Tim Olore (2019)
“I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day, and I dream about it at night. The only time I don’t think about it is when I am playing it.” - Carl Yastrzemski
Anyone who knows Tim Olore could not help but smile while reading those words. One does not have to spend much time on social media to know that another “No. 8” is alive and well in Presque Isle, Maine. Tim was a very young man who was growing up in Presque Isle with his Mom, Jane who is now deceased, his Dad Hugo, his sister Rebecca, also deceased, and his brother Stephen when he quickly developed a passion for baseball and the Red Sox. That passion led him to “No.8”, The Captain, Carl Yastrzemski. His admiration for the left fielder was fanned by many trips to Fenway Park. Hugo was an attorney and as it turns out, he happened to be the attorney for…. Wait for it…. Carl Yastrzemski. One can only imagine the intensity of the pressure on Hugo to bring his famous client home, which he did. The Sox star was a gracious guest, and his connection to Tim continued to grow. Life is full of ironies. It is doubtful that the Legend of Fenway could have known that he was visiting with a future legend of baseball in Aroostook County, Maine, but he most certainly was. Tim took Yaz’s dedication and love of the game with him to play and coach in Presque Isle, which is in Northern Maine. Really Northern Maine, next door to Canada, Northern Maine! Spring does not come early there and almost all of the road trips are really long ones. It would have been easy to surrender to adversity and take up skiing full time, but that is not how this “No.8” did it. Tim Olore has been a major figure in baseball, not only in Aroostook County, but throughout the state of Maine as a player, coach and umpire. In fact, after today he will lead The Captain in Halls of Fame, three to two, as he is already in the Presque Isle High School and the University of Maine at Presque Isle Athletic Halls of Fame. One last point on this Yastrzemski thing. One does not win the triple crown without capable teammates. I did not have to spend much time in the Olore home to realize that Tim has such a teammate in Carole, his wife. To do the job Coach Olore has done takes a staggering amount of time. There are many late meals, lots of weekends traveling to games, and maybe a tad of crabbiness after a loss. When Carole spoke to me about spring trips to Florida and Massachusetts, building pallets to pay for those trips, she used the pronoun “We” and referred to “their” boys. Tim has had good protection in the batting order.
Tim embarked on a very successful playing career in the mid seventies. He distinguished himself at every level. He was an MVP in Pony League, the Most Improved Player, an All Aroostook Class A Pitcher, an All Aroostook County MVP and well as a PIHS MVP. He was recognized with a Best Teammate Award and the Jim Dyer Award as The Most Outstanding Player in Aroostook County. In a foreshadowing of what was to come, he also was involved as a baseball coach for the Presque Isle Recreation Department. At UMPI he was an All NAIA District 5 first baseman who carried a .357 batting average and was recognized as the Athlete of the Month. We did say earlier that he was close to Canada. Tim played in the Tobique League in New Brunswick where he was selected as Tobique League MVP and won the Tobique League batting title. As a Senior League player for the Woodstock Shiretowners he was team MVP, Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year, and a Sr. League All-star. It is pretty clear that he didn’t just think about baseball a lot; he also played it pretty darned well. In fact, he played it well enough to be scouted by MLB teams.
As impressive as these playing credentials are, Tim’s most powerful and enduring impact on baseball in Maine has been as a coach. In twenty nine years at Presque Isle and one year at Fort Fairfield his teams won 356 games. They qualified for the playoffs in 23 of those years. Presque Isle teams ranked number one both in Class A (1991) and Class B (2005, 2012). The 1991 team was Eastern Maine Class “A” runners-up. The Wildcats won multiple Big East championships in both Class A and Class B. Coach Olore was recognized as Big East Class “A” Coach of the Year (1990, 1991), PVC Class “B” Coach of the Year (2012), and Maine’s Golden Diamond Volunteer Coach of the Year (1987). Many of his players were recognized for individual excellence. Four of those players won the Packy McFarland Scholarship. That is a noteworthy point as it shows Coach Olore imparted some lessons that had a longer impact than how to spin a curveball or to hit behind a runner. He taught what once upon a time were called “life lessons”. Read what a few of those former players have to say elsewhere on these pages.
Read further what fellow Maine Baseball Hall of Famer, Bill Casavant has to say about Tim wanting to stay involved in the game.
Really Bill? Wanted to stay involved with the game? Who would have thought? I would venture to say after reading what these fellows had to say, that we may not be around to see the day that “Coach” has left the game.