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Hockey Icon Hobey Baker’s Story Revealed In David Duchovny-Hosted Season Of ESPN’s ‘30 For 30.’

Actor David Duchovny hosts the new season of ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcasts, released today. The three-episode season titled “Searching for Hobey Baker,” chronicles the enigmatic life of collegiate athlete, Hobey Baker, who many consider the first ice hockey star in America. Duchovny, like Baker, is an alumnus of Princeton University. 

“Collaborating with David Duchovny, a fellow Princeton alum, adds a unique depth to this exploration of Baker's life,” says Preeti Varathan, ESPN Producer and Head of 30 for 30 Podcasts. “It's crucial to showcase underrepresented stories like Baker's, especially his journey as a queer sports icon. Through Searching for Hobey Baker, we aim to inspire listeners by celebrating resilience, a diversity of life experiences, and the enduring spirit of sportsmanship that transcends generations.”

Most hockey fans know the name Hobey Baker – collegiate hockey’s most prestigious trophy is named after him. But ESPN says very few know the real story of this all-time great athlete. Using an archive of personal letters and source materials provided by the Mudd Library at Princeton University, as well as original research, the series charts Baker’s glory days as the best collegiate hockey and football player in the nation, his post-grad ennui in Gilded Age New York City, and his exploits as a WWI fighter pilot, which ended tragically in a mysterious crash in 1918. Beyond Hobey’s adventures on the ice and in the air, this podcast also re-contextualizes the hockey legend through the lens of his lesser-known struggles as a queer man in the early 20th century.

Baker was named one of the first nine inductees, and the only American, to the Hockey Hall of Fame, when it was founded in 1945, and was an initial inductee in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973. In 1981, The Hobey Baker Award, named after Baker, was first awarded to the top National Collegiate Athletic Association men's ice hockey player. It is an annual award that has since been given out 44 times to the player that most embodies a variety of qualities, in addition to hockey skills, including sportsmanship and character.

“As ESPN continues to delve into captivating narratives through our 30 for 30 stories, we are thrilled to illuminate the extraordinary legacy of Hobey Baker in an upcoming podcast,” Varathan says.

Producers are Ross Greenburg, Andrew Reynolds and Tim Smith and the series was produced by Ross Greenburg Productions and Silver Sound in collaboration with ESPN.

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