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Wolffs on the Diamond

May-June 2006

Father-son parallels aren’t rare, but Rick Wolff ’73 and John Wolff ’06 have followed the same course into professional baseball with remarkable precision. Both are infielders and neither logged much playing time on the Crimson varsity, but pro scouts noticed both of them playing summers in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League (ACBL). Both were drafted by major-league teams—Rick by the Detroit Tigers and John by the Chicago White Sox—and signed contracts after their junior years. As last-semester seniors, both left college to go to spring training and pursue their baseball dreams. “The parallels are extraordinary,” says Rick Wolff. “I couldn’t be more thrilled for John. He’s worked his fanny off.”

There are a few differences. Rick bats right, John left, and at six feet, one inch, and 185 pounds, John is a bit bigger than his father, who played two years of A-level baseball in South Carolina and Iowa. As a minor leaguer, Rick kept a diary that became his first book, What’s a Nice Harvard Boy Like You Doing in the Bushes? He has written more than a dozen others since, about half on sports, and is now an executive editor and vice president at Warner Books. John has been a WHRB play-by-play announcer for Harvard ice hockey, and last summer was named to the ACBL All-Star team. On the diamond, father and son possess similar tools: good hitting, good speed, and good hands. Anybody surprised?

~Craig Lambert