May 08, 1997
University Gazette


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  Harvard Dedicates New O'Donnell Baseball Field

In a ceremony preceding last Sunday's doubleheader against Dartmouth College, Harvard honored Joe O'Donnell '67, a former baseball and football standout and longtime supporter of the College, by dedicating its baseball field as O'Donnell Field.

Two years ago, O'Donnell endowed the Harvard baseball program with a gift of $2.5 million. He is a native of Everett, Mass., and a 1962 graduate of Malden Catholic High School, where he was All-State in football and baseball, a member of the track and basketball teams, president of his class, and a member of the honor society. As a member of Harvard's baseball team, O'Donnell won the Wingate Award and earned All-Ivy and All-East honors. In football, he lettered for the Crimson's 1966 Ivy Championship squad.

Following graduation from Harvard, he coached baseball and went to the Harvard Business School, where he started an on-campus student housing service. He joined the Business School administration after earning his M.B.A. in 1971. He then worked in the M.B.A. program as associate dean of students and later ran the School's education programs. In 1976, O'Donnell left the Business School to join a small Boston-area food service company. A year later, he bought the business. Today, Boston Concessions Group Inc. supplies and operates food service concessions in approximately 30 states.

O'Donnell and his wife, Kathy, reside in Belmont, with their two daughters, Kate and Casey. The O'Donnell's son, Joey, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, died in 1986 at the age of 12. Soon afterwards, they established The Joey Fund to support research in cystic fibrosis. O'Donnell is a trustee of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which in 1994 awarded him its highest honor, the Breath of Life award, for his activities on behalf of the foundation.

Prior to Sunday, Harvard's field was known simply as Soldiers Field. Harvard baseball has played its games there since 1898 when it moved from Holmes Field. Interestingly, the team's first official game on Soldiers Field was also played against Dartmouth, on April 27 of that year, a 13-7 Crimson victory. In its earlier days, Harvard baseball had called Cambridge Common, Boston Common, the Delta, and Jarvis Field home.

The celebration ceremony on Sunday included the dedication of a granite stone near the right field fence in honor of the O'Donnell family.

Harvard took the doubleheader, 18-3 and 7-6.


Copyright 1998 President and Fellows of Harvard College