PAW, April 13, 1951: Pitchers, from left, Dave Sisler ’53, Harry Brightman ’52, Frank Reichel ’51, and Ray Chirurgi ’52

In 1951, Princeton’s baseball team was one of eight teams nationally to go to the College World Series — a “once in Princeton’s lifetime” event! The selection was not easy. The selection committee could not believe a Princeton team was that good so it stalled, waiting past the normal date for naming the NCAA District II representative. Wait one more game, against Lafayette (always strong in baseball) — we won. Then, wait one more game, against Navy — we won that one, and the committee gave in: Princeton would represent District II in Omaha, Neb.

The trip was by train from Grand Central in New York City. We stopped overnight in Chicago and were put up at the Blackstone Hotel. Our sleeping accommodations were in the main ballroom — on cots.  

After losing two games due to careless fielding, despite strong pitching by Ray Chirurgi ’52 and Dave Sisler ’53, we went to dinner at the Spare Time Cafe, famous for its Omaha beef from “corn-fed” cattle. After entering, we lined up in front of the butcher and told him how thick of a cut we wanted!  

After we returned to Princeton, we had to head north to play Dartmouth in order to guarantee winning our third straight Ivy League title. The result was a 6­–0 win and Coach Emerson Dickman’s third championship of his three years coaching at Princeton. The middle year was a tie with Army, but the final win retired a large silver bowl trophy that still may be featured in the Dillon Gym lobby. Put up in 1933, it went permanently to the first Ivy League team to win five championships (1951 made it 5 1 ⁄2 for Princeton).