Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Larry Matthews

Frank Lawrence "Larry" Matthews III

January 12, 1934
Elmira, NY

October 18, 2005
Chattanooga, TN

1949-50 Horseheads High School - New York (High School)
1950-51 Horseheads High School - New York (High School)
1951-52 Horseheads High School - New York (High School)
1952-53 Elmira Colonels (ABL)
1971-72 Notre Dame High School - Elmira (High School)  Head coach - freshmen
1972-73 Notre Dame High School - Elmira (High School)  Head coach - freshmen
1973-74 Notre Dame High School - Elmira (High School)  Head coach - freshmen

Larry Matthews was a prep star from Horseheads, New York, earning 11 letters at Horseheads HS. The football and basketball star played one game for the ABL's Elmira Colonels in November of 1952. After serving in the USAF, he would work for many years as a teacher, coach and administrator. He eventually accepted a post in Nashville, and died in Tennessee in 2005.



Tuesday, June 23, 2020

1947-48 Zanesville Pioneers (AABL)


Finished: 6-15 .286, 6th place

Zanesville managed to claw their way out to a 5-5 start, but then hit the skids, dropping ten of 11 to finish in a distant last place.

Head Coach:
  • Manny Hyatt (December 17, 1916 - December 10, 1986) Also played. See below

  • Harold Augsberger (March 27, 1920 - April 23, 2006)
  • Bill Cope (October 24, 1923 - March 21, 2014)
  • Bill Feeney (February 7, 1924 - January 31, 1990)
  • Whitey Fowle (September 30, 1914 - June 1, 1998)
  • Ed Janicki (November 4, 1918 - July 10, 2011)
    • Roger Jorgenson (September 2, 1920 - October 3, 2010)
    • John Kolodziek (January 24, 1926 - May 12, 1969)
    • Hap Smith
    • Ed Strall (January 1, 1919 - October 29, 1996)
      • Straw  
      • Kenny Walters (April 29, 1922 - February 13, 1992)
      • Bill Ziemer (May 8, 1923 - May 22, 2015)
      (I know you might think Starw is probably a typ for Strall, but they both played in the Feb 1, 1948 game)

      1947-48 Youngstown Cubs (AABL)

      1947-48 YOUNGSTOWN CUBS

      Finished: 20-8 .714, 1st place

      Semi-finals: Defeated Wheeling, 3-1
      AABL Finals: Lost to Dayton, 3-1

      When the NBL's Youngstown Bears disbanded following the 1946-47, the end of professional basketball in the Ohio town was short-lived. The town was granted a franchise in the smaller All-American League, and the team took the Cubs moniker, aware that the scope of play was smaller than the NBL. Paul Birch, whose 1946-47 season was his first withut playing, had been the coach of the BAA's Pittsburgh Ironmen but he team folded prior to the 1947-48 season, and Birch would head to Youngstown where he would be the head coach for the Cubs, as well as an active player.

      The Bears, playing with a lot of NBL/BAA castoffs, rolled to a regular season title and advanced through the semi-finals before falling to the red-hot Dayton Metros in the AABL Championship series.

      Head Coach:
      • Paul Birch  (January 4, 1910 - June 5, 1982) Also played. See below.

      • Lou Gabriel (December 13, 1923 - January 4, 1973)
      • George Naples (June 6, 1924 - November 26, 1992)
      • Fred Paine (December 7, 1925 - October 26, 2004)

      1947-48 Wheeling Puritans (AABL)


      Finished: 13-14 .481, 3rd place
      Semi-Finals: Lost to Youngstown, 3-1

      Wheeling pretty much hovered around the .500 mark all season, making the playoffs but losing to Youngstown in the semi-finals. Jimmy Quinlan was the team's high scorer, averaging 15.5 point in the 14 games I could find stats for.

      Head Coach:

      • Irv Barnett (October 19, 1920 - April 18, 1999)
      • Joe Baron (October 5, 1919 - May 22, 1991)
      • Gene Britt (October 13, 1921 - November 29, 2004)
      • Al Campeti (October 7, 1923 - December 10, 1992)
      • Albert DeVeechis (October 14, 1925 - October 14, 1995)
      • Bob Doughty (November 18, 1925 - December 30, 1983)
      • Hank Ellis (August 18, 1921 - October 29, 2015)
      • Bill Hall (January 19, 1925 - July 15, 1987)
      • Roger Jorgenson (September 2, 1920 - October 3, 2010)
      • Joe Rodak (May 24, 1923 - June 19, 1996)
      • Jim Ruch (August 15, 1920 - July 2, 1984)

      1947-48 Cumberland Dukes (AABL)

      Coach Bobby Cavanaugh
      1947-48 CUMBERLAND DUKES

      Finished: 10-15 .400, 5th place

      The Cumberland Dukes were one of the teams in the AABL that did well at the ticket office, but despite a few talented players, they couldn't get it together to make the playoffs.

      Head Coach:
      • John J. "Bobby" Cavanaugh (November 23, 1903 - January 1984)

      Lou Bell
      • Lou Bell (August 10. 1922 - August 16, 1993)
      • Chick Cubbage (January 1, 1917 - June 27, 1994)
      • Eddie Diehl (January 13, 1915 - April 1, 2003)
      • Gus Frizzell (January 12, 1921 - January 8, 2005)
      • George Geatz (January 26, 1924 - March 9, 1995)
      • Norm Mason (February 11, 1920 - November 15, 1999)
      • Johnny Meyers (August 29, 1917 - February 20, 1998)
      • Paul Oberhaus (September 7, 1920 - December 3, 1974)
      • Walt Orndorff (December 18, 1921 - August 25, 2019)
      • Bob Pence (August 10, 1922 - August 17, 1991)
      • Jim Roby (February 7, 1921 - August 31, 2004)
        Walt Orndorff
      • Joe Wagner (October 1, 1918 - February 26, 2003)

      1947-48 Columbus Mariners / Dayon Metropolitans


      Finished: 16-11 .593, 2nd place
      Semi-Finals: Defeated Altoona, 3-0
      AABL Championship: Defeated Youngstown, 3-1

      After their January 14 win over Zanesville, the Mariners found themselves to deep into the red financially to continue. The league looked to add a team to take their place for the season, and found the Dayton Metropolitans to be receptive. The Mets were a popular barnstorming team at thetime with several flashy players like Sweetwater Clifton and Duke Cumberland. Introduced into league play on January 25, and inheriting the 5-7 record the Mariners had, the Mets won six of their first 8 games (with the only two losses coming at the hands of the front-running Youngstown Cubs). Playing a league schedule while still engaged in a very-full exhibition schedule, the workhorse Mets went 11-4 in the AABL to finish the season at 16-11. Two of the Mets' losses were by a single point.

      Rolling into the playoffs, the Mets swept Altoona in the semi-finals to face the powerful Youngstown club in the league championship. Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton, the high scorer for the Mets who averaged 16.2 points in regular season league play, lead the Mets to a victory over the Cubs in 4 games.

      COLUMBUS: (5-7)

      Head Coach:
      • Gene Scholz (September 28, 1917 - March 9, 2005) Also played. See below

        Harold Augsberger
        Willie Garland
        Glen Golden
        Harold Augsberger (March 27, 1920 - April 23, 2006)
      • Bob Clindaniel (May 31, 1922 - June 7, 1988)
      Bob Whetstone
      • Jim Garland (November 17, 1918 - January 30, 1995)
      • Willie Garland (June 9, 1928 - July 19, 1996)
      • Glen Golden (February 23, 1919 - July, 1986)
        • Earl Kelly (March 26, 1921 - September 5, 1996)
        • Babe Mazza (February 6, 1922 - September 12, 2008)
        • Vernal "Hap" Smith  
        • Bob Whetstone (June 27, 1919 - January 31, 2009)

        DAYTON: (11-4)

        Head Coach:
        • Herb Brown (December 1, 1911 - August 21, 1993) 

        Don Blanken
        • Don Blanken (June 21, 1920 - October 21, 2009)
        • Johnny Brown (April 9, 1922 - June 1, 2009)
        • Chris Hansen (February 10, 1919 - April 28, 2002)
        • Les Pugh (September 18, 1922 - February 25, 1979)
        • Roy Witry (September 28, 1923 - October 6. 2010)
        Roy Witry

        Thursday, June 18, 2020

        1947-48 Altoona Edwards / Railroaders (AABL)

        Coach Chick Davies

        Finished: 9-11 .450, 4th place
        Semi-Finals: Lost to Dayton, 3-0

        Altoona, listed as going by the Edwards and the Railroaders, had some talented players like Dom Asmonga and Mike Bytzura. The finished in fourth place and made the playoffs, but were swept by eventual champions Dayton.

        Legendary Duquesne coach Chick Davies was the named the head coach, but it appears in games that were in conflict with his duties at Duquesne, Wy Paris coached. Hard to say when this happened, by Davies is listed as coach in games in the beginning and end of the season, and Paris is mentions as coach in the middle of the season.

        Head Coaches:
        Bobby Artman
        • Charles "Chick" Davies (April 30, 1900 - April 15, 1985)
        • Wy Paris (August 5, 1908 - May 21, 2001) Also played. See below

        • Bobby Artman (February 8, 1922 - April 9, 1975)
        • Jim Atkins (August 25, 1924 - March 10, 2012)
        • Moe Becker (February 24, 1917 - January 9, 1996)
          Jimmy Atkins
        • Johnny Beecham (April 13, 1928 - May 4, 2011)
        • Don Graham (August 27, 1925 - April 18, 2009)
        • Dave Hornstein (August 16, 1922 - September 25, 1997)
        • Al Hruska (June 18, 1929 - July 4, 2001)
        • Hurd
        • Ed Janicki (November 4, 1918 - July 10, 2011)
        • Red Manning (November 17, 1928 - April 27, 2005)
          Bill DeVenzio
        • Stan Noszka (September 9, 1920 - November 15, 1991)
        • Wy Paris (August 5, 1908 - May 21, 2001) 
        • Joe Penzelik (January 13, 1921 - May 13, 1970)
        • Eddie Strall (January 1, 1919 - October 29, 1996)
          Stan Wasik
        • Bill Vojtko (August 18, 1921 - May 24, 2012)
        • Stan Wasik (December 24, 1919 - November 6, 2005)
        Joe Penzelik

        Ed Janicki

        Bill Vojtko

        Wednesday, June 17, 2020

        1947-48 AABL

        The All-American Basketball League started their inaugural season in the fall of 1947. The Youngstown Cubs, so-named due to their lower status to the NBL's Youngstown Bears who had folded after the previous season, proved to be the team to beat. The Cubs won 19 of their first 22 before a five-game skid allowed them to finish the season 20-8 and .3.5 games ahead of second place. The owners of the second place finish were the Dayton Metros. A team from Columbus, Ohio, called the Mariners, got off to a mediocre start. In mid January, the entire Columbus team was dismissed and the team was expected to be excised from the league, but the leadership was able to coax the Dayton Metropolitans, a popular barnstorming team, to fill in for Columbus for the remainder of the season.  The Metros went 11-4 and climbed into second place at the end of the season.

        The Wheeling Puritans, lead by Jimmy Quinlan's 15.5 points per game*, finished in third place, while the Altoona club finished in fourth and became the last team to qualify for the playoffs. The popular Cumberland (MD) Dukes, who drew well, finished in fifth and missed the playoffs despite two of the leagues better scorers in Lou Bell and Bob Pence.The Zanesville team started the season with a respectable 4-4 record after ten games, but then fell into a 10-game losing skid that sent them deep into the cellar for good.

        The playoffs kicked of on March 14, 1948, with Dayton drubbing the Altoona Railroaders 68-44. Altoona came back to give Dayton a couple of tough games but lost the final two games by a total of four points and were swept out of the best-of-five semifinal. Meanwhile, regular season champ Youngstown needed 4 games to dispatch Wheeling. Youngstown and Dayton met for the 1948 Championship, and the teams split the first two game in Youngstown before the Metros pounded the Cubs in games 3 and 4 to win the title.

        Altoona Edwards / Railroaders
        Columbus Mariners / Dayton Metropolitans
        Cumberland Dukes
        Wheeling Puritans
        Youngstown Cubs
        Zanesville Pioneers

        * based on statistics I was able to cull from boxscores I found, not official league stats

        All-American Basketball League (AABL)

        The All-American Basketball League was formed in the summer of 1947 and was located geographically mainly in the Mid-Atlantic States, from Maryland to eastern Ohio. The league started in the fall of 1947 with six teams. The league never went beyond six teams, but played with only five squads in the 1949-50 season. The Cumberland (MD) Dukes and the Wheeling Puritans / Blues were the more successful franchises in the AABL. The league lasted four seasons before folding in the summer of 1951.

        I will not go into great detail here. I am just going to list rosters and teams. I found a good portion of  the box scores, so the rosters should be fairly complete.

        Tuesday, June 16, 2020

        Bill Thompson (NBL) Identified

        Researcher Shane Holman found a member of Bill Thompson's family to confirm his identity and birth and death dates, and I tracked down the obituary.

        Bill Thompson

        Bones Spudic Finally Identified

        Shane Holmes found his obiutary, so we know who Bones Spudic(h) was.

        Bones Spudic

        Willis Young (NBL, MBC) Identity Corrected

        Thanks to some input from reader Shane Hoimes, I was able to correct the previous identification of Willis Young from Chicago.

        Willie Young

        Harry Lucas Identified

        With help from blog reader Shane Holmes, I was able to confirm the identity of the former Chicago Duffy Florals (MBC) player as the man I had suspected. Harry Lucas is Harry William Lucas (born 1910)

        Thank you for the help, Shane!

        Harry Lucas

        Sunday, May 17, 2020

        In Memoriam: Jack "Red" McGaffney (Philadelphia SPHA's)

        Red McGaffney, one of the last remaining members of the Philadelphia SPHA's, died earlier this year.


        John J. McGaffney, 95, passed away Monday, Feb. 5, surrounded by his family at home in Egg Harbor Township.

        Affectionately known as “Big Red” or “Reds,” John J. McGaffney was born and raised in the Inlet section of Atlantic City. Despite growing up during the great depression and losing his father at an early age, Reds remembered his early days in the Inlet fondly. Often telling stories of his many friends and adventures.

        An avid sports fan, especially basketball and baseball, he loved the Phillies, Sixers, Eagles and the Philadelphia “Big 5” college basketball.

        John attended Holy Spirit and Atlantic City Trade School, where he played basketball. He also played basketball in many city leagues as a young man (teams like Hap Farley’s, Keely Democrats). He played briefly for the Philadelphia Sphas prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corp.

        Reds married his beloved wife Virginia in 1949. After living in Atlantic City for several years, they moved to Northfield where they raised their family. Most recently residing in Egg Harbor Township with his daughter, Christine. In 1954, he began his career with Swift & Company as branch superintendent where he remained until his retirement.

        John was very active in the Northfield All-Sports Association, coaching Little League and Biddy Basketball and serving as President in the early 1960’s.

        His greatest pride was his family: Virginia, their four children John (Kathleen), Christine, Nancy Morris (Michael) and Patricia Previti (Anthony); seven grandchildren (Matthew McGaffney, Cari Eckel and Erin Wilkenson, Emily and Anna Previti, Tim and Laura Morris) and nine great-grandchildren (Matthew and Marissa, Shea, Mackie, and Ty, Bailey, Porter, and Harper, and Teddy).

        John is predeceased by his wife of 62 years Virginia (1926 - 2012), brother Francis and sisters Elizabeth, Rosemary and Patricia.

        In Memoriam: Jim Tucker (Syracuse Nationals)

        Jim Tucker, three-year NBA veteran and for 60 years the record holder for the fastest Triple-Double, died last week (May 14, 2020).

        Jim Tucker (1932-2020)

        Friday, April 17, 2020

        John Orr (NBL player, Chicago) identifed and corrected

        The John Orr (not the same as the famous Michigan head coach) who played in the NBL in the 1940's was previously not correctly identified here (and is currently still incorrect on the Pro Basketball Encyclopedia). I found a draft registration that listed his career as a baseball player. Since the Johnny Orr who played with the NBL's Chicago clubs was also a minor league baseball player, this pointed away from the previously identification as John R. Orr (1918-1981),  His draft registration gave me his mother's name, which helped me to track Orr to Tucson, Arizona, in the mid 1950's. He died on cancer and his obituary confirmed his athetletic endeavors and hsi attendance at St Rita HS in  Chicago.

        Friday, February 7, 2020

        In Memroiam: Dick Schnittker

        Dick Schnittker (1928-2020)

        Dick Schnittker, a three-sport standout at Sandusky High School who went on to star at Ohio State and win a pair of NBA championships, died last week at age 91.

        Schnittker died of natural causes at his Green Valley, Arizona, home Jan. 12.

        Schnittker was named to Sandusky High’s inaugural hall of fame class in 1990 before playing football and basketball at Ohio State and winning NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers. But the seeds for his competitive legacy were planted in northwest Ohio.

        Schnittker grew up on Kelly’s Island and had three brothers. Lyle was the youngest, then Dick, Max and Bill, the oldest.

        “Bill was the worst. He was the instigator,” Dick’s wife, Barb, remembers Dick saying.

        One day, Bill challenged his younger brothers to see who could venture the furthest across iced-over Lake Erie. The brothers fell in.

        Knowing their mother would be upset to learn of their game, the brothers built a fire to dry their clothes. Unfortunately, their mom smelled smoke on them when they returned home and sussed out the real story. The Schnittker boys were promptly sent to their rooms without supper.

        The competitive nature that drove Dick to walk on the ice eventually drove him to athletic success at Sandusky High. Schnittker became a star in football, basketball and track as a Blue Streak.

        In track, he broke the school record in the high jump multiple times between 1941 and 1945. That athleticism transferred to the football field, where Schnittker played tight end well enough to earn a football scholarship offer from Ohio State, and to the basketball court, where he led the Blue Streaks to a Sweet 16 appearance as a 6-foot-5 forward.

        Despite the scholarship offer in football, Schnittker opted to try out for basketball at Ohio State. Not only did he make the team, he quickly became the Buckeyes’ best player. He averaged 18.4 points per game in three seasons, leading Ohio State to the Elite Eight in 1950, his final season with the team.

        “He’s wonderful,” Ohio State basketball coach Tippy Dye once said of Schnittker. “What else can you say about that guy?”

        He even made his mark on the Ohio State football program in 1949. When OSU’s starting tight end was lost for the season due to injury, Schnittker stepped in and caught a touchdown pass against California in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1950.

        The NBA’s Washington Capitols made Schnittker the fourth pick in the 1950 NBA draft, but he was drafted by the military after one season. After two years in the military, he rejoined the NBA as a forward with the Minneapolis Lakers. His first season in 1953 overlapped with the legendary George Mikan, and the Lakers won back-to-back championships in Schnittker’s first two seasons with the team.

        That was a few years after he met Barb, to whom he was married for nearly 70 years. They were introduced by mutual friends in the summer of 1949, right before Schnittker’s final college season. Barb went to Stevens College in Missouri but lived in Ohio.

        Upon meeting Dick, she immediately noticed his tall, athletic build.

        “Where’d you meet your little friend?” Barb quipped at the time to her friend, Nancy.

        After Dick was drafted into the military, they quickly married. When Dick became a Laker, they bought their first home in Minneapolis.

        Dick’s role with the Lakers was limited at first — in ’53, he didn’t play until the NBA Finals — but he became a reliable scorer as his career progressed. He averaged 10 points per game in his second season and 11 in his third. He averaged eight points per game for his career.

        Barb loved being a Laker wife. She particularly enjoyed attending games with the other players’ wives and the local celebrity she accrued.

        “The recognition was really special,” Barb said. “I could go to the grocery store and they knew who I was. It was a great time. We had a wonderful time.”

        Dick enjoyed his life as a basketball player, but he valued his family’s future above all else. When the Lakers began considering a move, he took a job selling adhesives for H.B. Fuller in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with an eye toward a stable family life.

        “He had a opportunity for this job and the future,” Barb said. “He always thought about us first.”

        The Schnittkers built that life in Green Bay, where they lived for seven years. They had a son, Richard Jr., nicknamed “Riff,” and discovered their passion for God. The Schnittkers started by hosting bible studies at their home, but eventually Dick bought an old building and turned it into the Green Bay Community Church.

        Riff remembers hauling materials while his dad revamped the church’s basement, which was filled with water three feet deep when the Schnittkers bought the building.

        All the while, Dick maintained his love for sports. The Schnittkers always made the trip to watch Ohio State’s football team play Wisconsin in Madison. Riff remembers meeting players on the sideline thanks to his dad’s status as a Buckeye legend.

        Schnittker also played golf for most of his post-playing days. He was pretty good at that, too. Grandson Kevin said Dick recorded three holes-in-one during his life.

        Dick’s status as a former Laker particularly impressed his friends at the golf club in Green Valley, where the Schnittkers moved in the early 1990s to be closer to Barb’s mother. Riff followed suit and brought the three Schnittker grandchildren with him.

        As he aged, Dick committed even more time to taking care of his family, but never lost touch with sports. He enjoyed golf until a neuropathy left him unable to play. His family gathered to watch the Ohio State-Michigan game at his house each year. Who he was watching with meant just as much as who won the game.

        “Pretty much dad included me in everything he was doing,” Riff said. “He was a very good teacher with tools, with sports, with just about anything.”

        That’s how his loved ones will choose to remember him. Not as the star athlete he was in his early days, but the committed family man he grew to be after he called it quits. Even in death, Dick’s surviving family members are confident he’s focused on family. Dick’s grandson, Brian, died of leukemia a few months before his 17th birthday. The Schnittkers are comforted by the idea of Dick and Brian making up for lost time.

        “I think we’re all happy (Dick) is up there with (Brian) now,” Kevin said.

        The rest of Dick’s friends and family will cherish his memory, whether they remember him catching touchdowns and swishing jump shots or building churches and teaching life lessons.

        In Barb’s case, she’ll remember the support he showed her for nearly 70 years. The couple would’ve celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary in February.

        “When I think about Dick, I just love him to pieces because he let me be who I was, and he always took care of me,” Barb said. “We were a team — that is what I’ll remember.”

        Sandusky High School graduate Dick Schnittker was a standout basketball player at Ohio State who went on to win two NBA championships with the Minneapolis Lakers. He died this week at age 91.

        - Jimmy Watkins, Sandusky Register -

        Tuesday, January 21, 2020

        1950-51 Wallingford Veterans (EBL-CT)

        1950-51 WALLINGFORD VETS

        Finished: 9-12 .429, T-3rd place

        Semi-finals: Lost to Manchester, 2-1

        Coached by Jack French, who was also the basketball coach at Meriden High School, Wallingford got off to a slow 2-6 start and never could piece together a good winning stretch despite a fairly talented team. They would lose to eventual champion Manchester in the semi-finals.

        Head Coach:
        • Jack French (July 30, 1924 - November 29, 2004) Also played. See below.

        • Ed Anderson  
        • Berselli  
        • George Ferrie (March 2, 1928 - October 18, 2011)
        • Dick Feurtado (May 20, 1926 - May 9, 1991)
        • Chuck Foster  
        • Walt Geoghan (March 28, 1925 - Mar 22, 1997)
        • Albert Gostyla (October 4, 1920 - February 27, 2016)
        • Jankowski 
        • Kars 
        • Don Kotter (December 29, 1920 - November 11, 1985)
        • McNeff 
        • Nat Miller  
        • Frank O'Shea
        • Johnny Penkrot (February 6. 1927 - June 26, 1978)
        • Ed Schwartz 
        • Spud Shapiro (January 1, 1925 - March 24, 2000)
        • Johnny Slab (May 1, 1920 - August 20, 1980)
        • Joe Stanislo 
        • Milt Woolman  

        Monday, January 20, 2020

        1950-51 Torrington Howards (EBL-CT)

        1950-51 TORRINGTON HOWARDS

        Finished: 9-12 .429, T-3rd place

        Semi-Finals: Defeated Meriden, 2-0
        Championship: Lost to Manchester, 2-0

        Torrington returned to the league after a rough season prior. With a fully revamped line-up, they were slightly improved and surprisingly defeated Meriden in the playoffs. However, they were swept by Manchester in the championship series.

        Head Coach:   

        • Barrett 
        • Camp 
        • Johnny Cilfone (December 8, 1930 - March 12, 1973)
        • Jack Doherty (b. February 27, 1921)
        • Gino Fabiaschi (b. March 17, 1931)
        • Slim Garrett  
        • Tom Gibbons  
        • Vic Hanson 
        • Ken Keller (August 16, 1922 - February 24, 1983)
        • Chubby Malinconico (November 16, 1921 - March 14, 2007)
        • Johnny Michaels 
        • Murphy  
        • Peters  
        • John Tolan (March 26, 1929 - September 2, 2008)

        1950-51 Meriden Sons of Italy (EBL-CT)

        1950-51 MERIDEN SONS OF ITALY

        Finished: 16-6 .727, 1st place

        Semi-finals: Lost to Torrington, 2-0

        Meriden came into the league last year and quickly turned the heads of the competition. They opted to withdraw from the league in October of 1950, but were coaxed back into the league. This year, couldn't quite gel in the first half, only winning 7 of their first 12 games. At this point, they caught fire and won 8 straight games to jump into first place. However, when the playoffs came around, they ran into Torrington, who dispatched them easily.

        Head Coach: 

        • Dipersio 
        • Len Doctor (July 23, 1922 - November 10, 2008)
        • Francis  
        • Gaffney  
        • George Jarvis (August 6, 1923 - December 1, 2014)
        • Don Kotter (December 29, 1920 - November 11, 1985)
        • Race 
        • Ed Readin 
        • Pete Rybeck (November 29, 1929 - March 25, 2000)
        • Joe Schiopucie (March 20, 1921 - June 12, 2001)
        • Ed Schwartz 
        • Spira 

        1950-51 Manchester Nassiff Arms (EBL-CT)


        Finished: 13-8 .619, 2nd place

        Semi-finals: Defeated Wallingford, 2-1
        Championship: Defeated Torrington, 2-0

        Manchester, winner of the league championship last year, bolted out to a 6-0 start and won 9 of 11. They stumbled a bit in January, dropping three straight, but rebounded to finish 13-8.

        In the playoffs, they squared off against Wallingford and beat the Vets in a hard fought series. Facing Torrington for the EBL Championship, the Nassiff Arms beat Torrington in two straight to win their second straight title.

        In a bid to bring in some money lost by the shortcomings of the league and cancelled games, Manchester then played a best-of-three series against Meriden, who also claim to win the regular season title. Manchester dropped Meriden with two wins.

        Head Coach:
        • Earl Yost (August 14, 1921 - September 3, 2005) Also played. See below.

          Bruno Bycholski
        • Jack Allen (April 11, 1923 - August 24, 1966)
        • Puggy Bell  (November 26, 1914 - February 19, 1985)
        • Joe Bemer (February 21, 1930 - June 3, 2001)
        • Frank Bryer (December 12, 1925 - April 11, 2009)
        • Bruno Bycholski (September 2, 1916 - May 28, 2010)
        • Jackie Foerst (June 8, 1927 - October 7, 2016)
        • Gavdino 
        • Leon Golembiewski (August 17, 1923 - December 23, 1988)
        • Howland 
        • George Joyce (October 18, 1926 - March 17, 1976)
        • Litvinchyk 
        • Chuck Muzikevik (March 11, 1922 - November 5, 1972)
        • Pete Staum (May 28, 1916 - September 23, 2002)
        • Al Surowiec (January 18, 1926 - November 16, 1992)
        •  Chuck Tobin (June 12, 1925 - February 19, 2000)
        • Young 
        • Earl Yost (August 14, 1921 - September 3, 2005)

        1950-51 Hartford Hurricanes (EBL-CT)


        Finished: 8-14 .364, 6th place

        Hartford was a late addition to the Eastern League. Having dropped out of the ABL the previous basketball season, the Hurricanes stepped up and joined the EBL when the league pleaded to add a team in the Capital City in order to even start play. Hartford drew very poorly, and the team quit prior to their final game of the season.

        Head Coach:

        • Chick Ciccarello (December 17, 1931 - March 21, 2008)
        • Max Cogan (July 14, 1928 - January 1, 1988)
        • Verne Cox (January 2, 1920 - September 7, 1991)
        • Cliff Crosby (b. September 4, 1928)
        • Lou Decsi (February 9, 1923 - November 19, 2018)
        • Bill Detrick (July 22, 1927 - September 19, 2014)
        • Jack Dineen (September 12, 1926 - April 25, 2010)
        • Ferd Nadherny (December 12, 1926 - March 12, 2013)
        • Ernie Oglesby  
        • Bill Pitkin (October 9, 1925 - March 7, 1989)
        • Eddie Rosmarin (September 14, 1924 - September 30, 2013)
        • George Sella (b. September 29, 1928)

        1950-51 Bristol Tramps (EBL-CT)

        1950-51 BRISTOL TRAMPS

        Finished: 7-10 .412, 5th place

        The Bristol Tramps were just a shell of what they once were, winning only two of the first eight games. They caught a spark in January and won five straight, but then lost four straight before the team dropped from the league.

        Head Coach: 
        • Julie Larese (July 16, 1917 - May 17, 1998)
        Bill Anderson

        • George Amsden (November 19, 1923 - October 3, 1974)
        • Bill Anderson (June 5, 1926 - September 12, 1984)
        • Puggy Bell  (November 26, 1914 - February 19, 1985)
        • John Canavari (January 20, 1926 - March 17, 2001)
        • Bill Detrick (July 22, 1927 - September 19, 2014)
        • Jackie Foerst (June 8, 1927 - October 7, 2016)
        • Chuck Foster 
        • Gasi 
        • Tom Henry   
        • Howland 
        • George Joyce (October 18, 1926 - March 17, 1976)
        • Roger LaFrance (February 18, 1925 - November 14, 1999)
        • Chubby Malinconico (November 16, 1921 - March 14, 2007)
        • Pat Riera (April 4, 1926 - March 9, 2006)
        • Eddie Rosmarin (September 14, 1924 - September 30, 2013)
        • Johnny Slab (May 1, 1920 - August 20, 1980)
        • Chris Viera 
        • Bill Wade (January 31, 1927 - August 30, 1991)

        1950-51 EBL-CT

        The Eastern Basketball League of Connecticut was in a free-fall by the time the 1950-51 season came along. The league lost four teams during the previous season (although the Torrington Howards regrouped to rejoin the league in the fall of 1950) and the Middletown Guards left the league. They did pick up the Hartford Hurricanes who had left the American Basketball League after the 1949-50 season. The formerly successful Bristol Tramps team had fallen on very hard times, and the club quit the league with five games left.

        The top four teams made the playoffs, and Manchester repeated as the champions, defeating Torrington in the championship series.

        After this season, the league announced it was suspending operations for the 1951-52 season, but when the league tried to come back, it was even smaller in scope with lesser semi-pro teams. They had dropped from the Eastern Basketball Association, which now just consisted of the Eastern Professional Basketball League of Pennsylvania, with the third EBA league, the New York State League, having also dissolved a few season earlier.

        The Middletown Guards team, which had left  the EBL in 1950, would continue on as an independent until the 1951-52 season when they were invited to join the American Basketball League to fill in the vacancy left by the folding of the Carbondale club shortly into the season.

        Bristol Tramps *
        Hartford Hurricanes
        Manchester Nassiff Arms
        Meriden Sons of Italy
        Torrington Howards
        Wallingford Vets

        * - dropped before season's end

        Friday, January 17, 2020

        In Memoriam: Carl McNulty

        Carl McNulty (1930-2020)

        Former Purdue player and longtime Indiana high school basketball coach Carl McNulty has died. He was 89.

        The native of Washington Township, Indiana, was a 1951 All-American and two-time team MVP for the Boilermakers (he still holds the single-game rebounding record with 27) before entering the military. He later played in one NBA game.

        He coached 29 years at the high school level, 18 of them at Kokomo, where he won 13 sectionals. He finished with 413 coaching victories.

        McNulty revealed the secret to IndyStar's Gregg Doyel about his rebounding ability: "Tipping."

        When McNulty practiced as a kid -- in classic Indiana fashion on a rim hammered into the side of a barn -- he would shoot, and tip any missed shots.

        It came in handy that night he set Purdue's record. He also scored 32 points against Minnesota.

        “A lot of my rebounds that day were offensive rebounds," McNulty said. "Not sure I ever brought the ball down.”

        McNulty also said he wasn't paid for his one NBA appearance with the Milwaukee Hawks, in which he scored two points: “I never asked the (Hawks) what I’d be making, and they never mentioned it.”

        McNulty said he learned quickly that the NBA lifestyle wasn't for him, so he ended up coaching.

        - Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star -

        1949-50 Waterbury Coppers (EBL-CT)

        1949-50 WATERBURY COPPERS

        Finished: 3-5 (3-16) .375, 7th place

        Waterbury didn't play that poorly, but financially they couldn't piece it together and dropped on January 9, 1950.

        Head Coach: 

        • John Butler (December 9, 1930 - March 3, 2019)
        • Ike Dubow (January 15, 1922 - January 16, 1974)
        • Spud Shapiro (January 1, 1925 - March 24, 2000)

        1949-50 Wallingford Veterans (EBL-CT)

        1949-50 WALLINGFORD VETS

        Finished: 15-5 .750, 1st place

        Semi-finals: Lost to Manchester, 2-0

        Wallingford battled Meriden for the top spot all year, finally besting the Sons. They were upset in the playoffs by eventual champion Manchester.

        Head Coach:
        • Danny Finn (May 29, 1928 - February 18, 2007)

        • George Ferrie (March 2, 1928 - October 18, 2011)
        • Allen Friedman 
        • Jack Loache 
        • Nat Miller 
        • Dan Quinn 
        • Johnny Riccitelli (June 21, 1920 - November 7, 2010)

        1949-50 Torrington Howards (EBL-CT)

        1949-50 TORRINGTON HOWARDS

        Finished: 2-13 .133, 8th place

        Coached by Hartford basketball figure Abe Silverman (he may not have been the coach at the start of the season but he was the coach in their fourth game of the season. I am not sure). Torrington got beaten on a regular basis until folding on January 29, 1950.

        Coach Abe Silverman
        Head Coach:   
        • Abe Silverman  (April 5, 1906 - September 2, 1997)

        • Ed Anderson 
        • Johnny Cilfone (December 8, 1930 - March 12, 1973)
        • Collins 
        • Len Doctor (July 23, 1922 - November 10, 2008)
        • Morris Felis 
        • Jackie Foerst (June 8, 1927 - October 7, 2016)
        • Slim Garrett 
        • Jack Gimmler (July 27, 1927 - December 14, 1996)
        • Hawran  
        • Andy Hricko (April 16, 1930)
        • Rollie Spino (June 9, 1929 - July 31, 2017)

        1949-50 New Britain Rios (EBL-CT)

        1949-50 NEW BRITAIN RIOS

        Finished: 6-8  .429, 6th place

        The Rios won their first game and then proceeded to lose the next five. They recovered somewhat, and improved to 6-8 until February 7, 1950, when the club withdrew from the league.

        Head Coach: 

        • Vic Hanson 
        • George Jarvis (August 6, 1923 - December 1, 2014)
        • Don Kotter (December 29, 1920 - November 11, 1985)
        • Dick Kraus (September 30, 1926 - February 2, 1995)
        • Carmine Mele (July 28, 1924 - June 2, 1992)
        • Bill Warneke