In 1911, on the Harvard University baseball pitch twenty-two year old undergraduate Joseph P. Kennedy (pictured) was taught a humiliating but necessary lesson in the rules of responsibility, fidelity and honesty that framed the public service duties of the Kennedy family throughout the twentieth century.
Joe Kennedy denied his "H"He had failed to even get himself picked to ride the bench for a single game during his senior year. And so he was forced to resort to cheating in order to gain his coveted letter in varsity baseball.
He begged his father Pat Kennedy to forcefully exert his influential position as an East Boston boss. Wardheelers paid a visit to his son's sworn enemy, the pitcher and captain of the team Charles B. "Chick" McLaughlin. Chick planned to open a movie theatre after graduation, but he was advised that he would only be granted a city license if he put Joe into the team for the final game against Yale.
In the ninth inning, and with the home team leading "Navy" four to one, he suddenly asked his coach to put Kennedy in for the final play. But the coach insisted on observing the tradition which dictated that McLaughlin as captain should get the winning ball. It was a seminal lesson in sportsmanship that in a democracy of talent, some things just cannot be bought at any price.