Ed “Poochie” Pickett believes had he made a snap decision to sign a contract with the Red Sox his senior year at Cony High School, he would have been drafted.

“If I had told them that day, I’ll sign, I think I would have,” he said. “I never did get drafted because I didn’t commit. In hindsight it was probably a good decision.”

Pickett went on to play for John Winkin at the University of Maine and played in two College World Series. He led the Black Bears in hitting and home runs his senior season, including a memorable game-winning homer against Navy that sent Maine to the 1982 World Series.

Pickett is among nine men who will be inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame this Sunday. Included in the group are his former high school coach Jeff Trundy and Maine teammate Kevin Bernier.

As early as age 15, Pickett drew the attention of major league scouts because of his strong arm behind the plate and power hitting. By that time, he had played in the Little League World Series at age 11 and the New England Regional Ruth Tournament. The Augusta team that reached the Little League World Series in 1971 had to win 11 straight games without a loss since the tournament in those days was single elimination.

“What that Little League team did will never, ever be duplicated in the history of Maine baseball,” PIckett said.

There were no playing time rules then either, and as the youngest member of the team, Pickett got into just one game in the World Series, making the most of it with a game-winning hit against Kentucky. Pickett made the varsity team his freshman year at Cony and played for John Coughlin, who he said “had the biggest impact on my baseball career.”

Pickett played three years for Trundy, a coach he said helped him greatly.

“I kept him late after so many practices, throwing extra batting practice,” he said.

Pickett was recruited to play both baseball and football at Maine and chose the sport he felt he played best, but he admits “I always loved football the best.” He’s listed as one of the few Mainers to play in both the Little League and College World Series but said he has never heard of anyone else in the state who has done both.

He might well have been drafted coming out of college had not an injury precluded him from catching. He was a designated hitter his senior year and friend and eventual Maine Guides owner Jordan Kobritz had arranged a series of tryouts. But Pickett had already accepted a job in the insurance business.

“I promised I’d give (baseball) up and not look back and that’s what I did,” he said.

Pickett has remained in the insurance business, in Maine and North Carolina. He currently resides in Topsham with his wife Jenny and is planning to buy an agency down south. His son-in-law is former Skowhegan High School and University of Maine catcher Kregg Jarvais who was drafted by the Red Sox.
“I call him the second best catcher in Maine,” Pickett joked.

As far as his nickname, Pickett said he got it at birth from his sister Karen and brother Paul.

“I’d like it to be more glamorous, but it stuck,” he said of the story behind his name. “The only one who doesn’t call me that now is my wife.”

• • •

Trundy played baseball at Oxford Hills and town ball for West Minot and Turner before starring at the University of New Hampshire. He coached at Cony from 1976 to 1995, leading the Rams to Class A state championships in 1990 and 1991. He currently teaches and coaches baseball at The Gunnery in Washington, Conn. He also coaches the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod League where he is the longest tenured head coach with 15 years experience.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638
[email protected]

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