Paul, Norman (2005)
Norman Paul’s fledgling baseball career received a big boost when legendary sports writer and Dugout Sporting Goods store owner Norman “Red “ McCann donated a fancy warm-up Jacket honoring Norman as the outstanding pitcher for Emerson Elementary School in Sanford.
Born in 1927 in Rochester, New Hampshire, Norman’s family soon moved to Sanford where he began a long and lustrous career in the Sanford Twiight League pitching for the Lebanon Townies.
Paul answered his country’s call during World War II, serving in the U.S.
Navy, and continued to play baseball at naval bases throughout the Pacific.
“The competition among the ships’ teams was fierce,’ recalls Norman. | served on the Des Moines and Tucson, both Navy cruisers, and we enjoyed playing teams from the other ships.”
Norman was called back to active duty during the Korean War and continued his international baseball experience while stationed on ships patrolling the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
Between the wars, and following his discharge from the Navy 1n 1992, Paul donned his Lebanon Lownies uniform and added to a growing reputation as the dominant pitcher of his era in the Sanford Twilight league.
“We all knew each other,’ said Paul, “the teams were all close-knit and the competition would bring out quite a spark. The two toughest hitters to get out were Paul Demers and Ray Lord. | loved pitching against Allen Mapes who played tor Gendron Lumber.”
In 1950, Paul pitched three innings in an exhibition game for an All Star team sponsored by Goodall Sanford Mills. “the manager gave me 18 dollars after the game,” notes Paul. “I thought that was an awful lot of money to pitch three innings.”
In 1948 Paul drove to Daytona, Florida to a try-out camp for the New York Giants. Paul caught the attention of Carl Hubbell and Mel Ott who recommended that the lanky fast baller be offered a professional contract.
Norman leapt at the opportunity and spent the summer pitching for the Giants Class D Lenoir, North Carolina minor league team.
Returning home following that season, Paul married his long-time sweetheart Jean Burgess (“one of my greatest fans, we met at the ballpark and she just loved baseball’).
In 1955 Paul went to work for the Sanford Police Department where he served with distinction for 27 years.
After retiring in 1932, Paul served for eight years in the Maine Legislature.
Norman has three sons, Gordon, David and Brian. His wife Jean died in 2007.
Summing up a career filled with fond memories, Norman Paul is most grateful. “Whether they were players, coaches, umpires or fans, the finest people I’ve ever met in my life were all involved in baseball.”
From Legacy Remembrance
SANFORD -- Norman Roger Paul, 83 June 22, 2010, at the Maine Veterans May 14, 1927
Norman was recognized at a Sanford High School graduation, walking down the aisle to receive his GED. He was also inducted into Maine's Baseball Hall of Fame for his achievements as a pitcher for the New York Giants baseball team and actions in the Sanford Twilight League earning the pitching crown one year.
Norman was a kind and gentle man and will surely be missed not only by his immediate family but by all who knew him.