LEWISTON, Maine — As Tom Caron remembers it, his first game as the voice of the Portland Pirates was at the location that became the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
“Preseason 1993, maybe the first game, I don’t know. But a preseason game, the Pirates played, we played here, and I did the game on radio,” Caron recalled. “It’s funny because [then Pirates head coach Barry] Trotz and Paul Gardner, the assistant coach, were making a big deal, you know, ‘Come on, TC might have ex-girlfriends in the crowd, so let’s make sure.’ It was the big thing. It was my homecoming.”
The Lewiston native enjoyed another homecoming Saturday night as he was to be the first broadcaster inducted into the Portland Pirates Hall of Fame. He became the 18th inductee between the first and second periods of Saturday night’s game against the Manchester Monarchs, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.
“It’s amazing,” Caron said prior to the game. “I’m honored, humbled and was shocked when Chris [Knoblock], [Pirates director of communications], gave me the call. To get in there without skating a shift is pretty good.”
Caron, well-known across New England as a host and college hockey play-by-play voice for New England Sports Network, was the Pirates’ first radio play-by-play announcer. He’s still grateful to have been on board when the team won the Calder Cup in its inaugural season in 1993-94.
“If they won 23 games instead of 43 games, nobody remembers that I did the games. Nobody cares,” Caron said, noting that 12 of the 18 Hall of Fame members were with the team that first year. “Thankfully, they put together a good team, and people remember that I called a championship season.”
Caron said he maintains friendships with many players and staff. He still talks regularly with Trotz, spent a few innings with goalie Olaf Kolzig at Fenway Park last spring, and he expected Kent Hulst to be in attendance for the night’s festivities.
Kolzig and several other former Pirates congratulated Caron in a prerecorded video tribute played during the ceremony.
For the full story, visit Sun Journal at www.sunjournal.com/news/local-sports/2014/03/28/caron-returns-lewiston-brings-lewiston-pirates-hall/1511768#