NORTHPORT, New York, October 9
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Upon graduating from Northport High School in 1938, Robert Howard “Bob” Chipman – a baseball and basketball star for the Tigers – like many graduates, ventured into a new world. However, unlike most, the world Chipman stepped into wasn’t college; it was semi-professional baseball.
Eventually, Chipman – perhaps better known by his nickname, “Mr. Chips” – made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers after the organization purchased his contract in 1941.
On Sept. 28 of that year, Chipman, at the time just 22 years old, made his debut on the mound for the Dodgers; he gave up three hits while striking out three others over five innings without giving up a run. Brooklyn defeated Philadelphia 5-1.
As it turned out, winning in the major leagues was something Chipman would get used to. Over his 12-season career with three different organizations – he also played for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Braves – the lefty posted a record of 51-46 with a career ERA of 3.72.
In 1945, with the Cubs, Chipman pitched in the World Series when he came on in relief for Chicago against the Detroit Tigers in the sixth inning of game five. The Cubs would eventually lose the series in seven games – the last time the organization made it to the World Series.
Following four more seasons with Chicago, Chipman was acquired by what was then the Boston Braves. From ’50-’52, Chipman won 12 games with Boston while posting a career best ERA of 2.81 in the ’52 season – his last as a professional baseball player.
Chipman died in 1973 from cancer at the age of 55 while in Huntington. In 2006 he was inducted into the Suffolk County Sports Hall Of Fame. On Sept. 20, the Northport-East Northport School District revealed its Athletic Hall Of Fame, which Chipman was named to as a part of its inaugural class.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Record
(Thursday, October 9, 2014; A24)