BIDDEFORD – During the Telegram League baseball season of 1951, more than a third of Norm Faucher’s hits were triples. The St. Louis High of Biddeford standout led the league with nine.

Nine triples in 16 games?

“I’ve never heard of anyone else getting nine triples,” said Faucher, now 78.

“I’m pretty confident it hasn’t been broken. I still follow high school baseball pretty closely.”

There’s a good chance Faucher’s achievement is not only a league record, but a state record as well. But herein lies the problem. Maine doesn’t keep individual records in high school sports with the exception of track. The Maine Principals’ Association lists team state champions in several sports on its website, and Bob Butler of York has diligently compiled top individual performances for the state basketball tournament for years.

But when it comes to such things as who is the all-time leading rusher in Maine high school football, the leading all-time scorer in basketball or who has the most touchdown passes or the most pitching wins, we don’t really know because there’s no definitive source or record book. We’re left to assume through what we know and other people’s recollections.

The Telegram League has kept league records since 2003. They’re listed at www.smaabaseball.com.

Steve Broy of Gorham had six triples in 2010. That’s the closest to Faucher’s mark over that span.

At the start of the 1930s, Portland High had a couple of speedsters in Yudy Elowitch and Keith Jordan.

Like Faucher, they could speed around the bases. According to former coach Mike Rutherford, by way of statistician Peter Gribbin, Jordan had seven triples in 1930, only to be matched by Elowitch the next season. Simon Williams of Portland, a player Rutherford coached, had six triples in 2000. Portland, thanks to Gribbin, a former history teacher at the school, arguably keeps better records for its sports teams than any school in the state.

“Nine triples,” said Rutherford of Faucher’s achievement. “I can’t remember anyone getting that many, and I’ve been involved with the league since 1987.”

It obviously takes speed to hit a triple, but equally as important is a well-placed ball, most desirably splitting the outfielders or hitting it over their heads.

“I led off for most of my time playing for St. Louis,” said Faucher. “I got four or five cracks at the plate. I hit them all over. Some were over the fielders’ heads, some split the outfield. I let players like Dick Dutremble do the heavy hitting. We had some good coaches and players in that time. In the four years, I know we had winning teams,” he said.

Faucher, who alternated between shortstop and third base, was selected to the 1951 All-Telegram League baseball team as a utility player.

He also led the league in total bases with 49 and his .367 average was the third highest on the all-team.

“I’m not surprised Norm’s nine triples is still the best,” said teammate Phil Xaphes, who lives in Scarborough.

“Norm was a very reliable player who could really run. He could hit the ball accurately between the fielders,” said Xaphes, the team’s top pitcher that season.

The Eagles finished fifth in the Telegram League that season. Faucher was the only Eagle to make the all-league team. St. Louis High closed after the 1969-70 school year.

After high school, Faucher played four years of baseball at St. Michael’s College of Colchester, Vt. He played several seasons in the Portland Twilight League.

One of his biggest thrills was being selected to the Sanford Goodall All-Star team, coached by former Boston Red Sox shortstop Freddy Parent.

Faucher was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.

After his baseball career and having served in the Korean War, Faucher settled down and raised four children with his wife. Armed with a business degree from St. Michael’s, Faucher ran Bugbee and Brown, a wholesale food distribution company, for 25 years.

While the 1951 season was certainly memorable for Faucher, he fell short of his goal.

“I wanted to get 10 triples. I got thrown out twice that season,” he said.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH