Al DeJardin

The Straw That Stirs the Drink

The 1961-62 basketball team was 10-11 but we will long remember how we beat Navy in the Field House. Stew Sherard had fouled out and the straw that stirred the drink for the Army offense, Al DeJardin, had also been disqualified. No matter. One of the five players we had on the floor was Bob Loupe — can anyone name the others? — and his famous scoop shot in the last few seconds was all we needed. Absolutely unforgettable. Navy did have one more chance, but I think they threw the ball away.

The list of basketball lettermen includes Larry Crane (1960 and 1962 — we would like Larry to tell us about 1961), Al DeJardin (1960 and 1962 — same question), Bob Loupe (1962), and Stew (1960, 1961, and 1962).

Another 2 Sport Man

In scrutinizing the on-line baseball archives, I found no mention of any member of the USMA Class of 1962 or any of the three teams to which that Class contributed other than the list of lettermen: Crane, LT; DeJardin, AR; Eccleston, TF; Fox, RM; Lilley, RJ; McRae, WD; Schmidt, JL

(Photo from Col Red Reeder’s Book – Pointers on Athletes)

Al, if memory serves, played a steady shortstop for Army and earned at least one major A for his service.

Plebe year: received class numerals for corps squad plebe teams in baseball and basketball

Received 6 “Major A” letters during the 3 years of eligibility as shown below:

Yearling year: received a “Major A” in baseball and basketball

Cow year: received a “Major A” in baseball and basketball

Firstie year: received a “Major A” in baseball and basketball (received a gold star on the “A” for beating Navy in basketball)

In April 1963 played in the Pan American Games as a member of the USA Baseball Team. The games were played in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The other teams were Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil. Was the starting shortstop and played every inning of all games. We played Cuba in the gold medal game and lost 3-1. We received the “silver medal). The Cuban team had a number of players that had played in our “Major Leagues” but were kept in Cuba once Castro became the leader of Cuba.

Baseball highlights: Playing in Ebbetts Field (Home of the Brooklyn Dodgers) in 1956 and 1957 for the Catholic High School Championship. Won in 1957. Winning the Eastern league title Yearling year, Being selected Captain of the baseball team after the 1961 season, Being selected All Eastern League 2nd team SS Firstie year. Playing in the 1963 Pan American Games for the USA baseball team and receiving the silver medal for a second place finish..

Basketball highlights: Playing against Ohio State @ Ohio State when they were rated #1 in the country, Playing UCLA, West Virginia and U of Washington in a Christmas tournament in Los Angeles, Beating Boston College @ West Point, playing in Madison Square Garden in the NIT and last but certainly not least, the exciting victory over Navy Firstie year with Bob Loupe scoring the winning basket as time was running out.

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