June 24, 2013

Steve Solloway: Winkin's night, at The Ballpark

(Continued from page 1)

Baseball is his life, even at 92. Ed Flaherty, the University of Southern Maine baseball coach and a Winkin protege, was at The Ballpark. The two talked about Ryan Flaherty and the two home runs he hit in a game over the weekend.

"Ed is a great coach. Look how his boys play. He picks good kids."

The short recognition ceremony began. Maine played Miami, a national baseball power, at The Ballpark in the mid-1980s. Winkin's boys played the Maine Guides, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Jerry Plante, the popular town manager of Old Orchard Beach then, brought a poster promoting that 1985 game.

In the upper left corner was the signature of Billy Swift, the UMaine pitcher who was runner-up in the 1993 Cy Young voting after a 21-8 record with the San Francisco Giants. Swift pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues.

He sent Plante a note to be read Monday night. "You are the coach I want to be," wrote Swift, who was just named coach of a small college in Arizona.

"I love you like a father."

The frown on John Winkin's face was long gone.

Steve Solloway can be reached at 791-6412 or at:


Twitter: SteveSolloway


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