William Clarence Matthews, a member of the Class of 1905 at Harvard University, has been chosen for induction into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Matthews attended Tuskegee Institute and Phillips Andover Academy, where he was the only African American in his class of 97 students. He walked on to the Harvard University baseball team in 1902 and led the team in batting for three straight seasons. In 1905, he batted .400 and stole 22 bases. During Matthews’ years at Harvard, the varsity baseball team had a record of 75 wins against only 18 losses.
After graduation in 1905, Matthews joined the a professional team in Burlington, Vermont. At the time, he was the only African American in the nation playing professional baseball in a predominantly White league.
Matthews went on to enroll in the Boston University School of Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1908. He died in 1928 at the age of 51 from a perforated ulcer while serving as an assistant attorney general in the administration of President Calvin Coolidge.
The Ivy League baseball championship trophy is named in his honor.