Raftice, Robert (2001)
Bob Raftice enjoyed the same success in youth baseball as his teammate, Todd Lamb - state championships on every level. At Cape Elizabeth High School he blossomed under Coach Vic Woodbrey (HoF ‘85) and was one of the States premier moundsmen. He pitched three years for the varsity team and finished with a masterpiece. In the Western Maine Class B final he pitched a no-hitter - Striking out 19 of 22 batters against Messalonskee. In his 1-0 win, he threw 83 pitches and 600!! were strikes. Coach Woodbrey exclaimed “I never saw a game - at any level - even pro, where a pitcher dominated as much as he did in that game".
Nobody close to the Cape scene was surprised when both Lamb, the right-hander, and the tall southpaw, Raftice, were selected in the 1980 amateur draft. "Bob was a great talent - big, strong and aggressive. He could be overpowering and he was also very smart.”
Bob was a 41st round selection by the New York Yankees.
From here the dynamic duo went different paths. Todd headed to college and the Duke Blue Devils, while Raftice, after pitching a few Legion games for Al Beans Griffin Club nine, chose to begin his pro career. John Kennedy, former major league infielder, signed Bob after he struck out 16 players in a game at Brunswick.
In 1980, Bob played at Bradenton, Fla. and Paintsville, Kentucky. He was then 17. In 1981 at Paintsville, he pitched for a League championship team.
Prior to the 1982 season, he was involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustained bad back injuries. He missed most of the 1982 spring training and was unable to pitch as a starter again. He pitched for Greensboro, N.C. and was selected as the Yankees organizational left-handed relief pitcher of the year. Greensboro was another league champion. Baseball championships followed Raftice throughout his In 1983 he was invited to the Yankees Major League Training Camp and played most of the spring with the Big Club. He was assigned to Nashville, Tennessee, the Yankees AA affiliate, but was plagued by injuries to his arm stemming from his back. He also took a ringing line drive off the bat of future major leaguer, Vince Coleman. This blow shattered his jaw and ended his season. In 1984 and ‘85, Bob overcame his arm and back problems and enjoyed two good statistical seasons while helping Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to a League pennant. But with his fast ball declining, he was released in 1985.
Back in Maine, Bob succeeded his mentor, Coach Woodbrey, as varsity baseball coach at Cape Elizabeth - a position he held until 1992. The Capers won State Class B championships in 1990 and 1991. He had an overall coaching record of 100 wins and 28 losses - including 33 consecutive wins in 1991 and 1992.
While coaching, Bob pursued his undergraduate work at USM, earning his B.A. in business. Always a good student, Bob then attended the University of Maine School of Law. In the spring of 1992, he received his Juris Doctor degree and passed the Maine bar exam that fall. He joined the law firm of Ainsworth & Thelin, located in South Portland.
Bob married Susan Lessard, a Cape girl, in 1990 and the couple has three daughters, Kayla, Elizabeth and Emma.