• Author • Rick Tucker
  • Date updated • 11 August 2022
  • Date of initial draft • 26 November 2018
  • To do (2022-08-11) add more links to sources
  • To do (2022-08-11) add photographs
  • To do (2022-08-11) confirm or delete Lehigh, Cornell, and Princeton matches
  • Digitized editions of all of The Gargoyle humor magazine’s issues in the Harvard Archives

The Oxford vs. Harvard Match

In the Summer of 1962, four members of the Oxford University Tiddlywinks Society toured the United States and challenged many colleges and other organizations to play tiddlywinks matches. Around a dozen matches were held, both on the East Coast and the West Coast.

One of those matches was against a team from Harvard University, rapidly assembled with students involved in producing the short-lived humor magazine called The Harvard-Radcliffe Gargoyle. The Gargoyle was first published in the Spring of 1962; two more issues were published, including the last one in the Spring of 1963.

They decided to call their team the Gargoyle Undergraduate Tiddlywinks Society (GUTS), thereby setting the norm for future teams to adopt names with quirky acronyms. GUTS considered themselves to be the founding member of the National University Tiddlywinks Society (NUTS).

The Oxford-GUTS match took place on 31 August 1962 in Harvard’s Allston Burr Lecture Hall at 40 Quincy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Four games were played, with Oxford winning by 21 points to 7 in 4 games (note: 7 points are awarded in each game).

The following Harvard winkers played against Oxford in this match:

  • Jim Parry (link), captain, 18 years old, from Hamilton, New York
  • Fred Goldberg (link), master of winks, from Providence, Rhode Island
  • Dave Hirschfeld, from Woods Hole, Massachusetts
  • Leon Jackson (in another report: Jacobson), from Brookline, Massachusetts
  • Doug Brenner, of Washington
  • Bill Gould, a Yale student playing for Harvard
The following winkers played on the Oxford team:
  • Philip Moore
  • Peter Freeman
  • David Willis
  • Elizabeth King

"We feel we won a moral victory just by scoring," said Harvard's captain, 18-year-old Jim Parry of Hamilton, N. Y.

Said Oxford's caption, Peter Freeman, 24: "Harvard is obviously the best team we've played in America. It may be no good, but it is the best."

“After this, we’re going to issue a challenge to all Ivy League colleges,” said Parry, flushed with his moral victory.


The Advent of American Collegiate Tiddlywinks Competitions

Many (but not all) GUTS matches were against Ivy League colleges that the Harvard football team played on Saturday afternoons throughout the Fall of 1962.  The tiddlywinks matches were held on the same morning of the football matches, and the results were often announced to great applause during the football game’s halftime (well, at least when they were held at Harvard), since GUTS won every match during the Fall 1962 season.

Ah, Cambridge—the very word is like what shall we say? And hither amid the bleak December, America's best loved scholarly quarterly returns to the land of the brick and the snowflake, after a strenuous summer of dissipation and tiddlywinks. [...] But seriously, whence is this tiddlywinks, of all indoor sports, such a topic of interest and vehicle of expression? Partly, we suspect, because of the intrinsic fascination of squidges, squops, and carnovskys; and partly because Harvard (thinly disguised as the GUTS) never loses. At the risk of a sprained shoulder blade, we congratulate our onrushing National Champions, and rejoice in all their works and pomps.

Source: The Gargoyle, Winter 1962–1963, page 1

GUTS Matches · Fall 1962

Holy Cross

Date • 13 October 1962, 10:30 am start
Venue • Harvard, in the parlor of Phillips Brooks House
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 23, Holy Cross 12 (5 games)
Football Results • Holy Cross 34, Harvard 20

One report noted that this was the GUTS’ first intercollegiate victory.

GUTS winkers present included:

  • Jim Parry
  • Dave Hirschfeld
  • Hank Schwarz
  • Scott Buchan
  • Fred Goldberg

Holy Cross winkers present included:

  • Phil Nobile
  • Doug Brenner
  • Bob Miller

Source • Boston Globe, 14 October 1962, page 83
Source • Harvard’s The Crimson, 15 October 1962
Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

Mount Holyoke

Date • 20 October 1962
Venue • Harvard, in the parlor of Phillips Brooks House
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 31, Holy Cross 11 (6 games)
Football Results • (no game scheduled or played)

The Mount Holyoke Undergraduate Tiddlywinks Society (MHUTS) team stole the John Harvard Challenge Cup, a shiny hubcap showing the North and South American continents.

During the match, a Holyoke winker must have used brute force, since he broke a squidger.

Source • Harvard’s The Crimson, 22 October 1962
Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

Columbia University

Date • 20 October 1962 (note: same day as the Mount Holyoke match)
Venue • Columbia
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 11, Columbia 3 (2 games)
Football Results • Harvard 36, Columbia 14

GUTS winkers:

  • Jim Parry
  • Bob Whitesides
Source • Harvard’s The Crimson22 October 1962
Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

Dartmouth College

Date • 27 October 1962
Venue • (to be determined)
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 37, Dartmouth 12 (7 games)
Football Results • Dartmouth 24, Harvard 6

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

Simmons College

Date • 30 October 1962
Venue • (to be determined)
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 36, Simmons 13 (7 games)
Football Results • (no football match scheduled or played)

WBZ radio in Boston broadcast portions of this match.

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

Penn · University of Pennsylvania

Date • 3 November 1962
Venue • (to be determined)
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 26, Penn 9 (5 games)
Football Results • Harvard 36, Penn 0

GUTS winkers present included:

  • Jim Parry
  • John Kernochan
  • Tom Houston

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.
Source • Harvard’s The Crimson, 6 November 1962

Boston University

Date • 3 November 1962
Venue • (to be determined)
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 51, BU 19 (10 games)
Football Results • (no football match scheduled or played)

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

Wellesley College

Date • 3 November 1962
Venue • Wellesley
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 46, Wellesley 17 (9 games)
Football Results • (no football match scheduled or played)

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

Brown University

Date • 17 November 1962
Venue • Harvard’s Phillips Brooks House
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 40, Brown 16 (8 games)
Football Results • Harvard 31, Brown 19

GUTS winkers present included:

  • Jim Parry

The GUTS record after winning this match was reported to be 9-0.

This match became the most famous Harvard tiddlywinks match due to Life magazine’s coverage of it in its 14 December 1962 issue.

Source • Harvard’s The Crimson, 18 November 1962
Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

Yale

Date • 24 November 1962, 10 am
Venue • Harvard’s Phillips Brooks House
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard 32, Yale 10 (6 games)
Football Results • Harvard 14, Yale 6

Source • Sports Illustrated, 17 December 1962
Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.

American Airline Stewardesses

Date • 24 November 1962
Venue • New York City
Results • Harvard 6, American Airline Stewardesses 1 (1 game)

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 90.

Columbia Broadcasting System Ushers

Date • 24 November 1962
Venue • New York City
Results • Harvard 10, CBS Ushers 4 (2 games)

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 90.

Eastern Invitational

Two Harvard teams and a Radcliffe team competed in this event.

Date • November or December 1962
Venue • New York City
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard team 1 (1st place), Harvard team 2 (2nd), Radcliffe (3rd)

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 89.


GUTS Matches · Winter 1962

University of Southern California (USC)

Date • over Harvard’s Christmas recess
Venue • USC, Los Angeles, California
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard won

GUTS winkers:

  • Tom Houston
  • Hank Schwarz

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 90.

University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA)

Date • over Harvard’s Christmas recess
Venue • UCLA, Los Angeles, California
Tiddlywinks Results • Harvard won

GUTS winkers:

  • Tom Houston
  • Hank Schwarz

Source • Harvard University Red Book (yearbook), 1963, page 90.

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