Vincent, Salovey In Attendance For Historic Game
WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The saying "Legends Live at Yale Field" was never more apparent as it was Saturday night when the Yale baseball team hosted Wesleyan in an exhibition game, celebrating 150 years of existence for both programs.
In front of a large, raucous crowd full of alumni, parents, families and friends of Yale and Wesleyan baseball, the event was highlighted by the pregame remarks of former Major League Baseball Commissioner and Yale Law graduate, Fay Vincent '63 Law.
Vincent discussed two landmark events that occurred at Yale Field over the years, including the famous meeting of Babe Ruth and the 1948 Yale baseball captain, George H.W. Bush.
"That was a remarkable event for me because I had my father's permission to take a day-off from school and I saw the great Babe Ruth, albeit from a distance," said Vincent, a native of Waterbury, Conn.
The former MLB Commissioner then went on to discuss the famous Darling-Viola game in the 1981 NCAA Regional – a 1-0 victory for St. John's despite 11 no-hit innings by Yale's Ron Darling.
Vincent also mentioned former major leaguer and Yale head coach, Smoky Joe Wood. Wood coached Vincent's father, Fay Vincent Sr., who was the captain of the 1931 Yale baseball team.
"History was on this field. This field involved Wesleyan and Yale for many, many years. At least since 1928," said Vincent, who then affectionately addressed the crowd. "I hope you all have a great evening. It was a great honor to be here tonight."
In addition to Vincent's remarks, Yale head coach John Stuper and Wesleyan head coach Mark Woodworth addressed the crowd to discuss the rich history of their respective programs.
"From George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, to Ron Darling who had a phenomenal career here; we're rich in history. We also currently have two players in the Major Leagues, including Ryan Lavarnway in Atlanta and Craig Breslow in Boston," said Stuper. "We're very proud of everything those men have done."
Yale President Peter Salovey threw out the first pitch on the Bulldogs' behalf, in front of a baseball diamond full of Yale and Wesleyan players, past and present.
Both teams wore their special throwback uniforms to honor the first meeting between Yale and Wesleyan, which dates back to September 30, 1865. It was the first collegiate game either program had ever played and the Yale Nine defeated the Agallian Club that day, 39-13.
Saturday night's game did not see as many runs as that first meeting, but a 6-3 Wesleyan victory in 10 innings provided enough excitement for the over 1,000 people in attendance on a chilly night at Yale Field.
The Cardinals scored three runs in the top-half of the 10th inning, via an RBI bunt single by A.J. Ferrara and an RBI triple by Dylan Millhouse. Until those runs, neither team had scored since the fifth inning in a deadlocked 3-3 tie.
Millhouse picked up the win on the mound for Wesleyan, while junior right-hander Chasen Ford (Lake Forest, Calif.) got the loss. Ford went 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and striking out three.
Yale and Wesleyan used a "pitching by committee" approach to the exhibition game, with each team using eight different pitchers. Sophomore Eric Brodkowitz (Potomac, Md.) pitched two scoreless innings for the Elis to begin the game.
Junior sluggers Harrison White (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and Richard Slenker (Pound Ridge, N.Y) each contributed an RBI in the loss. Senior shortstop Tom O'Neill (Baltimore, Md.) had the rip of the game, smacking a two-out double in the second that turned into Yale's first run.
Freshman outfielder Tim DeGraw (Rye, N.Y.) proved to be a handful on the base path, stealing two bases on the night and drawing several pick-off moves over to first.
The Bulldogs return to fall action in just two weeks, when they host the 2015 City Series at Yale Field. Yale, Southern Connecticut State, Quinnipiac and New Haven will all be participating.
The Elis will play on Friday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. against SCSU. The outcome of that game will determine when Yale plays the next day.
Filed by Steve Lewis, Yale Sports Publicity