Robert F. Stickel
Robert F. Stickel
Class: Class of 1943
Sport: Ice Hockey, Baseball
Enshrined: Inducted October 21, 2000

Bob was an outstanding multi-sport athlete of his day, excelling in both baseball and ice hockey.  He played baseball from freshman through junior year, and was an all-state first team shortstop all three seasons.  As a freshman, he won the starting job at short for the Green Mountain Conference championship team of 1939-40, joining Hall of Famers John 'Pro' Herbert ‘40, Jules Pequignot ‘42, and Luke Steffens ‘40.  He was third on the team in hitting that season, batting .326 with a team-high 10 rbi's.  He continued to tear it up at the plate, hitting .349 as a sophomore, and .362 as a junior.  He played professionally for Pinky Ryan's Newport Frontiers in the old Twin-State League in the summers, and also played for the high-powered Claremont Pilots of the great old Northern League.

As talented as he was on the diamond, he was probably a better hockey player!  Coming out of Boston College High School, he was invited to try out for the Boston Bruins a few weeks before entering SMC.  He passed on a minor league contract, feeling that his education was more important.  He played hockey all four years at SMC, serving as team captain as a sophomore, and then, in a move that made several New England newspapers, was named player/coach for his junior and senior years!  The team had winning records in three of his four years (including both of the years he coached), and beat UVM three out of four times!  Despite being a defenseman for the first three years of his career, he led the team in scoring all four seasons, finishing with career totals of 51 goals and 34 assists for 85 points.

Before he could return to the Purple Knight baseball team for what certainly would have been a standout senior season, he graduated early (February, 1943) so that he could join the Air Force and fight in World War II.  He became a waist gunner (in the turret located at the belly of the airplane) on a 10-man B-17 Superfortress, and made 31 successful bombing runs over Europe.  On the 32rd mission, August 18, 1944, his bomber was shot down over France, and he parachuted safely behind enemy lines.  For more than a month, he worked his way back to the Allied Forces side of the war through the French Underground.  Once back with US forces, he was decorated, discharged stateside, and spent several months in a military hospital healing from the wounds of his ordeal.  According to family members, there is a book being written that involves his story, and he is honored on a memorial statue (located in France) that pays tribute to the efforts of the French Underground.

After the War, Stickel built a successful sales career as a manager with Montgomery Ward, and he and his family lived in several locations around the country.

He passed away in 1984.