Monday, October 31, 2022

New updates, identifications, corrections, October 2022

Taking some time and looking back to fill in some holes or close some things out.


Rollie Seltz (NBL, NPBL, NBA) - Died October 13, 2022


Vernel "Hap" Smith, AABL



Tuesday, October 4, 2022

New updates, identifications, corrections, September 2022

 Taking some time and looking back to fill in some holes or close some things out.


Don Delaney, AABL (AAU)  - Added date of death

Marshall Fox, ABL (AAU) - Added date of death

Don Seidel, ABL (AAU) - Added date of death


Red Fitzsimmons, ABL



Al BiolsiABL - Might be living in New York.

Mike DiTomasso, ABL - possibly the player listed simply as "Ditomonsin"

Monday, September 19, 2022

In Memoriam: Red Fitzsimmons (ABL)

Red Fitzsimmons (1932-2022)

James “Red” Fitzsimmons, 89, of Forest City, died Saturday, August 27, 2022, at the Forest City Nursing and Rehab Center. His wife of 55 years, Janet Beautz Fitzsimmons died in 2010.

Born October 2, 1932, in Forest City, he was the son of the late Francis and Alice Walsh Fitzsimmons. Jim graduated from St. Rose High School and attended East Stroudsburg University. At St. Rose, he was an outstanding basketball player who helped advance the team to the 1951 State Championship game. He played semi-professionally for the Scranton Miners and was inducted into the Chic Feldman Foundation Scranton Area Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame for his basketball accomplishments.

Prior to retirement, Jim was the owner of the Fitzsimmons Insurance Agency, starting his career in 1957 and spanning over 50 years. He was a member of Ascension Parish, Forest City, their Holy Name Society, and served as a Eucharistic Minister. Jim enjoyed making chicken on the grill and soups in the kitchen, but his holiday stuffing was a family favorite. His love of travel and camping with his wife, children and friends led him on many trips throughout the U.S. and internationally. Jim was an enthusiastic fan of Drum & Bugle competitions and enjoyed following NCAA basketball. He was a devoted family man that will be greatly missed.

He is survived by three sons James and wife Mary, Browndale; Francis and wife Lorri, Lancaster; and Brian and wife Kristina, Browndale; Two daughters Kathleen and husband Joseph Sterchak, Collegeville, PA; and Maureen and husband Wayne Franco, West Chester, PA; ten grandchildren, Ashley, Logan, Daniel, Matthew, Sara, Benjamin, Emily, Lauren, Jacob and Cooper; four great grandchildren Julianna, Abigail, Owen, and Lucas; several brothers/sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.

Also preceded in death by four brothers Joseph, Thomas, Robert and Edward; four sisters Rosemary Novak, Ann Turner, Alice Kulick, and Carol Flynn.

Funeral will be Friday at 9:30 from the Kevin M. Lesjack Funeral Home, 513 Main Street, Forest City, with Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am in St. Joseph's Church, Forest City. Interment in St. Agnes Cemetery, Forest City. Viewing on Thursday 5-8 pm and Friday from 9 am until time of funeral.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Jim's name to St. Joseph's Center Foundation, 2010 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

Monday, August 15, 2022

In Memoriam: Frank Otway (NBL)

Frank Otway (1923-2022)

Frank H. Otway, married to the love of his life, Isabel

"Tommie" Otway for 80 years, formerly of Springfield, born 3/1/1923, passed peacefully at home in Orange City, FL, on 4/21/2022, at 99 years old. He joins in Heaven his 5 children, Dale, Gary, Christine, Lyris and Robert, his 3 grandchildren, Glenn, Elaine, Nicole and

a great-grandchild, Tori. He leaves behind daughter-in-law, Leigh, 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grands, 2 great-greats and his love of Basketball.

US Marine Corp 1943-1946, Coached Marine's 8th Services basketball team - Won Armed Forces Olympics, losing only one game! Rider Univ. Graduate 1951. Retired from Schaefer's Wholesale Bakery as President and CEO.

Proudly served his community as a member of Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce; Junior Achievement; Ohio Chamber of Commerce; Ohio Bakers Association; Tri-State Bakers Club; Rotary Club of Springfield; American Society of Bakery Engineers; American Bakers Association; VP Tecumseh Council Boy Scouts of America; Oakland Presbyterian Church-Board of Trustees; Springfield Symphony-Board of Trustees; United Way; Director-Banc Ohio/ First National Bank; Director-Sweet Manufacturing Co; St. Johns Nursing Home - Board of Trustees; Chairman Clark County Republican Party; Member - Northminster Presbyterian Church

Friday, August 12, 2022

In Memoriam: Les Rothman (ABL, NBL)

Les Rothman (1926-2022)

Rothman was a captain at LIU and played in both the ABL and NBL as well as playing minor league baseball. He was the last surviving member of the 1946-47 NBL CHampion Chicago American Gears.

According to my records, only 7 players from the NBL survive.

ROTHMAN--Lester. August 12, 1926 - July 27, 2022. Beloved son of Sol and Anna Rothman, brother of Lillian Kulick and Ruth Barry, husband of Dr. Beulah Gordon Rothman and Doris Hazelcorn Rothman (all deceased). Captain of the LIU Basketball team, professional basketball and baseball player, Principal of Roslyn Junior High School and Assistant Principal New York City School System, Director of Camp Louemma & Camp Willoway. Dedicated to educating children, a caring mentor to teachers and staff, known for his kind temperament, remarkable intelligence, and warmth. Devoted to daughters Abby M. Rothman and Meah Tell, grandchildren David Tell (Emily) and Shoshana Tell (David Gottlieb), and identical-twin great-grandsons Avi and Ilan Gottlieb-Tell. Survived by loving companion Sydelle Apfel. Burial at 3:00pm, Sunday, July 31, 2022 Mount Hebron Cemetery, Queens, New York. Contributions in his memory can be made to Beulah Rothman Endowed Scholarship Fund. 

In Memoriam: Norm McCool (NPBL)

Norm McCool (1927-2022)

Norman McCool, 94, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, on July 2, 2022. He was born to L.R. and Minnie (Sasse) McCool on September 19, 1927.

An Evansville native, Norm grew up with an innate love of sports, which he shared with his family and community. He attended Bosse High School where he was a proud member of the 1944 and 1945 State Basketball Championship teams. After high school, he was offered a contract with a major league baseball team, the St. Louis Browns. He chose, instead, to play basketball at Purdue. In 1950, Norm played in the National Professional Basketball League. One of his favorite memories was defeating the Harlem Globetrotters in 1951!

Eventually, Norm was called home to work for the family business, Coca-Cola Bottling Works. He was happy to do so, and saw this as an opportunity to make a difference in his community. In 1992, Norm was awarded “Man of the Year” by the Friends of Bosse Field for his many contributions to youth sports in Evansville. From coaching, to building concession stands, to sponsoring the high school soccer programs, Norm was involved. He wanted every child to have the opportunity to play a team sport.

He gave his support to the Evansville Museum, Shanklin Theatre, Evansville Civic Theatre, Carson Center, Special Olympics, and the Deaconess Foundation. His memberships included; Phi Gamma Delta, Tri-State Athletic Club, Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Tennis Hall of Fame, Central Turners, Rolling Hills Country Club, Roberts Stadium Board, UE Presidents Club, and Aldersgate UMC.

His retirement years kept him busy with wood-working, attending his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s activities, tennis and golf, loving his dogs, and enjoying music. He loved everything from Opera to Bluegrass to Rock and Roll! He was a great storyteller and had a million to tell.

Norm’s greatest joy was creating wonderful memories for his family and the city he loved. He was a generous man, a great Dad, and a loyal friend.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, David; sister, Eleanor Fisher; and brother, Ralph McCool.

He is survived by his bride of 73 years, Maxey (McGowan); sons, Michael (Belle Anne) and Jim; daughter, Cary Gray (Michael); grandchildren, Christopher, Jason, Patrick, Jessica, Nick, John, Sara, Daniel, Ryan, and Olivia; 23 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

In Memoriam: Bill Butterfield (NPBL)

Bill Butterfield (1928-2022)

Butterfield played for Evansville of the short-lives National Professional Basketball League in 1950-51.


William “Bill” Butterfield, 94, peacefully passed away on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at his home surrounded by his family. An Evansville native, son of the late Sidney and Ruth (Lane) Butterfield, Bill loved and served the community that raised him. To that end, he started businesses, chaired charitable boards, and fought hard to keep Evansville and all of Indiana a safe haven for the unborn. An early advocate for Civil Rights, Bill cared that the rights of all people, born and unborn, were protected, and he faithfully and passionately lived out that belief. Even in his last weeks of life, his family and friends were receiving emails from him keeping them informed on local and state issues of importance. His faith in Jesus Christ and deep love for his family inspired him, and he will be fondly remembered for his heart of gold and engaging sense of humor. Bill attended Bosse high school and served as the president of the Student Council for 2 years. He received his undergraduate degree at Purdue University where he was president of the senior class, president of the alumni class, president of Delta Rho Kappa, a Purdue Science Scholastic Honorary, graduated with the highest distinction, and was a member of the Century Club. He received his masters degree at Harvard Business School with the HBS Honorary. As a businessman, Bill left his mark as the prior owner/president of Tri-State Athletic Club, Tri-State Satellite, Smith and Butterfield, Ambassador Travel, Snap Photo, and Evansville Basketball Academy. As a humanitarian and philanthropist, he served as chairman of the board for Vanderburgh County Right to Life, WNIN Public Broadcasting, Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana, United Way of Southwestern Indiana, and the March of Dimes Polio Campaign. He also served as a board member for Life Issues Institute and Indiana Right to Life, campaign chairman for the United Way of Southwestern Indiana, and the president and treasurer of the Mayor’s Human Relations Committee. He received the Vanderburgh County Right to Life Notable Achievement Award and the Jaycee Distinguished Service Award. Bill loved sports, particularly Purdue University sports! An avid tennis and basketball player, he was a champion athlete: a member of the 1945 Bosse High School state championship team, member of the 1946 Indiana Basketball High School All Stars, a Purdue University basketball letterman, played one year in the National Professional Basketball League and defeated the Harlem Globe Trotters, and he was a member of the Robert’s Stadium Basketball Hall of Fame. He served on the board of Evansville Area Tennis Patrons and was chairman of the board for the National Indoor Tennis Association. Keeping his family close was a high priority for Bill. He blessed his children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren with frequent trips together and family reunions so that they could know and love each other as he knew and loved them. He is survived by a son, James (Barbara) Butterfield of Evansville, IN; daughters, Kathy (Rev. David) Brooks of Manchester, NH, Betsy (Fred) McGarvey of Indianapolis, IN, Sarah (Gerd) Budden of Lake Oswego, OR., Tracy (Phil) Kessler of Evansville, IN, Rhonda (Tim) Dame of Evansville, IN, Kelly Butterfield of Evansville, IN, and Jama (Jeff) Bannister of Evansville, IN; grandchildren, Sarah Cox, Jon Brooks, Courtney Hahn, Daniel Brooks, Caleb Brooks, Andrea Prisk, Megan McGarvey, Elizabeth McGarvey, Anna Budden, Sidney Waddington, Amy Giorgio, William Brooks, Sarah Morris, Jan Budden, Logan Dame, Katarina Budden, David Butterfield, Hilary Scott, Christian Budden, Mackenzie Santos, Harrison Parchment, Mia Parchment, Bjorn Budden, Eric Budden, and Vivecka Heinke; 37 great-grandchildren; sister, Dr. Mary Butterfield of Pompano Beach, FL.; nephew, William Thomas; and nieces, Mary Thomas Lentz, Julie Thomas Cohen, and Sarah Thomas Petro. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Ruth Thomas; and his former wife, Connie Butterfield. Visitation will be from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at Alexander Funeral Home-East Chapel, 2115 Lincoln Avenue, Evansville, IN 47714. Funeral Services will begin at 1:30 p.m. June 19, 2022 at Bethel Church, 4400 Lincoln Avenue, Evansville, IN 47714 with Pastors Steve and Dave Schwambach officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Bill’s funeral service will be livestreamed beginning at 1:15 p.m., please visit the following link, In lieu of flowers, charitable donations can be made to Right to Life of Southwest Indiana, 20 NW Third Street, Suite 810, Evansville, IN 47708; Indiana Right to Life, 9465 Counselors Row, Indianapolis, IN 46240; 1 on 1 Church 5177 Rosebud Lane, Evansville, IN 47630; Bethel Church 4400 Lincoln Avenue, Evansville, IN 47714. The family would love to hear your favorite story of Bill. Please visit