Richard "Pete" Varney '71
Baseball - Hall of Fame Class of 1996
Harvard Athletic Achievements
Richard “Pete” Varney was a slugging catcher for the Crimson who, despite being drafted by four different professional teams in five years, chose to remain at Harvard. In his junior year, Varney set records for most home runs and RBI’s in a single season and for a game as well as setting the single season record for the most extra base hits.
Pete currently has two batting records that still stand. He is tied for first in home runs in a single season (10 in 1970) and holds the record for most RBI’s in a single game with 9 against Washington & Lee on March 31, 1970. He ranks third in career batting average, hitting .370 over three seasons. He batted .375 as a junior and .362 during his senior year, when the Crimson recorded its most wins (27) since the previous century and advanced to the College World Series. Varney’s bat earned him All-Greater Boston, All-New England and Sporting News All-American first team honors his junior year. He was named team co-captain and earned first team All-American honors as a catcher his senior year.
He is also remembered for his role in the football team’s famous 29-29 “win” over Yale in 1968, catching the two-point conversion with no time left that tied the contest. Varney closed his varsity football career as the Crimson’s second leading all-time receiver in 1970.