Paul, David (2017)
“If you ever need anything, he is there-
from baseball advice to life coaching to a good laugh or a bad joke. Bottom line is that
David Paul is a great baseball guy, but an even better person.”
“David “DP” never had a bad day. He had and still has, the best disposition of any human being I have ever met”
- John McGlinn
Baseball has been a large part of David Paul’s life since his time as a Little Leaguer in Greenville where he grew up the son of Donald (Joe) Paul and Nancy G. Paul, brother Jeff and sisters Stephanie and Pam (deceased). David is Dad to two daughters, Kayla, and Darby. He currently is employed at Wight’s Sporting Goods as a sales representative specializing in road sales.
Though both of David’s parents are deceased, it is clear the values and work ethic they instilled in David and his siblings had a lasting impact. “Joe” Paul was a legend in Northern Maine, both as an athlete and as a molder of young people. David has excelled as a player on several levels, as a coach, and currently as an administrator of American Legion Baseball in Northern and Eastern Maine. His job at Wights keeps his hand on the pulse of youth sports throughout Northern Maine. It is fitting that he should join his brother Jeff (class of 2010) who has enjoyed similar success as a player, educator, and sports official as a member of the Maine baseball Hall Of Fame.
David’s playing career began at a time when town team baseball still flourished in his area. He can still vividly picture walking past the sparkling lake to the diamond where the local nine sported woolen uniforms (probably not currently available at Wights). His stay on the shores of Moosehead came to an end, and David soon found himself in Orono where he had a vital impact on multiple very successful teams as a player. The Red Riots were Eastern Maine Champions in baseball in 1977 and 1978, capping the ’78 season off with a state championship. On the gridiron David was a key figure in a juggernaut that ran roughshod over The Little Ten Conference from 1974 to 1977. During his high school summers, David occupied his time by playing for the Old Town/Orono Twins Post 75 entry in American Legion Baseball. Again, he was part of some very impressive success. The Twins were State Champions in 1975 and 1978 and were New England Runners Up in 1975. From Orono, it was on to Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida from 1978 to 1982. The Tritons were ranked Number One nationally in Division Two in 1981. No summers off now, either. In 1979, 1980 and 1982 David was playing for the New Market, Virginia Rebels in The Shenandoah Valley League. Lest you think of him as a slacker, you should know David spent 1981 in the Cape Cod League with the Falmouth Commodores. David spent 1983 in Woodstock, N.B. Clearly baseball was not done taking him places because 1985 and 1986 found David in Utrecht, The Netherlands both playing and coaching.
The year 1987 and 1988 found David back in Orono as an assistant baseball coach at his alma mater under Coach Leo Pelleriti. That was not a long stop, however. It was on to Old Town High School as the head baseball coach in 1990. Success followed David there, and the Green and White won Eastern Maine Championships and were State Runners Up in both 1992 and 1993. Hating to let a warm summer night pass by without the crack of a bat, Coach Paul skippered the Old Town/Orono American Legion team from 1987 through 1999, his teams winning State Championships in 1992, 1993 and 1994. David closed out his coaching career as an assistant at Husson University from 2000 to 2004. This resume rightfully put David in The Maine Baseball Coaches Hall Of Fame.
No one goes anywhere in baseball without the advice and support of others. Only a fool would think otherwise. By now it is clear David Paul is no fool. I can personally tell you it is very difficult to get him to talk about himself, sort of like trying to get a cat to lick mustard, but he is very quick to cite folks who helped him and made him better along the way. His Dad tops that list. “Joe” is followed by some pretty important names from Maine baseball and beyond: Coach David Ekelund (Orono HS), Carl “ Stump” Merrill (Old Town/Orono Legion, Maine Baseball Hall Of Fame ’89), teammate Brian Butterfield, Maine Baseball Hall Of Fame ’14 and Eckerd College John Mayotte. In David’s words, “All of these men were and continue to be tremendous role models, leaders, teachers and coaches. I feel extremely fortunate to have been coached by all of them.”
Well, they say in education that when a person becomes a teacher, he or she is likely to mirror the style of his or her favorite teacher. With that in mind, we will close with some words from a few of David’s former players. John Montgomery, who played for David in American Legion and who is currently Dean of students at Schenck High School, says,“ He was a role model who would go the extra mile to help his players develop better skills. Dave spent hours helping his players work on their skills whether it was pitching, fielding or hitting. Most of the philosophies I use today are the same philosophies David instilled in me when I played for him.” Jason Folsom, the current coach at Husson University, contributes this, “In addition to impacting young lives, Coach Paul has been an instrumental part of baseball in Eastern Maine as a coach and the American Legion Zone One commissioner. He has taken young men from many different areas and backgrounds to teach them the correct way to play and respect the game. He may no longer be on the field coaching the game of baseball, but he is active in mentoring many of his former players that are now coaches.” John McGlinn, an assistant coach at St. Joseph’s College concluded his letter of support for David with the following, “ I believe David Paul is the embodiment of what qualifies for The Maine Baseball Hall Of Fame. It is the highest honor and should only be given to someone who has shown excellence and a lifetime of commitment to baseball and to the State of Maine. The game of baseball in Maine is much better because of “DP” as a player, coach and Commissioner.” Welcome, David Paul.