Howard "Pete" Pease

Class of 1962

Howie “Pete” Pease was the picture of grace and athletic talent on the NMHS baseball diamond… think “The Natural.”

Throw in fierce competitive drive, a heady court sense and a stylish jump shot on the basketball court and admirable quickness and leaping ability in indoor track and one has the full portrait of Pete during his days as a three-sport Green Wave standout. 

Many might recall Pete’s scintillating, 40-point explosion on February night at John Pettibone School at the expense of Ridgefield, yet his efforts for NMHS sports teams were far greater than just one memorable winter evening.

Pete claimed 11 varsity letters even without competing in a fall season sport.

He started his NMHS career as captain and oft-times high scorer for the Green Wave junior varsity basketball team in the winter of 1958-59.

Pete quickly blossomed as a varsity stalwart, averaging 11.9 points for an 8-10 Green Wave in his sophomore season, in the process displaying an unselfish game which prompted some fans to wish Pete would shoot more often.

During his junior season, Pete shared the Green Wave’s co-captaincy with classmate Ken Horne and, like Ken, earned all-Western Connecticut Conference recognition. His ball-handling, rebounding and especially defense were all noteworthy and he found time to average 12.6 points per game for the 6-12 Green Wave.

Pete and his teammates improved to 13-5 in his senior year as he and Ken Horne again were co-captains and were voted all-WCC for a second straight season.

He scored 275 points, thanks to a 15.3 points per game average, to finish among the Green Wave’s al-time leading scorers.

The highlight was that 40-point night, Feb. 6, 1962, in the jam-packed Pettibone School gym as Pete exploded for 40 points in an 88-39 dismantling of Ridgefield. His effort surpassed the previous WCC record of 39, and also broke NMHS’ single-game standard of 37, established in 1953 by Dick Volinski.

Pete’s athletic skills as a freshman had attracted the eye of Green Wave indoor track coach Russell Devin and he richly rewarded his coach’s confidence by lettering four straight years and contributing to NMHS’ first state championship.

Competing as a freshman in the state class ‘C’ indoor meet at Yale University, Pete placed fourth in the high jump, ran a leg on the Green Wave’s 4 x 110-yard relay and also ran in the 60-yard dash as coach Devin’s squad captured the state title.

To climax his sophomore season, Pete placed in the long jump and 300-yard run to help NMHS to second place in the state class ‘C’ meet at UConn.

During his final two seasons, Pete displayed his versatility by competing at the state level in the 60, 300, 600 and in relays, highlighting his efforts by reaching the final in the 60-yard dash and setting a Green Wave record in the 600.

Once it was time each year to dig out the bats and gloves, Pete was truly in his element. It’s reasonable to state Pete Pease is among the handful of best ever all-around baseball players for the Green Wave.

During Pete’s diamond career, coach Joe Wiser’s teams won 41 games and lost just 10, won two Housatonic Valley Schoolmen’s League titles and the inaugural Western Connecticut Conference championship, and built a staggering 360-137 runs scored advantage over its cumulative rivals.

Pete batted .359 for four full seasons as a letterman for the varsity. Meanwhile, he played centerfield for much of that tenure with a fleet grace that made the Green Wave’s strong pitching staff that much better. Other than a throwing error as a freshman, Pete played flawless defense.

He had two hits, drew a walk and scored three runs in his freshman debut and never looked back. A wily base-runner who often stole runs with his quickness, Pete proved a cog in the Green Wave attack throughout his career.

 After a junior season in which he batted .454, rival pitchers often steered clear of challenging Pete’s bat in his senior year. His batting average dipped in 1962 to a still lofty .342, but his on-base number was a remarkable .553. His 16 runs scored and 11 stolen bases reflected his offensive worth to the Green Wave.

All of his athletic accomplishments were achieved in tandem with Pete’s inherent disposition for leadership. Out of the sports realm, he served as his freshman class president, campaign manager for the magazine drive, and treasurer of the Student Council as a junior.

 Pete represented NMHS at Boys State in the summer of 1961 and at the Science Institute the following summer.

He attended Bowdoin College in Maine, where he played four seasons on the Polar Bears’ basketball team, and then soon began a career as a cardiologist.