Cardinal & Gold – History – Calvert Hall Football

In the Baltimore Sun October 28, 1973 paper, Mr. Buettner writes, “Up until 1920, football was considered too rough for the boys at Calvert Hall and the faculty was against it. But we held a secret meeting in the washroom and decided to field a team….” For the next forty years, Hallmen would board buses from Cathedral and Mulberry to practice at Walbrook Junction, Clifton Oval, and Herring Run Park until the new school opened in 1960. Cardinal football can be traced back to 1899 with the December 1, 1899, Sun article which shows The Hall winning 6-0 and again November 28, 1904, Sun article which shows the “Loyola second team defeated Calvert Hall 16-0.

Loyola Game Sites
There have been eight-game sites of the Thanksgiving game against Loyola. The first one was played at 3500 Clifton Ave and Chelsea Terrace, the current site of Walbrook High School. That game ended (0-0) and was called on account of darkness with three minutes left. Walbrook Oval was a gift by Patrick Flanagan who bought the field for Calvert Hall so that our teams could have a field to play on. Neither Calvert Hall nor Loyola had a field to play on in those days, and the intense rivalry between the two has developed because of the proximity to each other in the 1920s and 1930s. Loyola was on Calvert Street, just a half mile away from The Hall at Cathedral and Mulberry. Ha! Loyola was on Calvert Street, the site of the current Center Stage Theater and the school of St. Ignatius. Other cites for “The Game” included Evergreen (Loyola College) in 1921, Gibbons Field Mt St. Joseph High School and Homewood Field of The Johns Hopkins University. Between 1944-1954, the game was played at Old Oriole Park on Barclay and 29th Street until it burned down. Then, the game moved to Municipal Stadium which became called Memorial Stadium in 1954. In 1993, the game was played for the first time at Towson University because a filming contract prevented the use of Memorial Stadium. The Baltimore Ravens opened play at M&T Bank Stadium in 1999, and the Loyola game has been played there each year except 2011, when it was played for a second time at Towson University. The Ravens were playing the 49ers at home on Thanksgiving night which prevented the Turkey Bowl from being played there. The Ravens won the game, and the Harbaugh brothers were the first set of brothers to ever coach against each other. John coached the Ravens and Jim Harbaugh the 49ers. Towson University hosted the game in 2011, 2013, 2017, and 2018.

Loyola Game Dates
Just as you probably thought that we always played at Memorial Stadium before moving to Ravens’ Stadium, you may have thought that we always played Loyola on Thanksgiving Day. There have been fifteen other dates other than Thanksgiving, all of which occurred prior to the 1950s. In the early 1920s, we played Loyola first (what a letdown!). One year, the game was played on December 1st. In 1925, we played Mt. St. Joe on Thanksgiving. Since we played Loyola in some years as the first game, obviously we played someone else on Thanksgiving.

Several individuals deserve mention throughout the 95 years of football history at Calvert Hall. John Sanborne came to Calvert Hall in 1950 and was the school trainer, equipment manager and bus driver until his death in February 1987. For thirty eight years, athletes would receive their aspirin or all tears, cramps and breaks and be told to walk it off. John would always yell about misbehaving on the team bus but he held a dear place in the hearts of thousands of athletes who visited his trainer room.

Brother Andrew Donoto (Little Andy) came to Calvert Hall in 1947 as the Athletic Director and held that position until poor health forced him to retire in the 1970s. Brother would call you “child of God” first before he issued his voice of discipline.