from an alumnus about Reunions traditions
September 18, 2002
Along with the letter from Moose
Joline '47 about Princeton baseball history, you ran a reunion photo
of 1942's class baby Woody Rutter throwing in the first ball at the Yale-Princeton
game in 1947.
It was then traditional to bring the class baby on the field in some unique
way. The previous year, I believe, a miniature car arrived at the mound
and amazingly, like clowns in the circus, about five men and the class
baby squeezed out for the first toss. But '42 outdid that by landing an
autogyro (predecessor to the helicopter) on the mound and out stepped
The crowd roared. Still, at our fifth we tried to out-do '42 by having
three full-grown elephants parade onto the field with our class baby Richard
Wolf atop one of them. All three elephants kneeled down, raised their
trunks to salute President Dodds, and then off stepped our five-year-old
for the first pitch. (A photographer recorded the occasion for the New
York Times the next day.) I don't think any class thereafter could
match either the autogyro or the elephant.
Not to be forgotten, '44 brought back two of the same elephants 35 years
later for our 40th reunion to parade down Prospect Street for the second
time. But there was no Yale-Princeton baseball game.