James Aloysius Dunne '98
Year Inducted: 1977
James Aloysius Dunne '98 was said to have had the strongest throwing arm of any college catcher of his era. One day, after Penn had loaded the bases with no outs, Dunne proceeded to retire the side by picking off all three runners. It was said that when a Brown pitcher would be having trouble, Dunne would sprint to the mound and tell him: "Don't worry if they get men on base, I'll pick them off for you." Never a robust hitter, Jim Dunne's strength was behind the plate, where the 5-7, 140-pounder had great agility, quickness, and the ability to get the most out of his pitchers. Dunne was the starting catcher for four successive seasons, starting in 1894. The 1896 Brown team had a 20-3 record against collegiate competition, including three victories over Yale and a 31-3 thrashing of Dartmouth. At the end of the season, Brown was invited to play the University of Chicago, the Western champ, for the national title. After losing the opener of the best-of-three series, 1-0, the Bears took the next two games, 13-3 and 6-5. But national titles weren't new to Jim Dunne. In 1890, when he was 16, Dunne won the national handball championship. In that year, and again in 1895-96-97, he toured Europe, defeating all of the great European handball players. In 1904 Dunne claimed the world title after defeating Michael Egan, then known as "champion of champions," and also Oliver Drew, the Irish champion. While at Brown, Dunne invited James J. Corbett, then heavyweight boxing champion of the world, to meet him on the handball court at Lyman Gym. Corbett took the count that day. A member of the Class of 1904 at Brooklyn Law School (Dunne had passed up a chance to sign with the Brooklyn Nationals to enter law school), Jim Dunne became a justice of the Supreme Court of New York State. A popular after dinner speaker, he was also known for his humor and his humaneness on the bench. He died of a heart attack on Dec. 24, 1938 at age 64.