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County baseball standout, school principal is Legends inductee

VAN BUREN, Maine — Maine Sports Legends Hall of Honors posthumously inducting Richard Cormier, a standout athlete at Fort Fairfield High School who became a successful teacher and principal at Van Buren District High School.

Cormier played basketball and baseball for the Tigers, but baseball was his best sport. He was an All-Aroostook player and team MVP and pitched, played center field and batted cleanup for the 1946 and 1948 Aroostook League championship teams.

Cormier went on to play semi-professional baseball in New Brunswick and with the Augusta Millionaires. He turned down the opportunity to play professionally with the Boston Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates, opting instead to complete his education, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also served in the United States Army Reserves.

Representatives of the respective organizations inducted him into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the Fort Fairfield Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

While in Van Buren, Cormier taught physical education and health before becoming an administrator. He retired in 1986 and moved to Ocala, Florida, passing away in 2012.

Emery “Legs” Labbe, the longtime sports editor for the St. John Valley Times, said Cormier was “a true supporter of youth in education and athletics through teaching, coaching and being a principal.”

“Through his own participation in sports and his top-notch coaching, he exemplifies the great Maine tradition of being a role model for our youth,” Labbe said.

Cormier was very active in the community of Van Buren, serving in several service and church organizations. He and his wife had four daughters, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The induction banquet and ceremony is set for June 26 at the Alfond Girls and Boys Club in Waterville. Cormier and the two other inductees representing the northern region, John Habeeb and Mark Rossignol, and other inductees from the other regions of the state will be honored for their contributions to athletics in Maine.

Editor’s Note: This is the third of three articles featuring each of the Maine Sports Hall of Legends-Northern Region 2018 inductees.

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