Boston, MA — Bob Sweeney has been a familiar face around both of Boston's Gardens for more than 20 years. And now he is a permanent fixture, as the Boston College and Bruins alum was inducted into the Beanpot Hall of Fame this week as part of the 58th annual Beanpot festivities.
Alongside 1984 Beanpot MVP Tim Marshall and longtime Harvard athletic director Fran Tolland, Sweeney, now the director of development for the Boston Bruins Foundation, was honored between the games last night at the TD Garden.
“I just want to congratulate Timmy Marshall and Fran Tolland, on their induction into the Hall of Fame,” said Sweeny during his speech at the annual Beanpot luncheon, which marks the official beginning of the tournament each year.
“It’s well-deserved and I’m happy to be going in with you guys.”
Sweeney earned the title of MVP in the 1983 tournament, where as a freshman, he led the Boston College Eagles to victory over Northeastern. He went on to play 11 seasons in the NHL, six of them with the Bruins. He was named to his current position with the Bruins Foundation two years ago.
Though it’s been over two decades, Sweeney could still remember how it felt to step out on the ice for the first time and become a part of a rich historic tradition.
“As a freshman, it was almost overwhelming,” he said. “But when you skate out there in the old Garden, when were playing, to see the spoked B, which everyone alludes to, it’s just something that you say, you know this is the same ice that Bobby Orr used to skate on and Ray Bourque and all the other great Bruins before him.
“To have that chance and that opportunity to play where these guys played, it’s just a great experience.”
As a budding hockey star growing up in Boxborough, Mass, Sweeney said his local perspective made his experience with the Beanpot that much more special.
“It was a great experience and I couldn’t wait to be a part of that—to be a part of that history,” he said. “To be able to play, whether it’s for BC, BU, Harvard or Northeastern, but to take that ice on a Monday night, for two nights in February, was a huge, huge thing for a local kid to be able to do that.”
Standing before the members of each of the four Beanpot teams, Sweeney offered a bit of advice.
“It’s something I will never forget and it was a dream come true for a local kid to play in the Beanpot,” he said. “Enjoy it, because it’s great and it’s something you’ll remember the rest of your life.”