Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 13, 2017
Longtime Penobscot coach receives recognition
A flagpole was dedicated in the memory of longtime Penobscot baseball and softball coach Fulton Leach during a ceremony on Penobscot Day July 8. The flagpole was erected the week before at the Jim Henry Ball Field.
by Monique Labbe
The name Fulton Leach is most commonly associated with baseball and softball in the town of Penobscot, and a longtime goal to recognize the coach came to fruition during Penobscot Day on July 8.
Leach, who passed away in 2015, was honored for almost a decade of coaching community baseball and softball players during a small ceremony at the Jim Henry Ball Field. A flagpole was erected in his name the week before by volunteers, many of whom were coached by Leach.
The project was spearheaded by Mike Russell, who came up with the idea to recognize his coach this past spring. One of the first people Russell approached for help with the project was Maine State Representative Karl Ward, who represents the town of Penobscot at the State House.
“As soon as [Russell] called, I told him I’d coordinate all of the effort and donate whatever was needed to complete it,” said Ward.
Ward contacted Billy Hutchins of Oakley Hutchins Construction in Penobscot for the earthwork and Bobby Wardwell of Robert Wardwell Construction in Orland for the concrete. Both companies donated their time and the materials to the project.
Leach, who coached many winning teams, including the 1984 Maine Amateur Softball Association Penobscot Spoilers state championship team, had a close relationship to the Jim Henry Ball Field, caring for it, mowing it and grading the infield for new teams to play on.
“It just seemed right that we recognized him here, so that he wouldn’t be forgotten,” said Russell.