Monday, February 4, 2019

1947-48 Birmingham Vulcans (SPBL)

1947-48 BIRMINGHAM VULCANS
SOUTHERN BASKETBALL LEAGUE
25-25 .500, 4th place

Playoffs:
Lost in Round Robin, 0-3

The Vulcans were owned by Birmingham businessman Jim Price. Price originally wanted Chuck Connors, at the time the property of the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Dodgers, to leave the Celtics and be player / coach for the Vulcans, but the Celtics wouldn't release his contract. Wheeler Flemming was then hired as player / coach. The Vulcans lost four of their first five before heating up. Some personnel issues began to flair up with Manny Dorsky and Abe Epsman complaining that they were not being paid. This dust-up with Price, coupled with what Price would later say was an attitude problem, lead to the two's dismissal after the December 15th game against Gadsden. Price continued to mess with the make-up of the team, signing and releasing vaarious players through the first two months of the season. Ben Harrell and Bobby O'Brien would skip out on the club in early January, and Wheeler Flemming resigned on January 23, 1948. Chuck "Cherry" Foster, an experienced collegiate coach, took over the coaching duties and the team continued to float in mediocrity until finally heating up and winning nine games in a row in February (including a controversial forfeit over the front-running Montgomery Rebels.) In the midst of this streak, though, Foster announced that he could no longer continue to coach due to his responsibilities with his construction company. Owner Price took over the coaching duties for the rest of the season, and the squad finished 25-25. The first round of the playoffs consisted of a round-robin since Jackson, who would have been the fourth team, was forced to drop due to injuries. Nashville, Montgomery and Birmingham would play each other and the first team to suffer three losses would be eliminated and the other two would play for the championship. The Vulcans were the first to three losses, dropping all three games they played. The Vulcans, with many of their regular players having walked off the team at the end of the regular season, were forced to sign a bunch of young players fresh out of college for the playoffs.

With the season over, Price was sued by multiple players for salaries they had not yet received. Price agreed some culpability but said he had the funds to catch up with what is owed. The Vulcans franchise would be revamped in the off-season and return next year as the Steelers.

Head Coaches:
Wheeler Fleming (November 21, 1919 - January 2, 2015) 13-14 Also played. See below
Cherry Foster (  ) 5-7
Jim Price ( ) 7-4


PLAYERS:
  • Red Allen 
Biography 

  • Bubba Ball (March 19, 1922 - November 27, 2018)
Biography

  • Fagan Canzoneri (October 20, 1918 - January 28, 1997)
Biography

  • Miles Dean (June 18, 1923 - September 27, 2005)
Biography

  • Manny Dorsky (October 29, 1919 - November 6, 1991)
Biography

  • Abe Epsman (October 5, 1922 - December 4, 2006)
Biography

  • Frank Flemming (May 4, 1924 - February 25, 2003)
Biography

  • Wheeler Flemming (November 21, 1919 - January 2, 2015)
Biography

  • Earl Gartman (June 23, 1920 - March 8, 1995)
Biography

  • Jim Glasgow (December 29, 1924 - February 17, 1999)
Biography

  • Ben Harrell (January 17, 1923 - April 13, 1995)
Biography 

  • Shag Hawkins (September 23, 1920 - March 10, 2005)
Biography

  • Ralph Jones (February 14, 1922 - February 18, 1995)
Biography

  • Steve Kontos (June 22, 1921 - July 9, 2018)
Biography

  • Wheeler Leeth (May 19, 1917 - June 8, 1998)
Biography

  • Danny Long (July 23, 1925 - December 27, 2005)
Biography


  • Emery Lowery (October 19, 1926 - June 24, 2013)
Biography

  • Buford Maddox (December 3, 1919 - April 14, 1979)
Biography 

  • Bob O'Brien (January 26, 1927 - September 19, 2008)
Biography

  • Horace Peterson (July 10, 1921 - July 7, 2001)
Biography

  • J.T. Rakestraw (February 25, 1920 - September 12, 1999)
Biography

  • Billy Rigdon (April 10, 1919 - July 9, 1986)
Biography

  • Herman Robertson (November 3, 1916 - April 11, 1998)
Biography 

  • Charlie Scruggs (April 23, 1923 - March 26, 2010)
Biography

zzz Steger
zzz Tanner
zzz Toubert
Frank Wadsworth
zzz Watkins



Source:
Birmingham Pro Sports 

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