WATERVILLE — It was just one season, but Carroll Plourde’s time as a professional baseball player still makes him proud, 60 years later.

“I’m a baseball fan,” Plourde said. “I’m fortunate I had the chance to play.”

On Sunday, Plourde, 81, will be inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Joining Plourde in the Hall’s Class of 2013 are Ed Pickett of Augusta, former Cony High School baseball coach Jeff Trundy, Danny Alvino of Livermore Falls, Kevin Bernier of Lincoln, Greg Coppeta of Westbrook, Dennis Martel of Elliot, Will Sanborn of Standish, and Tom Watson of Portland.

Plourde played in the Boston Braves system in 1952.

After a standout career at Waterville Senior High School, Plourde received his invitation to the Boston Braves minor league camp in Myrtle Beach, S.C. after a tryout in Waterville. Hundreds of hopeful players worked out in Myrtle Beach, trying to earn a spot on one of the Braves’ minor league clubs.

“They kept 120 (players) and sent the rest home,” Plourde said. “I got a small bonus.”

Plourde played first in Appleton, Wisc., then moved on to Welch, W.V., where he pitched mostly in relief.

“I didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was,” Plourde said.

Following his season of minor league ball, Plourde spent two years in the Army. When his stint in the Army was complete, Plourde went to the Braves, now playing in Milwaukee, minor league tryout camp in Waycross, Georgia.

“I was way out of my league,” Plourde said. “I didn’t stay in baseball shape in the Army.”

Back home in Maine, Plourde played semipro baseball for a number of teams, the Waterville Giants, the Fairfield Merchants, as well as teams from Farmington and Pittsfield.

“All anyone had to do was call me and say they needed a ballplayer,” Plourde said.

When his three sons became involved in youth baseball, Plourde became involved.

“I figured I’d better get involved,” Plourde said. “I coached Little League.”

Plourde said he’ll keep his speech brief.

“I’m thankful I lived in Maine and learned to play baseball here,” Plourde said. “My life long dream was to play professional baseball, and I’m one of the few who made it from here.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]

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