1948 Lacrosse Team

Posted by John Dojka on April 23, 2008 in

Every month or so, I select an image to feature on our home page, and today I chose a picture of the 1948 lacrosse team.

The fun fact about this team is that they represented the United States in a demonstration game against England in the 1948 Summer Olympics. So the match was essentially RPI vs. England.

The game was played at Wembley Stadium in London, and it ended in a 5-5 tie. The RPI team, coached by hall of famer Ned Harkness, was coming off an undefeated season of collegiate play. The team traveled via ship both ways, and we have several press photos of the team aboard. On the way to London, they met Susan Blanchard, daughter of Oscar Hammerstein.



Jonathan Morton
Wed, 08/13/2008 - 12:59 Permalink

I read your post and pics about the 1948 olympic lacrosse game with much interest. The reason being that my grandad was on the england team. Whilst i have several pictures, letters etc relating to this event i dont have copies of the ones you posted

Fri, 08/22/2008 - 18:49 Permalink

It's so cool that you have a connection to that event! I wonder if there is any chance of a USA - England rematch for the 2012 London Olympics?!

Nancy Myers Hopkins
Sun, 10/05/2008 - 13:05 Permalink

Thank you for the pictures of the 1948 lacrosse team. My brother, J Alan Myers was on the R.P.I. team.
He has since passed away, but it was definitely one of the highlights of his life.

Shelley Myers Lipinski
Sat, 10/18/2008 - 00:42 Permalink

My Dad was J Alan Myers who scored the last goal to keep RPI undefeated. I have a wonderful scapbook my Dad kept of all the events. THANK YOU so much for remembering my DAD! I also have the ball which I cherish. Thanks for keeping these memories alive. I love you Dad even though you have passed on.

Shelley Myers Lipinski

Peter Church
Thu, 02/05/2009 - 01:18 Permalink

that is incredible to hear of all these relatives of players on the RPI and even the English team. My grandfather was on the team that played in London in '48; his name was Ralph J Sneeden. He passed ten years ago, but its great to know that they are remembered for such a great event. The game has changed so much since then, and people still have trouble believing that there was even any sort of game at any Olympics for Lacrosse. To those others whose relatives were on the team, I know it was a point of pride with my grandfather. Cheers.

Thu, 02/05/2009 - 11:12 Permalink

Peter, thanks for adding information about your grandfather. If you want to order photographs of this lacrosse team, you can follow this link to our image database: http://archives-2.lib.rpi.edu/InmagicGenie/opac.aspx

Use the search term "lacrosse" in the Any Word box. In the results list there is an Add to Cart link where you can request the image. The images are only available in digital files. We cannot provide prints.

Chris Potter
Tue, 12/28/2010 - 14:48 Permalink

My Grandfather, (Bill Coleman) who's 86 and still plays lacrosse with me and tosses the ball around was on this team and he's told me some great and funny stories about the experience. One including there being only one bath tub for the entire team to use after a game and him and another player realizing this and them racing back to the locker room after the game so they could be the first ones to use it. Another was when they played a game and the RPI players and Coach Harkness could hear people yelling "Go Owen!" whenever the British team was about to attack. Coach Harkness was livid and kept yelling at the players "Who's covering Owen!?? Who the hell's got Owen??" Turned out that there wasn't a player on the British team named Owen, it was the area where the team was from. The entire team was Owen! I'm very proud of my grandfather and feel lucky to hear his stories of playing on this incredible team. He still has the stick he used too. I don't quite know how they played with those battle axes, all the more impressive.

In reply to by egglel

Mon, 01/03/2011 - 12:04 Permalink

Great story! Thanks for sharing it. We have a couple of the old sticks in our collection.

In reply to by egglel

Matt Hamilton
Mon, 08/22/2016 - 12:52 Permalink

Hello Chris,

My name is Matt Hamilton and I'm a staff writer at US Lacrosse. I'm trying to put together a piece about the 1948 game in London and I was wondering if you'd like to speak with me about the stories your grandfather shared with you. Feel free to shoot me an email if you're interested. mhamilton@uslacrosse.org

Thank you,

Matt Hamilton

Chris Dennis
Tue, 02/15/2011 - 16:12 Permalink

My father A. L. Dennis played in the game. We still have some memorabilia from the game including the dinner menu signed by all the players and a competitors medal.

Steven McCann
Wed, 03/30/2011 - 22:06 Permalink

Thank You for remembering the undefeated 1948 lacrosse team."Bud" Charles McCann was my Father.I still have His wooden sticks,Jersey,and Bronze metal they recieved in England.We had no pictures and we are truly gratefull to have this wonderfull way of remembering him!

Jerome "Jerry" Pollock
Mon, 01/01/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

I remember talking to Damon Jordan in our home in Tarrytown, N.Y. The name Bill Colman is very familiar to me but I don't know if I ever met him. If Bill was in Delta Tau Delta fraternity, I probably did. My brother, H. Donald Pollock, made the trip to London with the team. Don had something to do with raising money to help send the team to England. Don was in Delta Tau Delta and some of the fraternity brothers visited my parent's home from time to time.
I also met Art Beard, but I don't remember the circumstances.
I later became a "Delt" & graduated from RPI in 1955.

Eric Bateman
Tue, 08/25/2015 - 14:49 Permalink

I get obituaries from Obitmessenger of people that have the word Olympics in their obituary and I just read the obituary of Martin Davis who was the captain of the US team in the 1948 Olympics Lacrosse game. It says they got first place - did both teams get first place since they tied? I then did a google search on the 1948 Olympics Lacrosse and came across this website.

Here is the link to the obituary.

<a href="http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesunion-albany/obituary.aspx?n=mart…; rel="nofollow">Martin Davis Obituary</a>

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