Maine's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Maine | NewsCenterMaine.com

Maine legend Joan Benoit Samuelson throws first pitch for Sea Dogs

The Portland Sea Dogs honored Joan Benoit Samuelson with a bobblehead at Wednesday's game as part of their notable Mainers bobblehead series.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs continued their series of bobbleheads featuring notable Mainers in 2019 with a Joan Benoit Samuelson bobblehead giveaway on Wednesday, May 15, at 6 p.m. at Hadlock Field.

The first 1,000 fans who entered the ballpark received the Joan Benoit Samuelson bobblehead. Samuelson was at the game where she threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"To be honest with you, it bobbles my mind with this whole bobblehead frenzy," Samuelson told NEWS CENTER Maine Wednesday evening. "But, I'm delighted to be here this evening... Whenever you're honored -- if you want to call honoring with a bobblehead an honor -- it always means the most to me when it's at the heart of one's community."

RELATED: Joanie, at 61, runs Boston just half-hour slower than 1979
RELATED: Sea Dogs to highlight Mainers on Mondays

Samuelson, born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, won gold in the first ever women's Olympic marathon at the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.

As a senior at Bowdoin College in 1979, she entered the Boston Marathon as a relative unknown and won, setting a record for American women. She won the Boston Marathon again in 1983, setting a new course record with a time of 2:22:43. Samuelson won the 1985 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:21:21, a time that stood for 18 years as an American record.

RELATED: 'An inspiration:' Mainers react to Joan Benoit Samuelson's 40th anniversary marathon run

Samuelson is a member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, Maine Sports Hall of Fame, the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the USATF Masters Hall of Fame, and the Bowdoin College Athletic Hall of Honor.

Additionally, she is a member of the National Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame and the Maine Women's Hall of Fame. In 2017, a plaque honoring her was unveiled in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum's Court of Honor. 

RELATED: 30th anniversary: Joan Benoit Samuelson wins gold medal

In 1998, Samuelson founded the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race. The race, held the first Saturday in August, attracts many of the world's top distance runners, and promotes and celebrates health, fitness and giving back.

Previous bobbleheads in the Sea Dogs Notable Mainers Series have included Senator Margaret Chase Smith in 2017 and NESN personality Tom Caron in 2018.