First, this is NOT a Kansan of the Great War Era.  I am inspired by Jim Patton’s post on the Chicago Blackhawks, and am hoping I’m not stealing one of his ideas.  But it is hockey and World War I related.  Those who read this will have to forgive a Pittsburgh Penguins fan who believes the words of the late Badger Bob Johnston that “It’s a great day for hockey.”

Hobart Baker

Hobart “Hobey” Baker is remembered for his skill as a hockey player in the early twentieth century, playing the Princeton Tigers team between 1911 and 1914, and playing on two teams that were national champions.  He would go on to serve in World War I in the United States Army Air Service, serving with the 103rd and 13th Aero Squadrons.  With three confirmed kills, he was promoted to captain of the 141st Aero Squadron.

Tragically, Baker was killed in a plane crash on December 21, 1918, just before he was scheduled to be sent home. He was 26.

Baker is remembered to this day, as you hockey and sports fan at least may know.  Since 1981 the Hobey Baker Award is given to the best hockey player at an American college or university.  It is the hockey equivalent of college football’s Heisman Trophy.

For the curious, there’s plenty of information about Baker online.


Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.