As major league baseball completes its annual All-Star break, PAW takes a brief look at Princeton’s rich baseball history, which dates back to the team’s first game in 1860. The Nassau Nine traveled to Orange, N.J., to play the local baseball club, and the game ended in a tie — 42-42 — after darkness made it impossible to continue playing.
The photo above shows Bill Clarke, left, the longtime Tiger coach and namesake of Clarke Field, in 1937 with assistant coach Amos Eno ’32, center, and captain Dean Hill Jr. ’37. Clarke coached nearly 900 games at the University and won 564 of them — a record that still stands. He also sent 15 former players to the major leagues.
In June, two graduating Tigers were drafted by major-league teams — pitcher Michael Fagan ’14 and outfielder Alec Keller ’14 — and three alumni have played in the big leagues this season. Chris Young ’02 has been a valuable starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. Will Venable ’05 is an everyday outfielder for the San Diego Padres. David Hale ’11, who made his big-league debut last September, is vying to return to the Atlanta Braves’ starting rotation. (A fourth major-leaguer, Ross Ohlendorf ’05, suffered an injury in spring training and has been working to rejoin the Washington Nationals.)
In all, 26 Princetonians have played in the majors, but only one has appeared in the All-Star Game: Young, who pitched an inning in relief for the National League in 2007.