Soucie, Ron (2008)
Mention the name “Ron Soucie” around the Bangor area these days and veteran baseball observers will likely respond with a convincing jog of the memory that reaches back more than four decades but still produces descriptions like “unhittable”, “the dominant pitcher of his era”, and “the best I ever saw.”
Ronnie Soucie was unquestionably a three-sport superstar at John Bapst High School in Bangor during the mid-1960’s at a time when that term was only applied to baseball, football and basketball. He led John Bapst to four conference titles in baseball, defeating perennial powerhouses Bangor and Brewer. He quarterbacked the football team to back-to-back state titles in 1964 and 1965, and capped a sparkling basketball career when he led eighth-ranked John Bapst to a still talked about upset of unbeaten Stearns High School in the Eastern Maine tournament.
Ron’s football and baseball coach at John Bapst, Ken Perrone, had this to say about Soucie:
“As a teacher-coach for the past 52 years, I have met and coached a great number of athletes. Ron Soucie ranks as the best athlete I have ever coached. There might have been better basketball, baseball or football players in Maine, but there were few, if any, who could do all three as well as Ron Soucie.”
Ron served notice of future greatness when he hit a home run over the grandstand at Doyle Field as a 15-year old. His pitching records at John Bapst could only be described as phenomenal – 10 career one-hitters, 212 strike-outs in 96 1/2 innings his sophomore year and a number of memorable no-hitters.
Ron pitched three summers for the Bangor Comrades in American Legion play, highlighted by a 1-0 victory in the 1965 state tournament over Manchester Post’s John Cumberland in which both pitchers flirted with no-hitters for seven innings.
Ron was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1966 but declined their offer to attend Holy Cross College. After two years at Holy Cross, Ron left and transferred to Husson College to continue his education closer to home. While at Husson, Ron continued his assault on the record books, setting a single-game strikeout record with 24.
Ron pitched several summers for the Bangor Merchants in the highly competitive Northeast League which boasted strong entries from Mattawamkeag and Guilford. At the YABC State tournament in 1969 held at Auburn’s Pettingill Park, Ron’s performance was an emphatic reminder of just how dominant he could be. Following on the heels of a nine-inning one-hit victory against the tough Rumford Townies, Ron took the mound a half hour later against the Lisbon Falls 88’ers and pitched eleven innings, striking out 14, in a heart-breaking 3-1 loss. Ron finished the tournament with a 2-1 record pitching a total of 30 innings, including a string of 22 scoreless innings, and was named the outstanding player of the tournament.
Ron graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri in 1977 and established a successful practice in Bangor that same year.
Ron passed away on January 28, 2003 after a 5-year battle with cancer. He was survived by two sons, Ryan and Aaron, and a multitude of friends and teammates who can rest assured that Ron Soucie’s remarkable niche in Maine baseball history is secure.
Proper Name Ronald Soucie
Born Date 1948 [71.???] Place Brewer,Maine
High School John Baptist (Brewer,ME)
College Husson College (Bangor,ME)
Drafted Selected by the Boston Red Sox [Team Picks] in the 2nd round (30th overall) of the 1968 Amateur Entry Draft [Signed] ... Selected by the Baltimore Orioles [Team Picks] in the 42nd round (747th overall) of the 1966 Amateur Entry Draft