One of Maine's high school athletics' most prolific letter winners is Norm Merrill of Augusta.
Merrill collected sixteen letters in an amazing high school career at Cony High in the early 1930's. He was an outstanding pitcher and hitter in baseball, with his talents blossoming as early as the eighth grade. As a freshman he made the varsity teams of every sport sanctioned by the school. At the age of 15 he was playing semiprofessional baseball at Togus with such Maine baseball luminaries as Clyde Sukeforth, Del Bissonette and Don Brennan.
All Maine two years in football, Merrill scored a record 116 points as a freshman and sparked the team to its only state championship in 1932. He was an electrifying halfback who missed selection to the All Maine team for two of the four years of his high school career only because of injuries. He did gain honorable mention those two years.
In basketball, he was a member of the first Cony team to make the Eastern Maine Basketball Tournament.
Merrill's athletic achievements continued beyond high school. In 1935 he received the outstanding player award in baseball at Governor Dummer Academy, and went on to selection on the All Maine Freshman Football Team in his first year at Bates College. Merrill also attended John Carol University where he played for former Notre Damer Frank "Touchy" Gaul, and later attended North Carolina State.
Norm signed a professional baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians and was well on his way to an appointment with the parent club based on two winning minor league seasons when he was called for military service. Norm had a 15¬?7 record with the New Orleans Pelicans in 1938 and a 16-7 mark with Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 1940 he played with Macon, Georgia in the Sally League.
A shoulder injury, suffered while playing on a service team at Fort Dix, New Jersey, is attributed with short circuiting Merrill's professional career, though he did spend one year with the Boston Red Sox.
Merrill has dedicated a lifetime to Cony and Maine sports. For fifteen years, he served in an official capacity with Junior Legion baseball and was coordinator of the program for two years. He also founded and became a lifetime member of the Kennebec-Somerset umpires' association. One of the founders of both the Junior Football League of Augusta and the Augusta Boosters' Club, he served as president of the latter organization for 11 years. Observers credit him almost single handedly with money raising that has resulted in a variety of materials for Cony athletics from video tape machines to a whole field house for Capitol Park.
Norm and his wife, Camilla Merrill, have two children, Mrs. Naomi Charest and Thomas Merrill; and two grandsons, Tom Ziebart and Johnathan Merrill.
Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021
Phone (207) 807-7666
The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.