|Sport: Ice Hockey|
|Year Graduated: 1969|
|Year Inducted: 1978|
When Jack Kelley recruited Herb Wakabayashi to play hockey at Boston University, publicity man Art Dunphy complained that he would never learn how to spell his name. "Wait until you see Herbie play," Kelley replied. "You'll never forget how to spell it." Kelley was right. WA-KA-BA-YA-SHI.
During his four years at Boston University, the Chatam, Ontario
native of Japanese descent became the darling of the Terrier
hockey fans, although he did pose problems for headline writers
and opposing goalies.
Herb left little doubt from the beginning that he was destined for stardom at Boston University.
Following an outstanding freshman season, he moved up to the varsity in 1966. In his rookie season he set a University, New England and ECAC record for most assists in a season with 51. He was named New England Sophomore of the Year, the Most Valuable Player in the Beanpot Tournament and to the All New England and All East second teams.
Playing with his Chatham neighbor, Eddie Wright, the pair became famous for their penalty killing talents. Waky, 5'5" and Eddie, 5'2", could both skate under the crossbar on the cage without bumping their heads, and they killed penalties with such finesse that during one span they did not allow a shot on the Boston University net for 36 consecutive minutes of man-short play. It was as though they had the puck on a string, frustrating every attempt to take it away from them.
The following year his point production dropped off a bit, but his honors didn't as he was named to the All America, All East and All New England first teams, as well as the Most Valuable Player on his team and Athlete of the Year of the University.
As a senior, he duplicated his All America and All New England
honors and completed his career with the Terrier record for
most career assists with 90 and the second all-time scorer
with 145 points.
Like Tommy Ross, Herb played baseball for the Terriers his senior year, hitting .367 in 49 times at bat and leading his team to the regional finals of the ECAC playoffs.
In 1972 Herb and his brother Mel, an All America hockey player
at Michigan, moved from Canada to Japan, where they became
citizens and represented Japan in the 1972 Winter Olympics.
Herb stayed in Japan and was a part-time coach and player
for a semi-pro hockey team.