Raymond K. Foley '28 (Basketball, Football, Baseball)
Inducted 1977

Ray Foley was the first Catholic University athlete to earn nine varsity letters (football, baseball and basketball). He was a captain in each sport and played baseball in the Major Leagues.  Renowned Washington Post sports columnist Shirley Povich called him, “an argument in the flesh to prove that many an athlete has blossomed to bloom unseen by All-American experts.”

On the hardwood, Foley, from Naugatuck, Conn., played on one of the finest basketball teams in CUA history. The “Reindeer,” from 1925-28, posted a record of 38-17 (.691). Foley played guard and teamed with fellow 1977 CUA Hall of Fame inductees Jim Carney, John Long and Bill Harvey.

Foley scored 21 points his junior year in a 65-19 thrashing of William & Mary and hit the game-winning shot in a 13-12 victory over CCNY. He and Long tied for the season team high in scoring with 173 points. Foley tallied 22 points in two victories as a senior and was the club’s second-leading scorer with 204 points.

Foley was a starting quarterback for three years (1925-27) and also punted, kicked and returned punts. In 1926, he threw a 40-yard touchdown pass in a 20-7 loss to the Quantico (Va.) Marines. He later matched the feat in a 17-9 victory over George Washington on Thanksgiving Day. He also caught a scoring pass from Harvey in a 14-6 setback at Holy Cross and threw a TD to Long in a 1927 12-0 victory at William & Mary. The latter game was the first night football game in the East.

In his final game, Foley caught a 2-yard TD pass and rushed for a score in another Thanksgiving Day triumph over GW, 27-21. The Homecoming contest, played before 15,000 at CUA’s Brookland Stadium, was the largest home crowd of the year. For the victory, the school received a silver cup from a local jeweler.

On the diamond, Foley played center field and shortstop and pitched occasionally. He served as captain in 1928. He went 2-for-6 in a 9-7 loss to Wake Forest in 1926 and was described thusly by the CUA student newspaper, The Tower: “Foley, with three circus catches and a couple of bullet-like pegs that kept runners from advancing, was particularly impressive.”

Later that year, in a 16-11 victory over Virginia Tech, Foley was 3-for-4 with a triple, two stolen bases and four runs. He went 4-for-5 in a 13-2 win at Army, scored three times and led the 1926 squad in batting (.377, 23-for-61).

Foley’s two-run double in the eighth inning powered the Cards to a 3-1 triumph at VMI. He was 3-for-3 (single, double, triple) and scored twice in a 20-5 loss at Fordham. He robbed a hitter of a home run by going “far and high” in the fifth inning and threw out four base runners.

Foley won CUA’s 1928 Harris Trophy – now Harris Cup – in recognition of being a gentleman, scholar and premier athlete. 

“In football, basketball and baseball, his consistently phenomenal performances have held his watchers spellbound, kept them in a frenzy of delight and admiration and left them the witnesses of a skill unprecedented on gridiron, court or diamond.” (1928 Cardinal yearbook)

After graduation, he played part of the 1928 baseball season with the National League’s New York Giants. Hall of Famer Mel Ott was one of his teammates.

Chris McManes
May 2012