THE SPORTING SCENE
Alumni in Big League Boots
Ira Godin, ace pitcher of last year's baseball squad is in Deland, Florida, training with the Louisville team of the Red Sox farm system. He is aiming to join two select, but undistinguished groups--the Red Sox mound staff, and the company of Harvard graduates who have made the big time.
If Godin's record here is any indication, he is destined not only to join these groups but to be a real credit to both. He set the College record for the number of strikeouts per varsity career (319) and per game (12). The latter mark was set during the second Yale game last year, which Godin won, 17 to 3.
Two of the four members of Harvard's own Hall of Fame were pitchers, who, like Godin, had turned in spectacular performances on the local diamond. The first, Walt Clarkson, pitched and won five Yale games for the varsity and had a Harvard-Yale carned-run average of 2.8.
When he graduated in 1903, Clarkson was signed by the Yankees, for whom he won 14 and lost 9 in three years of service. For these efforts he was sold to Cleveland, and, after a 5-7 season, left baseball to enter the shoe business.
But Clarkson's record, mediocre by major league standards, makes him the most outstanding alumnus in his profession so far. Art ("Jocko") Conlon played good enough hall at the College to be engaged by the Braves for their 1923 season. As a second string second baseman, Conlon got 32 hits in 147 trips for a dismal .218 average, while his fielding average was a barely adequate .955. He too returned to private life and became a businessman.
Charlie Devens was the first Crimson player to come up through the minors. After fanning 152 opponents in 115 innings as a senior, he was snapped up by the Newark Bears of the International League, which had recently become a Yankee farm team. After chalking up 11 victories to only six defeats he was summoned to the Bronx at mid-season.
Devens was kidded about his Harvard background. His pronounciation of the word "cu've" was mimicked, and he was nicknamed "Hasty" because of his tie. Ruth always greeted him with the cry, "Hey, Boston."
But although Devens was soon accepted as a comrade by his professional colleagues, he was not a success on the mound. He retired after the next season (1934), and took a position with the State Street Trust Company.
The last, Tony Lupien (Ulysses J. Lupien '39), watched the varsity practice at Soldiers Field yesterday. He is now manager of the Jamestown, N.Y., team of the Detroit farm system. He signed originally with the Red Sox and went back and forth from Fenway Park to various farm teams untill 1944 when he joined the Phillies. The next year he joined Hollywood in the Pacific Coast League, where he hit .341. He was then bought by the White Sox, for whom he batted .246 to end his major league carrer.