Gary Williamson’s passion for the sport runs deep, and based upon his unselfish commitment and dedication, he is being recognized by the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.

Williamson’s talents started innocently on the field in Western Maine and his reputation grew at the University of Southern Maine.. He has continued to give back to America’s pastime as a coach at the youth level where a fruitful career began.

“I really had no idea the talent I had in High School. I was a decent baseball player in high school,” said Williamson, who will be inducted Sunday at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland. ”I feel my talent was raw and undisciplined at that point of my playing career.”

Along with his high school best friend, Rick Roy, the Telstar Rebels won the Western Class C regional championship in 1988 and then proved it was no accident by winning the 1989 Class C state championship at the University of Maine.

Telstar had a talented group of seniors who were competitive. The team included Tommy James, Jim Merrill, Roy, John Eliot and Corey Duguay. Bob Remington was an excellent coach who spent a lot of time with those players, having coached many of them from little league through high school.

Williamson was recruited by former St. Joe’s coaches Jim Graffam and Jeff Benson. Benson was the hitting coach and worked countless hours with Williamson to improve his hitting.


”Jeff Benson was a helluva coach. I can’t thank him enough,” Williamson said. ”I honestly can’t remember a time he refused he to throw me extra batting practice. He took a raw high school baseball swing and tamed into a collegiate swing with discipline.”

After one season, Williamson decided to transfer to USM when Graffam and Benson left.

At USM, his career and personal life reached the next level, which included meeting his met future wife, Julia.

In 1991, Williamson was the regional and World Series Most Valuable Player (his name is on plaque at MLB HOF in Cooperstown, N.Y.) on the USM team that won the National Championship — a first-ever feat by a Maine team.

Williamson developed a flare for the dramatic and was always willing to accept a challenge. He hit the biggest home run in USM history when he came to the plate in the ninth inning of a tied game against Eastern Connecticut. With two outs and the bases loaded, he hit a 3-and-2 pitch over the left-field wall that propelled the team to the World Series.

”Gary played the game the way it should be played. He was a fearless competitor,” USM head coach and Maine Hall of Famer Ed Flaherty said. ”He played hard all the time. He was sound fundamentally in all aspects of the game. He was ultra-aggressive with the bat and the way he ran the bases. He made others around him better because of the aggressiveness he played with.”


Williamson’s statistics are still quiet prominent in the USM record books. His 379 career batting average ranks 15th on all-time list. He is fifth with 26 home runs.

”It was one of the most special years I had in baseball,” Williamson said. “I was fortunate to be  surrounded by the hardest working players I have ever seen. The work ethic and toughness on this team was amazing. “We were a loose fiery bunch of players that feared absolutely no one,”

Williamson said the lineup featured Rick York, Jim Dimillo, Jim Broughton, Mark Caron, Steve Claire, Jon Collins, Scotty Dutton, Bob Prince, Pete Misiaszek, Mike Welsh and others. That ’91 team holds a lot of career stats for USM as a team.

”Coach Flaherty — he’s a remarkable man. By far the best coach I have ever been around,” said Williamson, who operates Four Seasons of Maine Reality. ”When Flaherty’s team takes the field, they are prepared to win, I can tell you that. There was never a second of practice that was wasted. He can teach fundamentals like no other coach I’ve seen. More importantly about coach Flaherty is he prepares young men to become men. He cares so much about each player on the field and off the field.”

That speaks volumes about a coach, who once excused Williamson so he could return to his native Andover and cut wood.

After his stellar college career, Williamson joined the Pine Tree League and continued to excel. PTL baseball in the summer was so much fun back in the 80s and 90s. Williamson played for the West Paris Westies early on with coach Mark Thurlow and best friend Lance Bean.


‘Mark made the game fun, he was fiery and charismatic. I use to think about baseball all day on game day and could wait to get to the ball field in west Paris,” Williamson said.

Williamson was a four-time league MVP 1996-99 and a five-time league champion. William was influenced by father, Gary Williamson Sr.

In 1999, he was recognized by Sports Illustrated as one of the ”50 Greatest Sports Figures from Maine. He was 41st on that list.

Williamson was known for clouting mammoths home runs, twice hitting the former tower at Lisbon and also clearing the former tall pine trees at Harlow Park in Dixfield.

For the past 16 years, Williamson has been giving back as a youth baseball coach and has had the privileged of teaching sons, Buddy, Hunter, Wyatt and Wylie.

“‘I’ve finally figured out how to coach and get these things across without overwhelming the kids. One thing I can tell you about coaching. Young kids learn it just as quick as college kids. Its just how you go about it,” Williamson said.

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