Tardif, Josephat (1983)
Joe Tardif took a giant step toward his prestigious baseball career, when at the age of five he was battling nine and ten year Olds on the diamond.
The Biddeford-Saco resident and his considerable baseball talents matured in high school at Thornton Academy, where he was a slugging shortstop and team captain in his senior year.
He played both shortstop and third base in a fine Twilight League career, many all-star teams. He was one of two unanimous choices in 1927,
Tardif, one of the state's most respected umpires, also took a fling at fast-pitch softball for Biddeford-Saco's Rochembeau team. However, it was the late Tardif’s hardball feats which prompted his selection to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
Tardif also played for Diamond Match in the Warren League. Though its most valuable and most popular player, Tardif once was booed for failing to get a hit in his first time at bat.
No matter that he stayed up all night to await the arrival of an eight and one-half pound baby girl the night before.
Who said baseball was ever easy?
Tardif never was given the "Bronx Cheer” during lengthy service as a coach.
He coached both baseball and football at St.Louis High, Biddeford, and was baseball manager for both the St. Andre's Athletic Association and the Saco-Lowell Activities Association.
Tardif's wiry frame and speed were put to good use on the football field. He was a slashing 125-pound fullback at Thornton.
Opponents claimed he had built up momentum worthy of a heavyweight when he bolted into the secondary.