Japan. They went on to Seoul, Korea, competing unsuccessfully for the Far East championship. In addition, the Army team played many exhibition games against Japanese professional teams.
John comes from a baseball family. His dad Maurice played for Holy Cross, followed by semi-pro baseball in Fall River, MA in the 1920’s. His younger brothers, Tom and Dennis, played on the first Maine Little League team that was able to advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. Both brothers also had outstanding baseball careers for Cheverus, the Harold T. Andrews American Legion team and at Holy Cross College.
Although he played for several outstanding coaches, Jack credits much of his success to his first coach – his dad Maurice – who taught him the fundamentals of the game of baseball.
After thirty years, John retired from National Account Sales Management with James River Corp. He and his wife, Carol, returned to Maine and now live in Standish. Also living in the local area are their twin daughters, Stephanie and Jessica, granddaughter Emily and twin grandsons, DJ and Trevor.