Wright, Carl (Gumbo) (1999)
“Mr. Wright is The Pitching Corps” is the way the Waterville Morning Sentinal’s Harland Durrell described Colby’s right-handed ace of 1947.
1947 for Carl “Gumbo” Wright was a year pitchers dream of — /-0 for Eddie Roundy’s Colby Mules followed by a 17-3 log for the Pittsfield A.C. of the Tri-County League. The Colby successes represent 7 wins in an overall 8-3 record and include twin triumphs over UMO and Northeastern, and a 21-5 shocker over the previously undefeated Boston College Eagles. Despite a co-championship in the Maine State Series and a 4-1 record against Boston-area teams, the Mules failed to receive a post-season tournament bid-probably due to the thin schedule.
The summer of 1947 was topped by a one-hit shutout over Bucksport, the Eastern Maine League titleist — a game in which Carl collected four hits himself.
But the before-and-after ’47 stories really capture the essence of the man we honor today.
At four years old, the Skowhegan youngster contracted polio and doctors feared he might never walk again. But his mother refused to give up and for years applied heat treatments and massaged his legs four hours daily. Although recovery eventually came, Carl was left with a right leg shorter than the left and a right foot shorter than the left. Despite the fact that he “limped perceptibly”, he could field his position flawlessly and handled bunts well.
He pitched for Maine Central Institute, graduating in 1943. He hurled four years for Colby and was nearly un-hittable in the war years. He also played basketball at Colby and was president of the Student Christian Association. He was a very active student at Colby, participating in debating, public speaking and dramatics. This preparation paved the way to his graduation from the Boston University Law School in 1990.
From 1944 to ’49 Carl was a member of the Pittsfield A.C. staff, and in 1950 he managed and pitched for Shelburne, Nova Scotia where he also directed a baseball clinic for boys 10 to 17.
While embarking on a long and successful law career in which he became one of Maine’s top defense attorneys, Carl dedicated 11 years to coaching Little League, Babe Ruth League, and American Legion baseball in Skowhegan.
And he’s never forgotten his roots. As early as 1949, he began donating the Eddie Roundy trophy to Colby’s MVP. From 1983 to ‘88 he, with his brother, Clifford, were involved in lead gifts and fund raising for a new MCI gymnasium, and from 1995 to ’98 he provided the lead gift and directed the construction of three back-to-back Little League fields in Skowhegan.
Carl is semi-retired, married to Rita E. Wright, his golfing partner, and father of two adult offspring from a previous marriage.
“A man of impeccable character as a person and an attorney — Ted Shiro (HoF 94).
From Legacy Pages Central Maine
Carl Roger Wright, 83 Jan. 25, 1925 - Dec. 5 2008
He was enthusiastic about sports, particularly baseball, and at one point in his life, was able to attend every single World Series game for 24 consecutive seasons. Pursuing his deep interest in youth organizations, he served as president of the Richard Sampson Youth Center in Skowhegan and coached Little League for four years, Babe Ruth for four years and an American Legion team for three years. Carl and his brother Clifford were the primary movers and contributors for the "Wright Gymnasium" of Pittsfield. During the 1990s, Carl was the primary force behind building three Little League fields in Skowhegan.