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Joseph Seivold Jr., a legendary Maryland lacrosse figure who broke records at Washington College in the 1950s, dies

Joseph Seivold Jr. was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1980.
Joseph Seivold Jr. was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1980. (Clarence Garrett/Check with Baltimore Sun Photo)

Joseph Seivold Jr., a legendary Maryland lacrosse figure who was dubbed the “60-Minute Midfielder ” and broke records when he was a student at Washington College in the 1950s, died of complications from dementia July 17 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida. The former longtime Parkton resident was 85.

“Joe was just a terrific player. He never came out of the game because he was busy breaking records all the time,” said Bill Tanton, former Evening Sun sports editor and columnist. “I regarded him as a great player and I used to sit with Joe, and what he said, I couldn’t argue with.”

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Joseph Seivold Jr. was the son of Joseph Seivold Sr., a Hungarian immigrant, violinist and music teacher, and his wife, Lorraine Howe Seivold, a Baltimore City Public Schools teacher. He was born in Baltimore and raised in Sykesville.

The younger Mr. Seivold’s illustrious lacrosse began during his student days at Friends School where he made All-Maryland as a midfielder in 1953 and 1954, and during his senior year, was a member of the Maryland Scholastic Association Championship Team. Also while at Friends, he was quarterback for the football team and played basketball.

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“No doubt, Joe was a great athlete and back then, Friends had top teams,” Mr. Tanton said.

After graduating from Friends in 1954, he began his college studies at Washington College in Chestertown, where he earned All-American honors for four straight years, and broke several scoring records including a record breaking 10-goal game in 1958, his senior year.

During his four-year collegiate career, Mr. Seivold had 167 goals and 60 assists. In 1957, he was selected to be a member of the Laurie Cox Division All-Star Team and was awarded the Naval Academy’s Seth Award.

Mr. Seivold played for the South in the North-South All-Star Game in 1958.

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Joe Seivold coaching in 1971.
Joe Seivold coaching in 1971. (Clarence Garrett/Check with Baltimore Sun Photo)

It was at Washington College, that he earned the moniker of “60-Minute Midfielder” for often playing 60 minutes, the duration of a lacrosse game.

“A lot of guys got that title but Joe was ours,” recalled Mr. Tanton, in a telephone interview.

“Seldom has any lacrosse player been called on to do as much as Seivold,” wrote Mr. Tanton in a 1958 Evening Sun column. “But in a school as small as Washington (487 students including coeds) there is no such thing as depth on athletic teams. And when a standout like Seivold comes along, the coach hates to take him out of the game.”

“How does Seivold feel about being worked twice as hard as the average midfielder?” the column continued.

“’It’s great,’ he says, ‘if you’re in shape for it. But if not, it can be brutal.’”

In a 1958 article, Sports Illustrated observed that Mr. Seivold was “possibly the greatest lacrosse player to ever play the game.”

While in Chestertown, he also played basketball and soccer and ran track.

After graduating in 1958, Mr. Seivold continued playing for 13 years for the Mount Washington Lacrosse Club, and from 1974 to 1976, coached the club. In 1974, he coached the victorious South Team in the Club All-Star Game, and led the team to club championships in 1975 and 1976.

He also had been a member of the U.S. Lacrosse Team , which won the Lally Cup in Toronto, Canada in 1967.

From 1961 to 1975, he was the lacrosse coach at Park School in Brooklandville, and in 1980, was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and two years later, into the Washington College Hall of Fame.

In his professional life, Mr. Seivold was first a probation officer, then supervisor with the state Division of Parole and Probation, ending his 29 years with the department when he retired in 1987.

Mr. Seivold enjoyed spending summers in the remote wilderness of Lake Temagami in Ontario, Canada, on Island 1088, family members said. He was also an inveterate gardener and golfer. “His appreciation for nature and love for animals reflected his innate kindness and gentle spirit,” according to a biographical profile submitted by his family.

Mr. Seivold, who moved to Tampa from his Parkton home in 2011, maintained an interest in the sport that brought him notoriety.

“He followed our lacrosse careers at Gilman and Carolina,” said a son, Joseph W. Seivold, of Tampa, who is headmaster of Berkeley Preparatory School and was named to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2020. “He also followed his grandchildren’s lacrosse careers.”

His wife of 52 years, the former Sarah Sachese, a Park School teacher, died in 2010.

A celebration of life gathering and reunion of family and friends will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at Mr. Seivold’s home, 18901 Middletown Road, Parkton, and those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to jdseivold@gmail.com.

Mr. Seivold is survived by another son, Garett Seivold of Pasadena, California; a brother, Alfred Seivold of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina ; a sister, Alice McDonald of Dunnellon, Florida; grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

This story has been updated. The story misidentified where Lorraine Howe Seivold worked. She worked for Baltimore City Public Schools. The story also misidentified where Alfred Seivold lives. He lives in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

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