The "Time Out" feature will provide St. Joe's followers with an opportunity to learn more about our athletes and other individuals involved with athletics.
This time around we will feature Fred Stone. Fred has devoted over 20 years of work to Saint Josephs College. He started as the Director of Admissions and went on to fill the Director of Recreation position for several years. Fred is a member of the Hall of Fame Committee and worked as the home game event coordinator. He still works most sporting events at St. Joe's, running the clock for basketball games or the scoreboard for the fall and spring sports. Contributing writer Brian DeCandia '10 conducted the following interview:
Brian DeCandia: What roles have
you served at Saint Joe's?
Fred Stone: I was the Director of Admissions for 17 years and served as the Director of Intramurals and Recreation 2 ½ years. After I "retired" I worked as an Admissions Representative for 5 years and I worked as the Athletics Event Manager for three years.
BD: Which one was most intriguing to you and why?
FS: Working in Admissions was the most challenging. The most enjoyable was athletic event managing and intramurals and recreation. Getting to know the students through athletics was the best part about it.
BD: Can you tell me about Fred Stone pond? How it got its name and why it is named after you?
FS: They named it Stone pond after Dr. House left. It was this hidden resource behind Saint Joseph's Hall. Trees were cut down to open up the pond and area around it for the students to use. It was such an untapped resource. There's a little hut down there and in the 70's people used to ice fish there. In the 80's, only one professor used it to teach environmental science. I got students to volunteer and clear the pond so people could skate on it and play ice hockey.
BD: What sports did you play when you were growing up?
FS: I played baseball, basketball, and football. I attended prep school, Kents Hill School in New Hampshire, and played all three sports through both high school and prep school. I played basketball for 2 ½ years in college and just focused on baseball after that. I was an All-American third baseman for Wesleyan University in 1959.
BD: I understand that you are in the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame?
FS: I was inducted in 1993. The main reason was the All American honor I received while at Wesleyan.
BD: Did you have aspirations of playing after college?
FS: My best chance would have been at age 18. I never had any serious talks. The thing was, I could hit, but the scouts said I didn't have a good arm and the speed wasn't there.
BD: So I understand that you have seen every player on the 1,000 point banner play except three. Not many people can say that! What was it like seeing how the sport progressed through the years and how the game has changed?
FS: I kept the clock for every player except the first three. "The Chamber of Horrors," the atmosphere in that old building was so electric. The heat was always on and it was so hot in there. I never met an opponent who didn't love the atmosphere. In my opinion, basketball helped put St. Joe's on the map. SJC Hall of Famer Jeff Creech' 86 generated a lot of publicity for the program. The USM game was the biggest game and they would rent the expo every year because there were so many people. After the Creech years, new recruits came that were really good. It helped to get the name of the college out there. Slowly but surely the enrollment at Saint Joseph's went from 500 students to 1,000.
BD: You were recently quoted in the Portland Press Herald in an article about former Monks Basketball player Erby Mitchell. What made him stand out?
FS: Erby is a great Saint Joe's graduate. He stood out like nobody ever did in his admissions interview, and I was the one who actually interviewed him.
BD: Here is the difficult question I ask everyone I interview. What is your favorite SJC sports team?
FS: The 1986 Monks Basketball team with Jeff Creech and company. They clowned around and had fun. It was disappointing when they graduated. A close second was the 1986 baseball team with Will Sanborn.
BD: What is your most memorable moment at St. Joe's?
FS: When I received the Father John Tokaz Award last spring at the 2008 Athletic Awards Banquet for my contribution to Saint Joseph's athletics. This was the most amazing experience for me and was the highlight of my career at St. Joe's, to be recognized for the things I have done at this school. I got a standing ovation!
BD: What is your greatest sport moment, either as a player or spectator?
FS: While playing for Wesleyan I went 4-4 with a grand slam home run against Amherst was my greatest sport moment as a player. In 1987, SJC basketball player Charlie Warren got a rebound and laid it in to give the Monks a one-point victory over Castleton state and a bid to nationals. "And at that moment Charles Warren became a Saint." The electricity in the building was astronomical because we had lost in the same situation just the year before.
BD: Anything else you'd like to add?
FS: The reason I love working at Saint Joseph's so much is that I enjoy working with college-aged kids; they keep you young, focused, and energized! Being in a position to have an impact on some of their lives is invaluable.