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Viatorians Reflect on Legacy with the Chicago Cubs

October 27, 2016

During the Chicago Cubs’ historic return to the World Series, the Viatorian Community has dalrymple_1927-06-29_cropdiscovered its long lost connection to the team, in the form of Jimmy Dalrymple, who was drafted by the Cubs in 1927.

Dalrymple was a standout athlete — in football, basketball and baseball — at St. Viator College, where he graduated in 1927. During his senior year, Dalrymple played shortstop and helped lead his team to the championship of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, or the “Little Nineteen.”

According to the newspaper from the St. Viator College, The Viatorian, Dalyrmple was considered to be “one of the finest athletes in the history of the school.”

Jimmy Dalrymple, in first row far left, with the 1927 conference champs

Jimmy Dalrymple, in first row far left, with the 1927 conference champs

Dalrymple reported to the Cubs’ minor league franchise in Reading, PA, before playing in Baltimore and ultimately making it to the big leagues in the early 1930s, newspaper accounts at the time report. However, once he made it to the Cubs, he failed to get any playing time and left the game.

Still, the name of James Dalrymple resonates in Viatorian circles, and not just because of

St. Viator College Loyalty Song, circa 1925

St. Viator College Loyalty Song, circa 1925

his athletic abilities. It was Dalrymple and his classmate, John Ryan, who composed the lyrics for St. Viator College’s first “Loyalty Song” — back in 1925 — while their friend, Leslie Roch, arranged the music.

That same Loyalty Song, written during the Roaring ’20s, and published before the start of the Great Depression, is the one that Viatorians brought to their new school, Saint Viator High School, when it opened in 1961.

More than 90 years later, students still sing the “fight song,” and a framed copy of the original sheet music, bearing Dalrymple’s name, hangs in the school’s band room.