The first hockey game at Hobey Baker Memorial Rink, on the campus of Princeton University, took place on this day in 1923. Princeton beat St. Nick’s Hockey club in that game by a score of 3-2. St. Nick’s was the team Hobey Baker played for after he graduated from Princeton.
Baker Rink is the second oldest arena currently in use by an NCAA Division I hockey team. It has 2,092 seats and some space for standing room. Baker Rink was built after what today we would call a crowdfunding campaign. 1,537 individuals from 39 different colleges contributed. The arena underwent significant renovation in the 1980’s including new lighting, roof and gutters, additional locker rooms and rest rooms and additional spectator stands.
Hobart Amory Hare Baker, attended Princeton from 1910 to 1914. He graduated with a major in history, politics and economics.. Baker was considered the greatest amateur hockey player of his generation. He was also an all-American halfback on the football team. While at Princeton he won a national championship in football and two in hockey.
During World War I, Baker served as a fighter squadron commander in France. He died in December 1918 when a repaired plane he was testing crashed. He had orders to return home in his pocket when the accident happened.
In 1946 he was one of the first nine inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He is the only person to be in both the hockey and college football halls of fame. The award given annually to the top college hockey player in the U.S. is named after him.