Ware, Harold (1998)
Harold Ware was voted “Most Representative American Boy’ by the Standish High School student body in 1949, his senior year, as he received the Wescott Cup.
A similar honor could reasonably be bestowed the Sebago Laker as most representative of the best that baseball has to offer via his exemplary performance as player, player-manager and teacher-coach in four decades of devotion to the National Pastime.
The numbers alone racked up by this prototypical third baseman and solid left-handed hitter speak eloquently: Four years of classy play at S.H.S. under that bona fide legend and early Baseball Hall of Famer, Rupe Johnson, coach of multiple Triple-C champions and molder of young men; Harold, in turn, passing along to associates and charges much of what he gleaned from the man he regarded as a second father.
Comparable stardom in basketball under the same master. All-Triple C in both sports his senior year.
After an interlude involving employment and Army service during the Korean conflict era via activation of the Maine National Guard, four more stellar baseball seasons at nearby Gorham State College (now U.S.M.) ensued: MVP in 1957 and 1960, captain the latter campaign; feats prompting induction in the Husky Hall of Fame.
Along the way, selection to the Press Herald team in New England competition sponsored by the Boston Braves; play at Fort Campbell, Ky., comparing well with top-ranked collegians and future professionals. Twice invited to St. Louis Cardinals try-out Camp.
Back home, resumed action in amateur and semi-pro circuits, going on to complete 21 years in the prestigious Portland Twilight League on eight different teams -- Miss Portland Diner, D.A. Fogg, Wholesale Tire, Westbrook Merchants, South Portland Merchants, Woodfords Merchants, Ametek, Yarmouth Townies; several times an All- Twi choice.
Other affiliations -- Cumberland and Gray in the Casco Bay League; Baldwin Apples, Hiram Aces, Sebago Lake Chevroliers and Limington A.C. in the Saco Valley League. Key role in numerous championships throughout his career.
While the proverbial “Hot Corner” was Harold’s home in the field as its most reliable guardian with a strong and accurate throwing arm, he could and did play all other positions at one time or another while consistently batting .300-plus with a power accent.
But beyond the impressive playing numbers lay the impact, the influence, the judgement of Ware the coach that rebounds to this day on many a diamond.
In 12 years as mentor at Portland’s Lyman Moore Middle School, marked by a series of titles, he set a steady stream of youngsters onto the proper baseball course and attendant lines of sportsmanship. Ed Flaherty is one prime example emanating from those Falcon flocks.
Prescient Harold in a letter to the Press Herald predicted much success for the former Deering and University of Maine standout when Ed was named the Deering coach.
The rest is rich history: A state championship at Deering and then the U.S.M. program Ed has built to nail two National NCAA Division Il championships and is still going strong.