Maxine Drinkwater Simmons, obituary

Fri, 02/23/2024 - 1:15pm

CAMDEN — Maxine Edna Simmons, 87, of Camden, died on Sunday, February 11, 2024 at Breakwater Commons in Rockland. Born in Searsmont on May 19, 1936, she was the daughter of Robie J. and Bertha (Butler) Drinkwater and was a member of the Class of 1954 at Camden High School where she played basketball and baseball. She married Charles Simmons and they lived in Rockport for many years, later moving to Newport.  Her many jobs included Tibbetts Industries, GTE Sylvania, and working as a CNA. 

During her high school senior year, she finished her studies early skipping her class trip to Washington D.C., in order to fly with her mother to Michigan to try out for the the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She was the first pick of the South Bend Blue Sox. Rookies saw very little playing time, however Max appeared in 45 games for the Blue Sox as a first and second basewoman and was a defensive stalwart with a .947 fielding percentage. By many baseball minds, she was considered one of the top defensive players in the AAGPBL. Maxine helped the Blue Sox make a run for the league championship, however the league disbanded prior to the end of the season.   

The AAGPBL was made famous in A League of their Own, a 1992 movie starting Tom Hanks and Geena Davis.  

She returned to Camden and coached basketball at Camden High School. Maxine coached many Little League teams and played for local softball teams. She was one of the more talented older players in the Rockland softball summer league playing second base, or any open position. Max also enjoyed playing golf with her niece, Julie Landwehr. 

Her athletic talent did not go unnoticed, as she became a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and in 2005, was inducted in to the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame, the first and only woman to gain such an honor. 

In 2017, Maxine was selected to throw the first pitch at a Portland Sea Dogs 25th Anniversary game when they were celebrating the 26th anniversary of the film A League of Their Own. The ushers at this game wore uniforms similar to the Blue Sox commemorating the team.  

The door of her Camden apartment held a sign reading: “Red Sox Fans Welcome; Others Not Allowed.” She was a faithful Red Sox fan and Ted Williams was her all-time hero. 

Maxine was literally in a league of her own, taking her passion for baseball to the professional level. She shared her talent with many in the Camden-Rockport-Rockland area and will be remembered by all who knew her. 

Special thanks is extended to the wonderful care of Maxine during her stay at Breakwater Commons, especially Vickey and Emilee. 

In addition to her parents, Maxine was predeceased by her husband, Charles Simmons in 1989, and her special niece, Julie Landwehr. 

Surviving is her son, Charles Simmons, Jr. and his wife, Miranda; two grandchildren, Molly and Matthew; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Drinkwater and Glenna Drinkwater, and two nephews, Todd and Kurt Drinkwater. 

Calling hours will be held Sunday, March 3, 2024, from 2 - 4 p.m., at the Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain Street, Camden. Condolences may be shared at