Hobey Baker

Hobey Baker

Hobart Amory Hare "Hobey" Baker (January 15, 1892 – December 21, 1918) was an American amateur athlete of the early twentieth century. Considered the first American star in ice hockey by the Hockey Hall of Fame, he was also an accomplished football player. Born into a prominent family from Philadelphia, he enrolled at Princeton University in 1910. Baker excelled on the university's hockey and football teams, and became a noted amateur hockey player for the St. Nicholas Club in New York City. He was a member of three national championship teams, for football in 1911 and hockey in 1912 and 1914, and helped the St. Nicholas Club win a national amateur championship in 1915. Baker graduated from Princeton in 1914 and worked for J.P. Morgan Bank until he enlisted in the United States Army Air Service. During World War I he served with the 103rd and the 13th Aero Squadrons before being promoted to captain and named commander of the 141st Aero Squadron. Baker died in December 1918 after a plane he was test-piloting crashed, hours before he was due to leave France and return to America.

Baker was widely regarded by his contemporaries as one of the best athletes of his time and is considered one of the best early American hockey players. When the Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1945, Baker was named one of the first nine inductees, the only American among them. In 1973 he became one of the initial inductees in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975, and is the only person to be in both the Hockey and College Football Halls of Fame.

F. Scott Fitzgerald idolized Baker and included him as a minor character in the 1920 novel This Side of Paradise. In 1921, Princeton named its new hockey arena the Hobey Baker Memorial Rink. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of college sports in the United States, introduced the Hobey Baker Award in 1980; it is awarded annually to the best collegiate hockey player.

Read more about Hobey BakerEarly Life, Princeton, Post-university Years, Death, Legacy

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