The Obit For Tony Lupien

Tony Lupien

Dartmouth Baseball on July 11, 2004

NORWICH, VT. — Ulysses J. (Tony) Lupien, Jr., 87, a major league baseball player in the 1940s and baseball coach at Dartmouth College from 1957-77, died Friday, July 9 at his home. A resident of Norwich since 1963, Mr. Lupien had been in declining health in recent years.

Mr. Lupien was recognized for decades as a great teacher and mentor. He was also an outspoken observer of labor relations in professional baseball. In 1980 he collaborated with writer Lee Lowenfish to author The Imperfect Diamond, a book that remains a definitive text on baseball labor from the introduction of the reserve clause in 1879 to the litigation in the 1970s that led to free agency.

A first baseman, he played with the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. He then was a minor league player-manager into the early 1950s before becoming a college coach.

Mr. Lupien was born in Chelmsford, Mass., on April 23, 1917, a son of Ulysses and Eugenie (Gosselin) Lupien. He grew up in Manchester, Conn., graduated from Loomis School in Windsor, Conn., in 1935 and from Harvard University in 1939.

At Harvard, he was captain of the baseball team as a junior and of the basketball team as a senior. He was the Eastern Intercollegiate League batting champion in 1938 and 1939. He also quarterbacked his freshman football team at Harvard.

Upon graduation from Harvard, Mr. Lupien signed a professional baseball contract with the Red Sox and played the 1939 season with Scranton's Eastern League championship team.

Until Lupien arrived in Scranton, his nickname was "Lupe." He played in a Scranton infield with three Italians named Tony. That's when the first baseman of French descent became "Tony."

He then played with Little Rock (Southern Association) and Louisville (American Association) in 1940 and 1941.

He also played 10 games with the Red Sox in 1940 and became Boston's regular first baseman in 1942 and 1943. He was traded to the Phillies where he played in 1944 and early in 1945 before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In 1946-47, he played with the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League. In 1947 he was the PCL's most valuable player as he led the league in hits (237) and runs scored (147) and had a batting average of .341.

He completed his major league career in 1948 with the White Sox. He had a major league career batting average of .268 and a .993 fielding average.

Mr. Lupien played with Toledo (American Association) in 1949. He concluded his professional career from 1951-53 and in 1955 when he was a player as well as field and general manager with Jamestown and Corning, N.Y., in the PONY League.

From 1951-56 he was head basketball coach at Middlebury College, compiling a record of 60-49 in five seasons.

In 1956, Mr. Lupien was hired by Dartmouth's athletic director, Red Rolfe (the former major league player and manager), to be Dartmouth's baseball coach. He was also Dartmouth's freshman basketball coach from 1956-68.

During 21 seasons as Dartmouth's baseball coach, Mr. Lupien guided his teams to 313 wins, 305 losses and three ties. His teams won the Eastern Intercollegiate League championship four times (1963, 1967, 1969, 1970).

Dartmouth's 1970 team also won the NCAA District One (New England) championship and finished fifth in the College World Series at Omaha, Neb. That team had a 24-10 record that included a 21-game win streak.

Four of his players at Dartmouth—pitchers Art Quirk, Chuck Seelbach, Pete Broberg and Jim Beattie—went on to the major leagues. Beattie has also been a major league executive for two decades and currently is general manager of the Baltimore Orioles.

Mr. Lupien retired from coaching in 1977 but continued to work for many years as a stockbroker with various firms in New England.

A communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Chapel in Norwich, which he helped to establish in the 1960s, he was a member of the Lyman Pell Post, American Legion, in Norwich; Hartford (Vt.) Lodge of Elks, and the Society of American Baseball Research.

Mr. Lupien was married in 1939 to Natalie Nichols who died in 1953. In 1954, he married Mildred Robinson of Springfield, Vt.

In addition to his wife, survivors include five daughters: Diana Belcher of Naples, Fla., Judith Enright and her husband Vincent of New Providence, N.J., Carol Cena of West Newbury, Mass., Elizabeth Lupien and her husband Stephen Sewell of St. Paul, Minn., and Suzanne Lupien of Cornish Flat, N.H., and 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by three brothers: Frank, Albert and Theodore.

Calling hours are Tuesday, July 13, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Knight Funeral Home in White River Junction. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Denis Church in Hanover, N.H. Wednesday, July 14 at 12 noon. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery in Norwich, Vt.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Upper Valley, 46 South Main St., White River Junction, Vt. 05001; Kurn Hattin Homes, PO Box 127, Westminster, Vt. 05158, or to David's House, PO Box 660, Lebanon, N.H. 03766.