Ralph LaPointe
Ralph LaPointe
Organization: University of Vermont
Year: 1978 Inductee

An outstanding athlete whose undergraduate playing days at the University of Vermont were interrupted by World War II, Lapointe went on to become one of the region's top baseball coaches at his alma mater.

Lapointe took over as the Vermont baseball coach in 1952. He went on to become one of the most successful coaches in the county enjoying 16 straight winning years. His Catamounts went 216-127 (.630) in his tenure and he sent nearly a dozen players on to professional ball. Also while at UVM, he served on the football and basketball coaching staffs as an assistant and as the freshmen team coach.

Lapointe dusted off the cleats and returned to the field in the summer of 1955 as the playing manager of the new Burlington Athletics of the Class C Provincial League at Centennial Field.

Lapointe led UVM to perhaps its best season in history in 1956 as the Catamounts earned their first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. Vermont won its first Yankee Conference title in 1962 and returned to the NCAAs coming one game from reaching the College World Series. In his final season, 1967, Lapointe was named NCAA Region I Coach of the Year.

The baseball clubhouse at Centennial Field was named the Ralph Lapointe Fieldhouse in his honor in November 1967.

In 1999, Sports Illustrated selected Lapointe as one of the Top 50 Vermont athletes of the 20th Century ranking 36th among the Top 50 Vermonters. He was inducted into the Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame in 1969.