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Holy Cross Athletics Timeline 

By Katharine Buckley McNamara '81

Baseball team members in uniform, 1886Victory, defeat and the occasional bout of hepatitis. Since 1843, athletics have been an integral part of the Holy Cross experience. Relive your favorite sports memories or discover what you didn’t know about teams and athletes, past and present.


1859: One of the College's first athletic organizations, the Mount St. James Fencing Club, is established. It promises to give its members "favorable opportunities for acquiring a practical as well as a theoretical knowledge of the sword and its uses."   
1862: The College prospectus reports on student sporting activities including bathing in the Blackstone River and "Foot-ball and Cricket games" on the College Farm.   
1869: Students begin playing athletic games on field near St. John's Cemetery in Worcester, called "Camp Scott" during Civil War.   
June 1874: Fr. O'Hagan extends permission for the College baseball club to play outside of Worcester. First away baseball game played in Clinton, Mass.   
1874: First gymnasium set up "south of building."   
June 10, 1876: First formal intercollegiate baseball game against Brown University.   
1880: Campus competitions include wheelbarrow races and the tug-of-war contests.    
1886: First undefeated baseball season.   
1891: Fr. John Collins proposes a football association.    
1892: Tennis introduced.   
May 30, 1893: Baseball field ("Carlin Field") dedicated on the current site of Alumni and Carlin Halls. First game played on Alumni Field against Georgetown.    
1895: First swimming tank and indoor track built in O'Kane Hall.   
1898: Basketball introduced.  


May 20, 1905: Fitton Field dedicated; opening game against Yale. 


1914: Baseball posts a 16-5 season, wins first Eastern championship.  
May 30, 1918: Wilfred Ryan '20 throws the College's first no-hitter, defeating Dartmouth 4-0 at Fitton Field.  


Feb 1925: College golfers organize club. 
1925: Intercollegiate Baseball Champs. Owen Carroll '25 pitches to a 6-1 win over NYU and finishes his career with a 50-2 record. Team sets a school record: 27-game winning streak that began in 1923. Villanova finally snaps the record on April 16.  
Oct. 6, 1925: Name "Crusaders" voted on by athletes, student body. 
Oct. 1925: Football team beats Harvard for first time after 20 years of play. 
Jan. 1926: HC team clips world record time for 1600-Meter Relay - HC record 3 min, 24 4/5 sec. 
Jan. 1928: Hockey team plays first game vs. Springfield College. 
1928: James Quinn '28 wins Gold Medal in 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam for 440 relay team. 
1929: Cleo O'Donnell '08 named first full-time director of athletics. 


Feb. 1931: Varsity hockey abandoned.
Oct. 1931: Basketball discontinued. 
Fall, 1934: First time in College's history football team beats Harvard, Brown and Boston College in a single season.
April 15, 1935: Baseball game against Boston Braves. Babe Ruth plays.
Fall, 1935: First undefeated football season.
Sept. 17, 1938: Willie Turnesa '38 wins 42nd annual US Amateur Golf Championship.
April 14, 1939: Ted Williams hits his first home run in Massachusetts at Fitton Field.


Nov. 28, 1942: Football team defeats top-ranked and undefeated Boston College, 55-12, in one of the greatest upsets in college football history. Following the game, a celebration at the Coconut Grove nightclub turns tragic when fire breaks out killing 491 people.
March 16, 1943: Baseball season cancelled due to war.
April 30, 1945: First no-hit, no-run game in 25 years pitched by Jack Tivnan '48.
Jan. 1, 1946: Football team of 1945 plays in Orange Bowl - first Crusader team to enter a bowl game loses when Miami scores a touchdown in the last seconds of the game.
1947: Field House built.


March 25, 1947: Basketball team wins NCAA National Championship. First New England team to do so. 
March 1947: George Kaftan '49 becomes the College's first All-American.
Dec. 1949: Swim team organized.


Mar. 23, 1950: Bob Cousy '50 named nation's outstanding player by National Basketball Writers of America.
May 14, 1952: Baseball coach Jack Barry has 500th winning game.
June 17, 1952: Baseball team wins National Championship in Omaha; First Eastern squad to win.
March 1954: Holy Cross defeats Duquesne to win the NIT crown. 
Jan. 21, 1956: Hall of Fame inaugurated at Varsity Club Dinner. First six members are Sockalexis, Barry, Cousy, Turnesa, Osmanski, and Kelly.
Fall, 1958: Lacrosse becomes varsity sport.


March 1960: Jack Foley '62 sets new single basketball game record with 55 points as HC beats Colgate 101-78. 
March 1961: HC beats Detroit Titans in NIT tourney and faces Providence in semifinals (but loses to end up with 3rd place in tourney). 
March 1962: HC to 3rd straight NIT, makes it to quarterfinals and loses to St. John's.
April 5, 1962: Rugby team inaugurated.
April 1962: Basketball team in NIT Playoffs.
1963: Wrestling team organized.
1965: Paul Harney '52 wins his second consecutive Los Angeles Open golf tournament. 
Oct. 1969: Outbreak of hepatitis among football team forces cancellation of season.


1974: Field hockey and basketball debut as the College's first women's sports. 
Jan 15, 1976: Hart Center dedicated.
March 6, 1977: Basketball team ECAC champs.
March 9, 1979: Men's basketball team in NIT Tournament, loses to Dayton.


Jan. 26, 1980: Ronnie Perry '80 scores his 2,186 point to break record set by Jack "the Shot" Foley '62.
March 1980: Men's basketball team falls to Iona in NCAA Tournament. Ron Perry ends college basketball career as New England all-time leading scorer with 2,542 points. 
Fall 1980: HC Women's basketball moves from Division III to Division II. 
March 1981: Callie Taffe '81 is named All-American swimmer and becomes first woman "Crusader of the Year." 
Fall 1982: HC Women's Basketball moves from Division II to Division I. 
Jan. 16, 1983: Hart Center pool and addition opened.
Dec. 1983: Football team wins Lambert Cup in Div. I-AA.
Jan 22, 1984: Sherry Levin '84 becomes first Holy Cross women's basketball player to score 2000 points.
1983-84: College joins Metro-Atlantic conference (MAAC). 
Feb. 13, 1987: Football series with Boston College terminated.
1987: Gordie Lockbaum '88 featured in Sports Illustrated. Finishes 3rd in Heisman Trophy voting, after finishing 5th in 1986.


1991: HC joins Patriot league.
1991: Football team finishes season 11-0; ranked #3 in the nation. 
1994: Rob Feaster '95 the Patriot League's all-time leading scorer.
Jan. 1996: Women's basketball breaks record for consecutive home wins with its 15th win. 
Jan. 11, 1997: Reinstatement of men's and women's basketball scholarships.
Mar. 1997: Kathy Courtney '97 makes first team GTE academic All-America Team.
Nov. 1997: Ron Perry '54 retires as athletic director after 26 years.
Nov. 1997: HC women's field hockey wins Patriot League Tourney for first time. 
1998-99: Men's hockey joins newly founded Division I MAAC Hockey League; wins inaugural MAAC Tournament championship. 
Mar. 1998: Women's basketball wins Patriot League Championship. 
Nov. 1998: Women's field hockey wins second straight Patriot League Title.
Nov. 1999: Women's ice hockey becomes varsity sport.
March 8, 2000: Women's basketball team defeats Bucknell to win its third consecutive Patriot League championship.



Sources: Thy Honored Name by Rev. Anthony J. Kuzniewski, S.J.; The Holy Cross Archives; The office of sports information; The Tomahawk: The Crusader; Crossroads.


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