Brian Seguin knew the school-record, 27-game hitting streak he put together for the University of Maine in 1990 was something special.
Now, 30 years have passed and the mark set by the shortstop from Lewiston still stands.
The following season, Seguin established three more Black Bear records that remain intact. He collected 91 hits, including 74 singles, and played in 66 games.
“Every day he went out he was good. He was consistent. When you have that kind of consistency, you’re a special player,” former UMaine assistant coach and current Black Bears head softball coach Mike Coutts said.
These days, the 50-year-old Seguin is a national sales representative for the New York Life Insurance Company and lives in Scarborough with wife Becky and their 16-year-old twins Ben and Halle.
Ben is a baseball player and Halle plays field hockey.
Seguin enjoys looking back on his days at UMaine and makes sure his son knows he was pretty good.
“Even though I’m a little out of shape, his old man used to play the game,” he said.
Seguin’s hitting streak came after what he termed a horrible freshman year. He was a starter, but admitted he went to the plate hoping not to strike out.
“That isn’t a very good mindset to have,” he said.
“I was surprised I was on the team. I didn’t have any confidence. I hit around .220. It was a very challenging year for me,” Seguin said.
He began to find his groove the following summer when he played for the Auburn Aces in the Portland Twilight League. There, he had some success against top-notch pitchers like UMaine teammates Mike D’Andrea and Jim Dillon.
That helped his confidence.
“They were really dominant in our conference and I hit them pretty well,” Seguin said. “I took that [confidence] into the fall and the spring trip.”
As his UMaine hitting streak was progressing, his teammates were constantly reminding him about it.
“They were giving me grief every at-bat. We were having fun with it,” Seguin said. “Any time you have a streak like that, you have to have some good luck.
“And a good scorekeeper,” he joked.
Seguin said he didn’t pay much attention to the streak and just tried to hit the ball hard somewhere.
“[The important thing] was the team was winning,” he said.
He also enjoyed a good season defensively and said that helped him continue his momentum at the plate.
His streak came to an end in a game against Division III Husson University of Bangor.
“I hit a line drive off the pitcher’s leg but he picked the ball up and threw me out. But I was glad it was over with and I could get back to the season,” Seguin said.
He was an all-conference selection and the Black Bears went 1-2 in the NCAA Northeast Regional in Waterbury, Connecticut.
His outstanding season helped him earn a spot on the Cotuit roster in the prestigious Cape Cod League, where he became an all-star.
It was there Seguin sustained an injury that would eventually end his hopes of a pro career.
He was playing a pregame session of “500,” a game in which players earn points for catching fly balls and grounders. On a fly ball, a collision among teammates knocked Seguin to the ground.
He landed on his right shoulder and elbow and experienced a tingling sensation. He also noticed he lost a little zip on his throws to first base.
“I didn’t think much of it. It was just a nagging thing. I took a lot of Motrin. But it never went away,” Seguin said.
He persevered and pounded out 91 hits for the 1991 Black Bears, who won a school-record 48 games and hosted the Northeast Regional. UMaine went 3-2, losing to Clemson in the championship round.
Seguin, who usually batted second in the UMaine lineup, said he was fortunate to have speedster Shanan Knox hitting in front of him and sluggers like Andy Hartung, Mark Sweeney and Tim Scott hitting behind him during his career.
“I saw a lot of fastballs,” he said.
Seguin secured his second straight all-conference berth and was among 40 players chosen for a tryout with the U.S. Olympic baseball team, which was preparing for the 1992 summer games.
Other players at the camp in Tennessee included future longtime major leaguers Jason Giambi, Jeffrey Hammonds, Charles Johnson and Phil Nevin.
But his shoulder continued to get worse and, one day, he couldn’t throw.
Seguin believes he would have made the roster if healthy, but told the coaching staff about his shoulder so as not to take a roster spot away from another healthy player.
The starting shortstop for the 1992 U.S. Olympic team wound up being eventual Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.
Seguin eventually was diagnosed with two cartilage tears in his throwing shoulder and had surgery. Doctors told him his shoulder would never be the same.
His senior year was a forgettable one, even though he led the team with .317 batting average. A sports betting scandal resulted in 13 UMaine players being suspended and the team went 19-24-1.
Seguin earned a business degree and then got an MBA from New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University). He has worked in the insurance business for 27 years.
He said he never anticipated having the career he had at UMaine.
“I’m thrilled with it. [Going to UMaine] was the best decision I ever made,” said Seguin, who was a scholarship player.
He made lifelong friends and thoroughly enjoyed getting together with his former teammates last year when the 1991 team was honored by the university and the baseball program.
Seguin praised the late John Winkin, the legendary UMaine head coach, for his guidance.
“He could be bullheaded, but he wanted what was best for us and wanted us to succeed on the field and off the field.”