Thursday, October 1, 2015

Boston College Eagles (1957)

As mentioned in an earlier post, Boston College was unceremoniously dumped from Fenway Park by Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey after the 1956 season because the football players were tearing up Fenway's green grass. (Of course, Yawkey later allowed the Boston Patriots to play at Fenway in the 1960s, but that's an issue for another time.)

This left the Eagles without a stadium, and rumors of the program's demise swirled. But instead of complaining (or asking taxpayers for help), the BC fathers rolled up their sleeves and raised $350,000 toward the construction of Alumni Stadium, which was built in time for the 1957 season opener. (And I was amazed at how quickly a Dollar General can be erected.) The stadium seated 26,000 fans and bore little resemblance to the current 44,500-seat gem.

You can read more about the stadium's history here.

Alumni Stadium opens for business in 1957.
It doesn't bear much semblance to the current facility.
Note the classic red scoreboard in the far end zone.

Alas, the only thing that went wrong was the opening game, a 46-6 loss to Navy. The Eagles recovered and finished 7-2, but somehow, wins over future college football graveyard members Boston U., Detroit, Marquette and Quantico Marines (?!) were not enough to warrant bowl consideration.

The '57 Eagles take the field. The caption is a reference to
a loss to Holy Cross that day.

By 1957, the BC uniforms had discarded the clear face masks, which were a big deal for a couple years in the mid-50s, for gray metal and/or white plastic bars. Plastic helmet shells made their return after an absence of a few years, too.

Once again, most of the info here is culled from Reid Oslin's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious book, Boston College Football Vault. Just buy a copy already.

BC takes on BU in '57.
This is a rivalry better suited for hockey than football.

Craving some more BC unis? Look right here: 

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