Norton, Omar (1996)
In the late 1940s and early ‘50s, the talk of Washington County was about Carlton Willey of Cherryfield, a hard-throwing pitcher in the Boston Braves system, and Omar Norton, a schoolboy sensation trom Eastport.
Norton starred for Eastport’s Shead Memorial High School and Shead garnered two Eastern Maine Class M championships. He pitched, caught and played the outfield. He possessed a powerful catchers arm, but was especially noted for his long distance clouting from the left side of the plate.
Omar played five seasons for the Eastport Legion nine and beginning in 1948, at the age of 15, he played regularly for the strong Eastport Lobsters, a semi-pro club led by Manager Otto Totman. For the next four years the Lobsters boasted a lofty record against Central and Eastern Maine teams, as well as challengers from New Brunswick, Canada.
in June of 1951, the young slugger attended a tryout sponsored by the Bangor Daily News and the National League’s Boston Braves.
he was chosen the outstanding player and catching the attention of Augusta's Don Brennan (HoF ‘69), scouting after a major league pitching career, he was invited to Braves Field, where he worked out with manager Tommy Holmes.
Omar was invited to spring training with the Braves at South Carolina in 1952 and was offered a minor league contract.
however, he turned down the contract to further his education at Washington State Teachers College. He continued to play semi-pro ball in Eastport, and later Woodland. In 1952, he played for an all-star team against Birdie Tebbetts’ major league touring team.
he continued to play through 1963, ending his career with 17 home runs in 32 games.
he enjoyed a career as a teacher, coach, school administrator, and a state legislator from Winthrop. He was active with the State Department of Education. As an educator he stressed the value of sports in the school curriculum and fought for adequate funding of athletics.
“He was a great fellow along with being a great baseball player”.
Omar Paul Norton passed away at Calais Regional Hospital on Monday, October 10, 2011.
"Omar loved baseball and was well known for his hitting prowess. In 1952 he was offered a Minor League contract with the Boston Braves, but he turned it down to further his education studies. He continued to play semi-pro ball in Eastport and Woodland until 1963; and in 1996 he was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. In later years, Omar was often seen “swinging his bat” whenever he met a baseball buddy or fan."