NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

March 23, 2012

Pettingell to be inducted into Natick High Hall of Fame

Before Bill Pettingell spent 40 years as the Newburyport baseball coach, he was a three-sport star at Natick High.

Pettingell's exploits as a player will be recognized April 26 at 5:30 p.m. when he is inducted to the Natick Hall of Fame. He will be a part of Natick High's third induction class, along with former New England Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie and nine other individuals.

The ceremony will be held at the Framingham Sheraton, and tickets are available at www.NatickAthleticHallofFame.com.

Pettingell retired from his position as Newburyport's varsity baseball coach last spring, after the Clippers won their first state championship in school history. He recorded 616 coaching victories at Newburyport and earned induction into the Mass. State Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997.

As a varsity player at Natick High between 1961 and 1964, Pettingell was selected All Bay State League in baseball, basketball and football. He played on three state championship teams — one in football and two in baseball.

On the baseball diamond, Pettingell had a three-year batting average of .335. As a pitcher, he was 12-1 with a 0.76 ERA in 100 innings.

On the football field, he played quarterback, accumulating 1,400 yards in total offense with nine passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns.

On the basketball court, Pettingell had a career total of 769 points, which was a school record until the introduction of the 3-point line. He averaged 23.3 points per game as a senior.

This spring marks the first time in 52 years that Pettingell is not a member of a baseball team as a player or coach. The Daily News caught up with Pettingell yesterday as he prepares for his induction into the Hall of Fame.

You had a solid career in three sports in high school. Was baseball always your favorite?

"It was the sport I loved the most, but I probably worked the hardest at basketball. It's definitely the most fun to practice, because you can play by yourself. I did that endlessly. With baseball, I was more stubborn. I wanted to follow (Natick baseball great and former Red Sox hitting coach) Walt Hriniak and be a shortstop and part-time pitcher. Mentally, I made baseball my game."

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