Shevlin vs. Glidden: A Brooklyn High School Hockey Rivalry

   Across the East River from Lower Manhattan, 1920s Brooklyn area high schools battled to dethrone Jamaica High School from nearly decade long rule in Boy’s ice hockey. Before NHL hockey settled into New York City, Brooklyn’s Public School hockey league experienced a brief revival under Vice-President Gustavus Kirby and Stanley Cup winning transplant from Winnipeg, Tom Howard.

   In the reinvigorated league, all top scorers were compared to Hubert, “Hubie” or “Hubey”, Baylis, captain of Jamaica’s 1925-26 team. In his senior season, Baylis scored 13 goals over 7 games. In the opening game, Baylis’ puck kissed the net four times against Boys High School on 17 December 1925. He provided more than a third of Jamaica’s 37 goals that season, which ensured they won the championship and the custom hockey sticks. In the 1927/28 season, two pucksters challenged Baylis’ 1.85 goals per game (gpg) achievement.

   Jamaica entrusted Harold Vincent Shevlin to maintain their hockey dominance. A second generation American of Irish and New York City Police Department (NYCPD) descent, Shevlin grew up in the family home in Jamaica, New York as the eighth child of elven. Shevlin’s hockey start was not as explosive as Baylis. Yet, Shevlin maintained consistency. In those first seven games, Shevlin scored 15 goals. Shevlin’s 2.14 gpg average outpaced Baylis. Shevlin eventually scored a four goal game which pushed him into the top scoring position. But, a rival puckster from Manual High School jostled with Shevlin for that position.

   Elwyn Augustus Glidden proved to be an excellent opponent to Shevlin. In the midst of the duel, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle provided insight into Glidden’s athletic talent.  Glidden transferred to Manual High School from Melrose, Massachusetts. Melrose High School players regularly made top marks in the tough Boston area high school league. Additionally, early American hockey pedigree, like Robert Paisley, and Clarence and Percy Wanamaker, learned the game on Melrose’s ice. Glidden’s four goal game came in the fifth against Franklin Lane. At the end of seven games, Glidden tallied 13 goals with a 1.85 gpg average. However, three games remained in the regular season.

At the end of six games, Glidden led the goal race by one, 12 to 11. After seven, Shevlin pushed forward to lead, 15 to 13. Suddenly, Shevlin’s scoring streak halted with just one goal in the final three games. Glidden maintained a steady pace with three goals in his final three games. At the end of the ten-game season, both tied with 16 goals apiece. Additionally, they fell short of Baylis’ 1.85 gpg with a 1.6 gpg. However, Jamaica advanced to the playoffs. Despite Glidden’s skill, Manual fell to a distant third behind Erasmus Hall. In the playoffs, Shevlin scored one goal in two games leaving the final tally 17 to 16.

  After their great exhibition on ice, they lived normal, unassuming lives. Glidden graduated from Manual the next year but did not play hockey. He bounced around the country until landing in Washington D.C. During WWII, Glidden worked for the Federal Works Progress Administration, the War Production Board, and the War Assets Administration. In 1947, he became an early employee of the Central Intelligence Agency. He died suddenly on assignment in Tokyo, Japan on 21 December 1948. Shevlin stayed true to family roots in Jamaica. He attended Ohio State University after graduating high school. He returned to join the NYCPD, 112th Precinct, Queens. Shevlin passed away in 1977. Just normal people doing extraordinary things.

Interlude: Hobey Baker – American Football, Hockey, and War Hero

In a bit of controversy, superstition, and ill-advised actions, Hobart “Hobey” Baker joined the ranks of America’s fallen.  On Dec 21, 1918, Baker launched in a newly repaired Spad for a flight test. The Spad wasn’t his normal plane. He received demobilization orders, and this was his final evening with squadron. He was going out “for one final ride.” With all the hallmarks tragedy in place, Baker died from injuries sustained from the plane crash.

Long before Hobey graced the skies over France, he was Princeton’s football and hockey star. Here is an excerpt from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle on January 23, 1911:

Columbia, under Tom Howard, loses to Princeton with Hobey Baker in his freshman yearColumbia, under Tom Howard, loses to Princeton with Hobey Baker in his freshman year Tue, Jan 23, 1912 – Page 15 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) ·

This was Hobey’s freshman year at Princeton. It was also Tom “Attie” Howard’s first year of coaching at Columbia. After college, Hobey played for the St. Nick’s Athletic Club in the amateur hockey league. As a result, Hobey and Attie crossed paths many times over the years.

Hobey Baker joining the aviation corps garnered some of the biggest headlines in 1916. Additionally, Hobey moved to Philadelphia and played hockey for the Quaker City club by Dec 1916. Despite all that, the Canadian Club asked Hobey Baker to play for their team in a charity match. Hobey accepted and was the only American on a Canadian rock star team.

Wed, Mar 21, 1917 – Page 20 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) ·

By all accounts, Hobey Baker was the quintessential American sports hero. Furthermore, he became a hero in France earning a Croix de Guerre. Even though he died by his own actions after the war, I’m taking the time remember an American hero. One of many.

1. A Flame that Bured too Brightly: Hobey Baker. Fimrite, Ron. Sports Illustrated. August 20, 2014.