Hank Soar was arguably the most talented and versatile athlete ever to come from Rhode Island. He played football, basketball, baseball at Pawtucket High and captained all three. He also played goalie in soccer. He was First Team All-State at half back in football, guard at basketball and first base in baseball in his senior year in 1933. He enrolled at Providence College and continued to play all three sports making All-New England in football in 1934. He was inducted in the Providence College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1970. He left school in 1936 to pursue semi-pro baseball and professional football with the Boston Shamrocks of the American Football League. He earned MVP honors with the Shamrocks and got the attention of the New York Giants. He signed with the Giants in 1937 and enjoyed a nine year NFL career (1937-1944, 1946) at running back and defensive end.
His signature moment came when he caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the 1938 NFL Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers at the Polo Grounds. He also won the NFL Championship in 1937 and 1939, plunging over the line to make the winning touchdown in the final minutes of the latter game. In 1941, Soar made a bit of history as one of the first two players ever to be fined by the NFL's league office when commissioner Elmer Layden assessed $25 fines on him and Green Bay Packers quarterback Larry Craig for fighting.
While serving in the Army during WWII in 1945, Soar umpired at Fort Devens, Mass. catching Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack's eye when he worked an exhibition game. One year after he left football, he umpired in the minor leagues and briefly coached the Providence Steam Roller (Basketball Association of America) in 1947 before becoming back field coach at Rhode Island State College form 1947 till 1949.
He proceeded to spend 22 seasons as one of the American League's top umpires from 1950 to 1975. He worked five World Series and was the first base umpire for Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 Fall Classic. He has a memorial marker at Slater Park in Pawtucket next to the tennis courts. The athletic complex on Prospect Street in Pawtucket is named after him.