HENRI O. BELANGER '35
A .331 lifetime hitter, HENRI BELANGER was one the region's outstanding two-way catchers for the Greyhounds from 1929-35. He is one of a very small minority to have played collegiate ball for two Hall of Famers at the same time. Jesse Burkett, the baseball Hall of Famer was the head coach (1931-32) and his assistant coach was Rube Marquard, the former New York Giants pitcher who once won a Major League record 19 straight games. Belanger also played for Coaches Jim Tunney (1929-30), Art Gelinas (1933-34) and Gene Rheault '34 (1935).
He enjoyed his finest year in 1931 batting .452 and leading the team in hits, runs, total bases, and runs batted in. He made just three errors in handling over 120 chances. He led the team again in 1932 (.282) and then batted .357 in 1933.
The Nashua, NH native (born in 1913) entered the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served on the staff of Admiral Kent Hewitt in the planning and executiion of the invasion of North Africa and Sicily and aboard the U.S.S. Missouri remaining as Hewitt's Flag Secretary in London after World War II. He served during the Korean War and on the Joint Chiefs staff in Washington, DC working on the formation of NATO. He completed tours as intelligence officer on the staff of Naval District New Orleans and the Taiwan Defense Command in Taipei from 1958-61 during the Taiwan straits crises. In June 1965 he retired as a Commander and started a second career in education. He completed a Masters Degree program at Salem State College and later taught at Malden, MA High School. Involved in Franco-American cultural activities, he was appointed as the stats's French Cultural Commissioner in November 1971 by Governor Frank Sargent.
He died December 14, 2007.