Thomas W. Kelly III
Thomas W. Kelly III
Title: Student-Athlete; Baseball and Football
Year: 1955

 

Tom Kelly was a three sport athlete playing football in 1952, 1953, and 1954, basketball in 1952 and 1953, and baseball in 1952, 1953, 1954, and 1955.  He quarterbacked for Brewer in 1953 to win the state championship and beat Bangor 14-7 for the first time in 14 years.  Tom was a phenomenal quarterback with outstanding leadership qualities.  Various newspaper articles described Tom in the following ways: “He quarterbacked with all of the finesse of a collegian. Kelly displayed great poise and clever quarterbacking running with the football and lateraling at the last second.”  “Tom can run, pass and lateral.”  “Kelly is a terrific quarterback calling his usual smart and classy game.” He called the plays himself for the game, which was unique for the era.    

Tom also displayed great leadership on the baseball team for Coach Charlie Heddericg.  Tom played shortstop and was the captain of the team in 1954 and 1955, winning the Penobscot Valley Championship (PVC) in both 1954 and 1955. Tom was an outstanding hitter as he could hit for power as well as average. He led the team, as well as the entire PVC League with his .500 batting average in 1955.  He also was the leader for the league in triples. 

Tom also was a leading player of the Bangor Comrades American Legion Team. Brewer did not have a Legion team at that time. Kelly played five years for the Comrades which is a very unusual feat. 

During the summer of 1955, Tom was appointed coach/director of the Brewer Summer recreation baseball league, coaching players such as Danny Coombs (2014 Brewer Hall of Fame Inductee) and others. 

After graduating from Brewer, Tom attended Maine Central Institute (MCI) on a scholarship. He was the quarterback on the football team with an 8-1 record. One article mentioned “that Kelly fired passes all over the landscape with artistic accuracy.” He was also the captain of the baseball team in 1956. After attending MCI, Tom attended Maine Maritime Academy in 1957, 1958, and 1959, once again playing baseball (captain 1957, 1958, and 1959), and football (quarterback 1957 and 1958).  Tom graduated from Maine Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as Ensign in the US Navy.  

Tom entered the US Navy in 1960 and had thirty years of active duty retiring as Captain in 1990. Tom’s major commands consisted of Commanding Officer, guided missile destroyer “USS John King”, Commanding Officer, US Naval Recruiting District for New Mexico and west Texas, and Commanding Officer, US Navy Tactical Deception Group.  He was awarded the following awards/commendations: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat Valor, as well as many other accolades.

After completing his military career, Tom was Operations Manager for Systems Exploration Inc. Washington, DC.  He was President of Kelstar International Inc. Virginia Beach, VA.  He was the Deputy Director, at the Beverage Marketing Co. located throughout Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.  In 2005 Tom volunteered at the age of 67 to serve in Iraq, spending eight months working in Baghdad supplying food to US Military bases, and supplementing security support services for the US Military Base at Camp Victory, Iraq. 

Tom currently lives with his wife Laurie in Holden, Maine.

 

WATCH TOM KELLY'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH HERE