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  #1  
Old 09-26-2018, 05:25 PM
ramram ramram is offline
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Default Large pre-WWII American Basketball League (ABL) grouping

1930’s Professional Basketball (ABL) Grouping. What started as just a handful of photos turned into a big haul of some rare early pro basketball material.

Background info - The American Basketball League was the first attempt to create a major basketball league and was the top pro league during this period. It popped into existence in the 1920’s and then disappeared when the depression hit, only to reorganize in the mid 1930’s. League teams struggled to survive during this period, often only drawing 800-1,000 spectators. They played in some unique small venues and often had bands and dance contests after the game. The teams were composed of some of the top former college players but also from players from the working class, especially from the Jewish communities.
This group consists of photos of the 1937-1938 New Jersey Reds who would go on to win the title that year. One of their players, Moe Spahn, would be the league MVP. The group also includes photos of the 1940-41 champion Philadelphia SPHAS (South Philadelphia Hebrew Association), which was a dominant team throughout this era. Also included are the publicity promos for these two teams. These were published to be handed out at the games and included all kinds of league and team information as well as a scorecard. These are typically 4 pages (two leaves) each. Photos are 8"x10".

New Jersey Reds
Reds.jpg
New Jersey Reds Team Photo.jpg

Philadelphia SPHAS - Lautman, Goldman, Torgoff, Rosenberg
SPHAS.jpg
Sphas Team.jpg

Moe Spahn MVP - Receiving MVP trophy
Moe Spahn MVP.jpg

Promo Publications
Publications 1.jpg

New Jersey Envelope and Letterhead
New Jersey Reds Envelope.jpg
New Jersey Reds Letterhead.jpg

New Jersey vs New York Celtics (Willie Scrill was a recently retired New Jersey Reds player)
New Jersey Reds vs New York Celtics - 1.jpg
New Jersey Reds vs New York Celtics - 2.jpg

Details within the photo -
Interesting "net" on the goal
1 basket.jpg

Scoreboard
1 scoreboard.jpg

Band sign
1 signs.jpg

Last edited by ramram; 09-27-2018 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:03 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramram View Post
1930’s Professional Basketball (ABL) Grouping. What started as just a handful of photos turned into a big haul of some rare early pro basketball material.
Great collection, particularly the pubs. When I was a dealer, I would occasionally come across a program for the Washington Bears, a black pro basketball team of the early 1940s. A little easier to find were programs for the BAA Washington capitols of the late 1940s and early 1950s coached by Red Auerbach.

Last edited by Hankphenom; 09-26-2018 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:40 PM
RedsFan1941 RedsFan1941 is offline
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that is some GREAT stuff! thanks for sharing
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:53 AM
ramram ramram is offline
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Here are some details of the promo publication material:


The Jersey material covers 11/13/38 to 3/26/39
Jersey Red Flashes Publication 1.jpg
Jersey Red Flashes Publication 2.jpg
Jersey Red Flashes Publication 3.jpg
Jersey Red Flashes Publication 4.jpg


The SPHAS material covers 10/28/39 to 4/6/40. This one includes a non-league game against the famous all-black New York Renaissance (aka Rens).
Sphas Sparks Publication 1.jpg
Sphas Sparks Publication 2.jpg
Sphas Sparks Publication 3.jpg


There is only one from the Kingston team
Kingston Colonial Capers Publication 1.jpg
Kingston Colonial Capers Publication 2.jpg
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:57 AM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Some good hall of famers in that material: Barney Sedran with the Kingston Colonials, Bobby McDermott with Baltimore (His induction year into the HOF was my first year attending though he was long deceased) and the NY Rens. The Rens are HOFers as a team and two of the members of that team are in as individuals - Tarzan Cooper and Pop Gates. Gates showed up every year after he was inducted and Johnny Isaacs appeared for many years.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:30 PM
ramram ramram is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
Some good hall of famers in that material: Barney Sedran with the Kingston Colonials, Bobby McDermott with Baltimore (His induction year into the HOF was my first year attending though he was long deceased) and the NY Rens. The Rens are HOFers as a team and two of the members of that team are in as individuals - Tarzan Cooper and Pop Gates. Gates showed up every year after he was inducted and Johnny Isaacs appeared for many years.
Some of those Rens players also played on some of the top Negro League baseball teams.

Rob M
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:02 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramram View Post
Some of those Rens players also played on some of the top Negro League baseball teams.

Rob M
It was not uncommon for pro baseball players to also play in the ABL, NBL and BAA in those years. I also noticed one of the ads on the same page with the SPHAS and Rens rosters. Just above the Rens is an ad for Sam Gerson. He was an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling in 1920 and founder of the U.S. Olympians, the alumni group of American Olympic athletes.
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Old 09-28-2018, 11:48 AM
ramram ramram is offline
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You're definitely correct. This is baseball Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau playing for the NBL's Hammond team against John Wooden and his Indianapolis Kautsky's team in 1938.

Scorebook - Hammond vs Kautsky's 12-25-38.jpg

Scorebook - Kautsky's vs Hammond 12-25-38.jpg
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:39 PM
Smalltown Smalltown is offline
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Love it. That's an incredible collection you have there!
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:53 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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[quote=ramram;1816070]You're definitely correct. This is baseball Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau playing for the NBL's Hammond team against John Wooden and his Indianapolis Kautsky's team in 1938.

There were a few other players I ran across when I was collecting basketball autographs. Most of the other pre-1950's players had short careers in both sports. In the 1950's you had Chuck Connors and Dick Groat. In the 1960's you had Ron Reed and Dave DeBusschere.
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