Frank "Pat" French drew little attention at Dover High School in New Hampshire for his athletic prowess. That would change after his high school graduation in 1913, when he arrived on the University Of Maine's Orono campus that September. Although raw and untapped, he quickly gained respect by excelling in three sports, and as Captain in each; track, baseball, and football.
During the New England Intercollegiate Outdoor Track and Field Championship meet in 1915, Frank came in first place in the 120 yard high hurdles events with a championship time of 15.6 seconds. In 1916 he broke the University of Maine's broad jump record with a leap of 22 feet, 9 & 3/4 inches. In 1916, broad jumper Frank “Pat” French and hammer thrower Harold Bailey made the 1916 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team intended to compete in Berlin, Germany. The games were canceled though, due to World War I. French held UMaine’s outdoor long jump record for 80 years, and to this day has only been bested by one.
UNIVERSITY OF MAINE OUTDOOR TRACK University Men's Records
EVENT: Long Jump
RECORD SET BY MEET DATE
21' 9 1/2" Frank "Pat" A. French State 5/16/1914
23' 4 4/5" Frank "Pat" A. French Bates 5/8/1915
Frank received a degree in economics from the University of Maine. He was from the class of 1917, although records indicate it was made official in 1918, possibly because of WWI. His family was residing in Wappinger's Falls, NY at his time of graduation.
French was 23 years old when he broke into the big leagues on July 2, 1917, with Connie Mack's the Philadelphia Athletics. He played in 3 games before leaving back to Portland, Maine, where he played in the New England league.
WWI Notes for the University of Maine:
In 1917, to save money during World War I, two faculty members were terminated and telephones, except those of administrators, were disconnected. The journalism instructor was placed on leave without pay. Summer courses in first aid, home gardening and military drill were taught and faculty members were allowed to cut wood for fuel from the college forest.
In 1917, 913 students registered for fall classes; in 1918, 211 registered. A total of 726 men were on campus with the Students’ Army Training Corps. Campus essentially became a military barrack. Fraternity activities were suspended and the military commandeered the houses. World War I ended Nov. 11, 1918.
Frank A French
Social Security Number: US 007-09-0239
Maine, Death Index, 1960-1996
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 13 Jul 1969
Event Place: Bath
Affiliate City Code: 23020
Certificate Number: 6905961
Violet Agnes Praught French
1896–1992 (m. 1918)
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