In a long line of standout pitchers at Watertown High School, Peter Salmon was the most dominant.
The 1985 WHS graduate terrorized Frontier League and Section 3 batters for three seasons on the mound for the Cyclones, finishing his scholastic career as one of the top hurlers ever to come out of the north country.
"In all my years of coaching, Peter was the best I've seen," said longtime WHS coach Lew Kibling, who had the privilege of watching Salmon mow down batters for four years under his tutelage. "He not only had a fastball clocked at around 86 or 87 miles per hour, he had a nice off-speed pitch that was basically unhittable when he got it over."
Kibling said Salmon, who stood 6-foot-3, "was an imposing presence on the mound. And the fact that he had tremendous control made him so hard to hit. And besides all of that, he was just a tremendous kid."
When he wasn't pitching, Salmon played shortstop for the Cyclones. "He was a very good fielder, and a tremendous clutch hitter for us," Kibling said. "But when he was on the mound, the other team didn't have much of a chance to win."
During his high school career, Salmon pitched two no-hitters and had at least a dozen shutouts. He helped WHS win three consecutive Frontier League crowns and contend for Section 3 Class A honors every season.
As a senior, Salmon pitched a three-hitter, striking out 12, in the Section 3 Class A final in which Watertown lost to Auburn 2-1.
Among his other accomplishments on the baseball diamond were helping the Central Region team win the gold medal at the 1986 Empire State Games.
He also was instrumental in Watertown Post 61 making it farther than any American Legion team in area history in the summer of 1985.
During that season, he pitched a no-hitter against Adrean Post of Utica, striking 13. He then helped pitch Post 61 to a District 5 crown, a runner-up finish in the State Legion playoffs and the championship of the Mid-Atlantic Regionals.
Besides baseball, Salmon was also an all-star defenseman in hockey. During his scholastic career he also played football and soccer, and was awarded the 1985 William Graf Award as the outstanding senior athlete at WHS.
Salmon's baseball prowess, and his outstanding academic work, helped him earn a scholarship to Stanford University. He was a member of the National Honor Society and among the top 10 graduates in the Class of 1985.
Salmon played baseball only briefly at Stanford before giving up sports to concentrate on his studies. He graduated from Stanford in 1989 with a degree in economics and later picked up a Masters Degree in science management from the University of Dayton.
Salmon is the Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management of Able Manufacturing & Assembly, LLC., of Poplin, Mo.
He previously was a senior manager for the Allied Division of Associated Materials Inc.. in Ennis, Texas, and has also worked for Alcoa Inc. and Delphi Automotive Inc. in various Texas and Ohio locations.
He has a wife, Marilyn, and two children.
To read about previous selections to the Times' list of The North Country's Greatest Athletes of All Time, log on to www.watertowndailytimes.com.