BRUNSWICK, Maine – When Rowley native, Govenor’s Academy graduate and current Bowdoin sophomore baseball player Chad Martin seeks advice, he turns to a Newburyport sports legend.
“Ever since I have been a kid, my grandfather has been the guy who was always there,” Martin said. “Every time I went to a batting cage or something, he was there. Every time I was at the field practicing he was there. He is always trying to show me something that has to do with the sport of baseball.”
His grandfather is Angelo “Junior” Dagres, who graduated from Newburyport High School in 1953 after shattering several baseball and basketball records. In his senior basketball and baseball seasons, Dagres averaged 32 points per game and had a batting average of .679, respectively.
Along with high school accomplishments that earned him a spot in the Newburyport High Wall of Fame, Dagres is known for his feats as a professional baseball player. He remains one of the only known baseball players to sign a Major League Baseball contract, then make his professional debut later that afternoon, which he did as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
Needless to say, Dagres has the qualifications to teach his grandson a thing or two about the game.
“I was taught how to hit by Ted Williams,” Dagres said. “I played at Fenway one time and he gave all of us rookies a talk under the center field stands on his hitting theories and techniques. I got taught by some pretty good people, and I took all of that knowledge and gave it to Chad.”
Martin began working with his grandfather at just 7 years-old, and has steadily improved over more than a decade. Now 20, Martin owns the Governor’s Academy home run record with 16, and is already making waves at the collegiate level. In fact, he was recently named the Player of the Week by the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).