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From the archives: County connection to 1936 Olympics

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 11:15 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The Opening Cermonies for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are Friday morning at 7 am Eastern time. It is a good time to go back in the archives to a story that I did 15 years ago on the 70th anniversary of the opening of the 1936 Olympics in Germany. While the games are remembered for Jesse Owens accomplishments sports fans in the County are remembering a local connection to the games. Hubert Shaw of Presque Isle and Clarence Keegan of Robinson were members of the US Baseball team that took part in the demonstration sport. Back in 2006 I talked to members of Clarence Keegan’s family about their father being in the Olympics.

C.K. SOT:” I remember him talking to me about him being on the bus and going into the Berlin area when they were getting ready to go into the stadium. and the crowds of people were astounding to him because coming from where he did in Robinson, Maine a little small town in this area that was an astounding thing for him. There were hundreds of thousands of people in the city and then when they went into the stadium it was an awe inspiring thing for him.

vo: Keegan left the county to attend college at the University of Maine in the early 1930′s where he also played on the baseball team. he was invited to Olympic tryouts in Baltimore by then Bowdoin Coach Lin Wells. Baseball was a demonstration sport at the games with two us teams competing. the Olympic team against the American Amateur Champions over 120 thousand fans were in the stadium, that is the largest crowd ever for an Olympic baseball event. The games are best remembered for the performance of Jesse Owens.

Daniel sot” He actually has some still pictures of Jesse Owens that he would have taken with his own camera.

vo: After graduating from the University of Maine Keegan returned to the County teaching at several schools in the area before becoming Assistant Principal at Presque Isle.

Daniel sot:” I don’t know if it was called semi pro ball or not, but he played traveling teams and would go from community to community and he would talk about that at times yes.

vo: Aroostook County was a hotbed of baseball during the 30′s to 50′s and Keegan was one of many outstanding players from the area.

CK sot:” Very competitive baseball considering the fact that some people would consider we are at the end of the world. and the other thing is we have a short season for us to develop the kind of talent in the sports field, not just baseball but in many other areas is quite remarkable..

vo: Keegan who passed away in 1977 will be inducted posthumously into 2006 Hall of Honors of the Maine Sports Legends from the Northern Region.

Daniel:” Our dad was a legend to us for his character and kindness and generosity and he was a great athlete and we take great in him being recognized

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