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Sayward, Galen (2006)


Farmington High School State Basketball Champions of 1949

Galen Sayward was born and brought up in the Eastern Maine town of Guilford, the son of Elmer and Dorothy Sayward. Involved in all sports from an early age, he played baseball and basketball during his school years in that town. Many afternoon after school pick-up ball was played. Junior High baseball and then High School ball took much of his time during the springs from 1945-1948. With his father having been the manager of the Guilford Advertisers in the old Penquis League for most of his young life, he spent many summer hours at the old ball park down by the river in the south end of town. It was there that such players as Jackie Feehan, Don Drossel, Dick Theriault and the Holmes brothers, Allen and Bob, help them to shape a lifestyle and interest that would stay with him for much of his life.

In the winter of 1948, Galen transferred to Farmington when his father took a new position in that town. In addition to playing on the high school’s last champion basketball team; skiing, running track, playing in the band, and, in his senior year, playing football for the first time, winning his letter in each, he won his letter at baseball. He pitched on occasion, played a lot of infield, and even filled in in the outfield when necessary. During the summer of 1949, he played Junior Legion ball under the direction of Addison Linscott. During the next summer after graduating from high school, he played for the Farmington Townies in the North Franklin League and as well as being added to the roster of the Farmington Flyers as “bench strength”. Galen batted over .300 over the next four years while filling in that manner and was used in the outfield and infield both.

In the fall of 1950, Galen headed for Bowdoin College. He played varsity ball at Bowdoin under Dan McFadden. It was during these years that Coach McFadden taught him true versatility. He was used at second base, center field, right field, third base and finally, during his senior year, was taught how to catch and shared these duties throughout the season.

His playing time with the Flyers continued during those years and by the 1953 had become a regular player for the Flyers. Along with friend and Bowdoin roommate, Billy Linscott, Galen had become one of the very last players in the Down East League that had played throughout the Leagues existence up to this point. With the demise of the Down East league, he headed to Portland and played in summer for Wholesale Tire in the Twilight League with the likes of Freeman “Skin” Dulac.

In 1955 while in the Army at Fort Dix, Galen was selected to play second base for his battalion team during his basic training! He was the only person in Fort Dix history to play while also fulfilling his obligations to his training. After being shipped to Japan, he was player-manager for the Fukakusa Falcons, a team playing all over southern Japan from its home field in Kyoto. Following graduation from Bowdoin, now firmly established as a third baseman, he returned to Farmington and played again for the Flyers. After a couple of years with the Flyers, he played for the Turner Townies and the next season with the Tri-Towners of Jay-Livermore Falls. That team was a semi-finalist in the National YABC Tournament held in Battle Creek, Michigan, and included HOF members Drig Fournier and Bobbie Miller. After those years with Turner and Tri-Town, he helped resurrect the Flyers after they had dropped out of semi-pro ball for a couple of years. He soon took on the responsibility of Player-manger and his teams won the Pine Tree League several times under his direction.

Galen taught and coached at Leavitt Institute in Turner, New Sharon, Rangeley and Farmington and assisted old friend Warren “Red” Dean in the development of a very competitive Class A baseball program when Mt. Blue High School was created in 1968. He did some umpiring and played his last game in the Pine Tree League at the age of 41 in 1973.

Galen continues to live in Farmington where he and his wife, Virginia, own and operate Troll Valley Campground.


Galen Sayward and Joe Linscott

http://www.dailybulldog.com/db/features/a-season-to-remember-the-farmington-high-school-state-basketball-champions-of-1949/




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