‘Arrrrgh’ 1931 baseball team plays like Pirates, birth university mascot
Pirates are notoriously known as thieves of the sea, but the Seton Hall pirate also makes its mark in the South Orange community.
Throughout town, the Pirate logo is on store and restaurant front windows.
Then there are cars which display pirate bumper stickers.
The pirate mascot also makes appearances at sporting and school events.
Alan Delozier, Seton Hall University archivist, said Seton Hall earned their pirate mascot in 1931, but prior to this, Seton Hall University sports teams did not have an official mascot. Instead, they were called the villagers after South Orange or blue and white.
“In brief, the pirate mascot was adopted in 1931 in response to a local news story that appeared under the byline of a Worcester, Massachusetts sports writer who noted that Seton Hall baseball team played like a gang of ‘Pirates’ in a baseball contest against Holy Cross College that season,” Delozier said.
They were called pirates by the writer to emphasize their aggressive and questionable win and with time, the pirate logo and mascot have changed.
Delozier said that there were brief and subtle attempts to change the pirate mascot to a kerry blue color in the late 1930s. At the time a dog was thought to be a less ferocious mascot for a Catholic University.
Delozier said there was no pressure from church officials to change the pirate mascot name.
In the 1970s through the 1980s, pirate sports teams were called the buccaneers in conversations and occasionally in print and the current pirate logo came about in 1999, Delozier added.
The pirate mascot has helped to create a brand that is recognized in the collegiate sports world.
Seton Hall’s 13 sports teams are all identified as pirates at all of their events.
There is a large bronze statue in front of the Richie Regan Athletic and Recreation Center. There is also a pirate emblem in the center of the basketball court in the Walsh gym.
The pirate logo is on school apparel and sports team gear.
The pirate mascot is not only have special meaning for student athletes, but for the entire student body and alumni of SHU.
Wherever students end up in life, they will always be pirates with their pirate pride close by.
Margarita Williamson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.