49. Hobey Baker

 

Hobart Amory Hare (“Hobey”) Baker ’14 was one of the greatest ice hockey players ever produced in North America and created a golden age of Princeton hockey.  Baker was also an all-American football halfback who, in his three years of varsity play, led Princeton to a record of 20-3-4.  Described as the ultimate gentleman sportsman, Hobey Baker’s greatness as an athlete was enhanced by his natural grace and perfect manners.  He was understandably a crowd favorite in both sports, capable of electrifying spectators with his agile command of the ball and puck.  Since no legitimate American professional leagues existed for either sport at that time, Baker went to work for the J.P. Morgan bank after graduation until the outbreak of World War I, when he was commissioned into the Aviation Section of the Student Officers’ Reserve Corps.  He quickly distinguished himself and was promoted to Captain of the 141st Aero Squadron.  The night that he received his orders to return home, Baker took a recently repaired plane up for “one last flight;” its engine failed and the plane crashed, killing one of the era’s greatest American athletes at the tragic age of 27.  Baker’s name and legend live on in Princeton’s Hobart Baker Memorial Rink, which was dedicated in January 1923, and in college hockey’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, the Hobey Baker Award. His contemporary F. Scott Fitzgerald described him as “an ideal worthy of everything in my enthusiastic admiration” and used Baker as the model for the character Allenby in This Side of Paradise.

  • To learn more about Princeton’s athletic facilities, see Café Vivian picture #6, 7, 48, 56, 61, and 111.

  • To learn more about football at Princeton, see quotation #22, and Café Vivian picture #9, 12, 38, 39, 48, 56, 102, and 111.

  • To learn more about athletics at Princeton, see quotation #4, 9, 21, and 22, and Café Vivian picture #6, 7, 9, 18, 22, 39, 48, 54, 56, 61, 69, 72, 97, 102, 111, 123, and 126.

  • To learn more about F. Scott Fitzgerald, see icon #4, quotation #22, and Café Vivian picture #91.

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