Monday November 11, 2013 | 10:24 AM

             My husband and I found the final resting place of Fred Parent, a member of the first Boston baseball team to win the 1903, World Series. It was our goal to recognize Parent for helping to start the team’s climb to 2013 World Series champs.

Baseball history fans in Biddeford and Sanford know the local legend Freddy Parent, the player called the “Flying Frenchman”. Parent was born in Biddeford on November 25, 1875 and died on November 2, 1972, in Sanford.

Parent was the short stop for the Boston Americans in 1903, when the team finished first in the league. As a result, Parent played in the first modern World Series game. Boston won the 1903 World Series over the Pittsburg Pirates. 

Fred Parent in St. Ignatius Cemetery

Fred and Fidelia (LaFlamme) Parent (photo by Juliana L'Heureux) St. Ignatius Cemetery Sanford

He was nearly 97 years old at the time he died in a Sanford ME nursing home.

It’s likely Parent was the last survivor of the first modern World Series game.

(Source: http://tinyurl.com/nrwbxfo)

In addition to his career with the Boston Americans, Parent played for the Chicago White Sox and the original Baltimore Orioles.

No doubt, Parent would be jubilant about the 2013 Boston Red Sox World Series victory at FenwayPark.

Therefore, my husband and I went on a mission to find his grave site.

We paid our personal tribute to Parent’s contribution to Boston Red Sox history when we found his final resting place, alongside his wife Fidelia LaFlamme, where they lay in Sanford’s St.IgnatiusCemetery.

Baseball heroes like Parent were once the cultural equalizers for Franco-American youths, who grew up in immigrant families. In other words, playing baseball gave boys, like Parent, access to the American dream.

Freddy Parent Flying Frenchman

Fred Parent (1875-1972) 

Baseball historian Dan Desrochers writes a biography of Parent, describing him as the oldest of 10 children.His parents were Alfred, a fireman and Celina (Paul) Parent, both French-Canadian immigrants.After leaving school at the age of 14, Parent worked in the local Biddeford textile mill for 65 cents a day. At the age of 16, Parent moved to Sanford, where he worked in the Goodall Worsted Company weave-room and played amateur baseball.

Fidelia LaFlamme was 16 years old when he proposed to her with the condition that playing baseball was his life ambition. They were together for 67 years.Their grave marker is located in Sanford’s St.IgnatiusCemetery, on lot 690, in the front row of the St. John the Baptist Road.

Parent is among a line up of Franco-Americans who helped to create baseball history. 

Old Town Native American (Penobscot) Louis Sockalexis (1871-1913) was a 19th century baseball hero who also had French-Canadian ancestry. Sockalexis was a strong player and hitter who enjoyed a college career with Holy Cross in Worchester, MA and with Notre DameUniversity in Indiana, before playing with the 1897 Cleveland Spiders. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/kx238ap)

In 1969, both Parent and Sockalexis were inducted into Maine’s Baseball Hall of Fame. Among other Franco-Americans on this distinguished list is Norman Faucher of Biddeford, who was inducted in 2003 . He played baseball in the 1940s YorkCounty leagues. Faucher documented a game with the future President George Bush Sr., who was home from college and played with the summer leagues. (President Bush was inducted into Maine’s Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1994.)

Walter L’Heureux of Sanford (my husband’s cousin) was inducted with the honor in 1982, in recognition of pitching against the baseball great Joe DiMaggio, in a World War II exhibition game, where they played opposite one another, in Australia

A list of all members of Maine’s Baseball Hall of Fame is at the site:

https://sites.google.com/site/mebhof/home

Dan Desrochers writes a history of Freddy Parent posted on the BioProject site:

http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/fc6c05fc

BangorMaine’s baseball song writer Joe Pickering says, “Mainer Freddy Parent was one of the biggest stars of the Boston Americans, the old name for the Red Sox, who won the very first World Baseball Series! Freddy, in that 1903 series, outshone Honus Wagner of the Pittsburg Pirates both in fielding and batting! Since Honus Wagner was one of the greatest shortstops and baseball players of all time, Freddy Parent did more than well! Freddy and his team mates started it all for the Boston Red Sox with that first World Series win”. 

 

About this Blog

Juliana L’Heureux is a freelance writer whose articles about Maine’s Franco-American history and culture have appeared in Portland newspapers for 25 years. She serves on the Maine Franco-American Leadership Council.

Juliana and her husband Richard live in Topsham ME. Feel free to contact her at Juliana@mainewriter.com.

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

More

October 2013

September 2013

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.