Proulx, Patrick (2009)
Pat’s impressive career in organized baseball began in his sophomore year at Waterville High School, where he earned the starting shortstop position for the Panthers. For the following two years, he and second baseman Ted Shiro (HOF ’94) teamed up to create a very talented double play combination for excellent Waterville High teams.
His strong bat and good glove soon attracted the attention of local semi-pro teams, and in the summer of 1943 he and Ted, the only high-schoolers to make the team, played for the Winslow Taconets. It was during this summer that Pat and Ted impressed a Pittsburgh Pirate scout, who invited them to attend a workout for the Pirates later in the summer at Braves Field. As a result of this workout, they were both invited to attend, following their graduation in 1944, a baseball school in Hornell, NY. However, after an outstanding senior year at Waterville High, Pat enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
In 1946, Pat returned to Waterville after a two year hitch in the Navy and was soon playing shortstop on the American All-Stars in the Central Maine League. The following year, he went to work for his brother Real in Presque Isle, where his outstanding play for the Presque Isle Indians convinced his brother that Pat should give professional baseball a try. In the spring of 1948, Pat went to Hot Springs, AR to attend the Rogers Hornsby baseball school, where he signed a contract to play Class D ball for Odessa, TX in the Longhorn League, an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.
He moved up to Class C in 1949, playing for Roswell, NM in the West Texas-New Mexico League. It was one of his finest seasons in organized ball, leading the league in batting as late as mid-August. He again excelled at shortstop and finished that season with a .337 batting average, along with 38 doubles and 12 home runs.
With the promise of being moved up to Class B the next season, Pat returned to Presque Isle to work for his brother over the winter. However, before the 1950 season began, Pat was persuaded to stay in Maine and to play for the home town Indians in a new high level semi-professional league that would feature top college players from the New England area and the Maritime Provinces --- the Maine-New Brunswick League. Pat powered the Indians to the league championship, leading them in average (.330), home runs and runs scored.
Another great experience came in the fall of 1950 against the Birdie Tebbetts All-Stars, which featured Walt Dropo, Johnny Pesky, Vic Wertz, Phil Rizzuto and Whitey Ford. Pat still remembers getting two hits off Yankee right hander Frank “Spec” Shea.
Although business interests and family commitments limited his play for the next two years, Pat bounced back with one of his finest seasons in 1953 with the Indians. Described by manager Freddy Harlow (HOF’74) as the “heart” of the team, he once again sparked Presque Isle to the Maine-New Brunswick League title, batted .343 and led the team in almost every offensive category. It was during this 1953 season that a Presque Isle newspaper seemed to really capture Pat Proulx the ball player, “he is playing more for the love of the game of baseball than for” anything else!
Pat’s final year of baseball was 1956. Although the Maine-NB League had folded, the Indians decided to play independent ball, travelling all over Maine and New Brunswick to face the best teams in the area.
Pat Proulx lived and worked in Presque Isle for sixty years, has three children, Patrice, Real and Holly Ann, and two grandchildren – Jessamyn & Tristan. Two years ago, Pat moved to Portland, where he now resides with his wife Joyce.
From Legacy Pages PORTLAND - Patrick R. Proulx, 88, of Portland, April 6, 2014
"Baseball was one of the enduring passions of Pat's life. He played shortstop for the Presque Isle Indians in the Maine/New Brunswick league and on Class D and C teams at the professional level in the West Texas/New Mexico league. In 2009, he was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. A devoted Red Sox fan, he was elated to see the team win three World Series titles."