Larry Gowell to perform at Franco Center on Feb. 21

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LEWISTON — Native son and former New York Yankees pitcher

will bring his deep baritone to the Franco Center for a cabaret-style concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

This will be Gowell’s first full-length evening concert at the Franco Center. He has performed there three times in the past, but always as the featured entertainment at La Rencontre, the center’s monthly French-language luncheon.

Among the nearly two dozen songs Gowell will perform are “The Impossible Dream” from the Broadway musical “Man of La Mancha,” Sammy Davis Jr.’s “I’ve Gotta be Me,” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” the Cole Porter song made famous by Frank Sinatra.

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Gowell’s future career as a singer was probably the last thing on his mind when he took the pitcher’s mound in his first and only starting assignment for the Yankees on the last day of the 1972 season – his third overall appearance and, as fate would have it, his last in the major leagues.

The double he hit that day off Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jim Lonborg would turn out to be the last ever regular-season hit by a starting pitcher in the American League before the designated hitter rule went into effect the following season. The ball he hit remains on display at the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Forty-two years later, Gowell, who grew up in Auburn, is now under consideration to sing the national anthem at Fenway Park before a Red Sox game during the upcoming regular season.

Tickets are $10 and will include free hot hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Tickets may be purchased at www.francocenter.org, by phone at 207-689-2000, or at the box office Monday through Friday between noon and 4 p.m.

The concert will be held in the Franco Center’s Heritage Hall, 46 Cedar St., and will include an intermission.

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