How Dartmouth’s Fred Purrington went from standout athlete to prisoner of war

“He could play anywhere and do the job well,” Fredette was quoted as saying in a newspaper article highlighting Purrington’s two seasons with the Elks Pony League team. “He was one of those rare players who did everything right.”

Purrington also did whatever he was asked to do on whichever team he happened to be a part of.

Despite occasional mediocre batting averages that ranged anywhere between .270 and .300, Purrington always seemed to swing a hot bat in clutch situations and usually ranked among his team’s leaders in runs batted at the Little League, Pony League and American Legion levels.

As an athlete, Fred Purrington ran “hot and cold.”

Dating back to his early youth as a baseball player with the 1952 Holtite club in the infant Eagles Little League, Purrington’s hot bat helped produce a high on-base percentage that enabled him to lead his team in runs scored. And, on the next level, he was labeled his team’s MVP — as in Most Versatile Player — by his manager Ossie Fredette after playing a key role for an Exchange Club team that posted an eye-blinking 31-1 record.

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