Known for his quiet demeanor, his chivalrous disposition and his competitive spirit, 2005 Branford Sports Hall of Fame inductee Walter Brannigan set a high standard on and off the athletic field of competition in the late 1920’s which many emulated.
As a three sport athlete at Branford High School from 1925 to 1928, tonight’s inductee was a center on the Hornet’s basketball squad. During the junior season, the1927 team succeeded in accomplishing what no other team in the history of Branford High School could do at that time – win a state championship. Not only did Branford win a state championship but it won the Housatonic League title as well. The team had a 15-5 record while its Housatonic League record of eleven victories and one defeat stood as one of the best records ever made by a league leader. In the State Tournament, Branford won the Class C Championship by defeating Leavenworth in the finals by a score of 18-16. Previous to this, in the first and second games of the tournament, Branford defeated Putnam, 30-22 and Killingly, 39-14. In his senior season, tonight’s inductee led the team in scoring with 107 points (47 field goals and 13 free throws) as Branford compiled a 10 and 9 season. Walter played along side Hall of Fame members Adolph Mischler (1992), Rudy “Scag” Johnson (1994), and Louis Uhl (2002). Walter also played first base and pitched for the Hornet’s baseball squad.
Following high school, Walter was enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and returned to Branford after World War II to begin his employment with the New Haven Railroad and later as a maintenance man at Branford Hills Apartment for eight years before retiring. Tonight’s inductee helped coach the Branford American Legion team and the Branford Townies in the late 1940’s.
Walter Brannigan passed away on December 2, 1980 at the age of 70.