Naples, Frank J. (1983)
Best pitch veteran catcher-umpire Frank J. Naples ever made didn’t come on the baseball field. Because of an outstanding record as a welder in the East Shipyard, South Portland, Naples was tapped to christen the only Navy ship to be launched there.
Naples scored a direct hit on the bow of the Ut. S. S. Coasters Harbor in 1943.
Naples played three sports for four years at Cheverus High, and felt fortunate to have as a standout teammate William (Hooker) Foley in many memorable late ‘20's and early ‘30*s contests.
Naples caught for the Portland Boys’ Club in the Portland Mercantile League and several area Twilight League teams before “finding a second home’ behind the plate.
He umpired baseball for 40 years in area Twi, Sunset, Casco Bay and Mercantile leagues.
Naples helped organize and was a charter member and third president of the Western Maine Board of Umpires.
He also played softball for the CIO at the S.P. Shipyard and other Portland League clubs, and later umpired that sport.
Naples was instrumental in shaping the Southwestern Maine Veterans’ softball tournament in the mid-40's. He was in much demand as a basketball referee, officiating local Lee Recreation League games for a decade. Naples couldn't resist a four-year coaching role with the local Marine Reserves basketball team.
It was “rocking chair” duty, claimed Naples. At his disposal were such talented shooters and ball handlers as Phil Legere, Brad Mulkern, Pete Colello, Jenny Lee, Tommy Murphy, Bill Moran, Tom Kiley, Johnny McCarthy and Criqui Mallia.