1994 – Fred Rogers
Francis Folsom Baker, Jr. ‘36 writing to John B. Hatfield ‘36 on Feb. 2, 1994:
“I may have told you that the idea of the goalie face mask was his [Al Prettyman’s], and he asked me to work with him to try to develop a mask in 1934. We had no moldable material such as acrylic, and the attempts to modify a baseball face mask were not successful.
“In the summer of 1935, he and his wife were visiting my mother and me at our camp in the Adirondacks—we were alone one sunny Sunday—and he asked what I thought about a defensive zone for the goalie. I fully agreed, and he asked how large it should be, I laid out the dimensions, and the goalie crease was born.”
The reason Al Prettyman regularly visited the Baker family’s Adirondack camp—where he and Fran first theorized the development of a “goalie face mask” (decades before its wide adoption), as well as the creation of a sacrosanct “goalie crease”—was that Al was a father figure for Fran, whose own father, Francis F. Baker (Hamilton ‘00), had died when Fran was five years old. I daresay Al enjoyed no closer relationship with a Hamilton skater than with Fran Baker.
– Fred Rogers