Inducted November 7, 1981
Preston Ward was a member of the SMS basketball team during the final era of the long and successful SMS coaching career of Andy McDonald. Playing for the Bears in the late 1940’s with a roster including Gene Ruble, Jack Lindsay, Ed Cook, Ralph Marler, Bob Rayon, Ray Forsythe, Bob Gott, Jerry Eades, Frank Hungerford and Joe Sumners, the Bears of that era were notable because the same nucleus of players was together for several seasons. That era produced two MIAA runnerup clubs and two conference championship teams and the Bruins were the leading small college defensive team in the country. Those notable years also included the SMS records for most consecutive victories in a season (20) and most consecutive overall victories (27). Ward, native of Springfield, lettered three of those seasons and was an SMS co-captain in 1948-49. He twice won all-conference honors at forward and his career was shortened through rulings that cost him college basketball eligibility when he signed a professional baseball contract. Ward went on to play in the major leagues as a first baseman for 11 seasons from 1948 through 1959 with five different clubs.