Thursday, January 27, 2022

Basketball Hall of Fame Part 2

 The sport of basketball was invented in 1891 by Canadian Dr. James Naismith, who, while tasked with teaching at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, needed something to keep his charges busy in the cold winter when outdoor sports were not viable. His idea was to nail some peach baskets to the wall and throw soccer balls into them...the sport of basketball was born, Added to the Olympics in the 1930s, it exploded in popularity over the decades and today is believed to be the second most popular sport in the entire world, with more fans worldwide than the entire population of the USA. Amazingly, many early artifacts survive and are on display at the Hall of Fame. 

The ball is signed by James Naismith himself. He lived from 1861-1939.

Just a piece of the actual floor from the first ever basketball game! This is one of two artifacts that were truly jaw-dropping to me, the second is a jersey and is not in this post.
An early women's uniform (the 95 signifies she was expected to graduate in 1895) and a peach basket.

The Original Celtics (known at the time as the New York Celtics) are not the current team, but the current Celtics took their name, logo and color scheme from them, inspired by the greatness of the original team...or at least the 1920s team, which in itself was inspired by a pre-WWI team.
No, the Original Celtics didn't move to Kansas City. In the mid-1930s they were sponsored by Kate Smith and became the Kate Smith Celtics. 

This is literally the very first shot clock in history! Note the handle- it was placed on the floor at the edge of the arena and was carried there like a suitcase.

The Phillips 66ers were an early team sponsored by the gasoline company, and while they do appear in my card collection, I had never seen a color photo of their uniform before.

The BAA is one of two leagues that formed to create the NBA. The NBA only recognizes the BAA history, however. This jacket belonged to Jerry Fleishman and commemorates the 1946-47 BAA Champion Philadelphia Warriors. 

One of the more amazing artifacts is the first NBA (and BAA) trophy! Notice how there are small plaques on there listing the names of the championship winning players, much like the NHL does with the Stanley Cup. Not totally surprising considering the first major professional basketball league was created by the owner of the Boston Garden looking to bring in some revenue when the Bruins weren't playing. 

Just the first ever BAA Rookie of the Year award. 

Next time we will look at the real stars of the museum in my opinion, the jerseys!