The Original Celtics

NBL, BAA, and others

The Original Celtics

Postby J-Sal » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:39 am

I'm trying to get a grasp of the many directions and ownership changes for this team. From what I understand the Harlem Rens were always owned by Bob Douglas and Harlem Globetrotters were always owned by Abe Saperstein. The Celtics however seemed to be all over the map. Different owners, locales, names, even teams! Anyway, I've decided to put together a timeline to at least make it marginally less complicated. Here's what I have, but please be to correct me if any of my info is wrong:

1) They were founded as a local amateur tour team in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, for the 1914-15 season by Frank "Tip" McCormack.
2) They were dormant for the 1917-18 season as McCormack and several of his players were sent of fighting in WWI.
3) They were re-established for the 1918-19 season by McCormack's cousin, James A. Furey. McCormack didn't want to lose control of the team's name so Furey billed them as the "Original Celtics."
4) Thanks to the best players of their day (Swede Grimstead, Dutch Denhert, Johnny Whitty, Nat Holman, Joe Lapchick, John Beckman, Davey Banks etc., etc.)
as well as John "Pete" Barry, the only member from McCormack's group, Furey has the world's best team.
5) After winning titles while barnstorming touring and jumping around minor pro leagues they briefly move to Atlantic City (replacing the AC Sandpipers).
They take the name Atlantic City Celtics for part of the 1922-23 season.
6) They quickly move back to New York after poor draws in Atlantic City.
7) They join the ABL (the country's first true national league) for the 1926-27 season as an early season replacement for the defunct Brooklyn Rockets (previosly the Brooklyn Arcadians).
They play out of Arcadia Hall in Stuyvesant Heights, Brooklyn and take the name Brooklyn Celtics. At season's start Furey is jailed for embezzlement.
a8) Furey friend and Hell's Kitchen bootleger, James "Bugs" Donovan, takes control of the team. Celtics win ABL crown.
9) Donovan sells the team to MSG chief, Tex Rickard after the 1926-27 season and the name changes back to New York Celtics.
10) After a few disappointing draws at MSG, Rickard sells the team to the league. They move back to Arcadia Hall in Brooklyn.
11) After the 1927-28 season, and another league crown, the ABL moves them back to Manhattan and changes their name to New York Hakoahs.
Most of their roster is sold off to bitter rivals, the Cleveland Rosenblums.
12) After the 1928-29 season Furey is released from prison. He regains control of the team and changes the name back to New York Celtics.
Even without their best players still on Cleveland, the re-christened Celtics still win another World Championship tournament.
13) After the stock market crash and with Furey unable to fund the club, the New York Celtics go defunct early into the 1929-30 season.
***Cleveland Rosies go defunct nearly a year to the day later. Original Celtic players are all reunited by the Toledo Red Men.
The Red Men drop most of their own roster days after the Rosenblums withdraw from the ABL.***
***Red Men go bankrupt a year after the 1930-31 season***
14) Max Rosenblum returns and recollects the Original Celtic players. The team barnstorms as the Rosenblum Celtics for the 1931-32 season. (Based in Cleveland?) Team sputters during Great Depression.
15) Kate Smith, biggest radio star of the day, and her manager, Ted Collins, sponsor the team for the 1935-36 season.
16) A dispute between Smith and Rosenblum leads to a schism during the 1936-37 season. The franchise breaks. Kate Smith takes the "Original Celtics" name and reinstates the team into the ABL.
Another Celtic team (owned by Rosenblum?) barnstorms as the Kingston NJ Celtics. (Possibly known as New York Celtics too?)
17) Kate Smith Original Celtics move to Troy for the 1938-39 season. Also known as Troy Haymakers.
18) Troy Haymakers/Celtics move back to Arcadia Hall and become Brooklyn Celtics for the start of the 1940-41 season. Reach ABL Finals. Finalist in each of there three season at Arcadia ('1928, '29, '41).
19) Kate Smith/Ted Collins dissolve Brooklyn Celtics after 1940-41 season.
20) Kingston or New York Celtics barnstorming team dissolves after 1941-42 season.
21) John "Pete" Barry tries reuniting Celtics as a tour team for the 1942-43 season?
22) Paul Sahagian recreates Celtics for 1945-46 season. Team based in Troy and stars future Knick coach, Red Holzman. (Beat Harlem Rens)
Sid Rosenholz and Eddie Wilde (original owner of the Brooklyn/New York Jewels also on staff).
23) Troy Celtics join ABL for the 1946-47 season.
***Coincidentally, Walter A. Brown created the Boston Celtics of the BAA during the same season. (James A. Furey consents to Brown using the Celtic name?)***
24) After the 1946-47 season Paul Sahagian drops out of ABL. Celtics move back to New York and return to barnstorming for 1947-48 season. (Beat Harlem Globetrotter) (owner?)
25) After the 1947-48 season George Mikan joins team for several exhibitions.
26) Abe Saperstein buys the Celtics (from whom?) midway through the 1948-49 season. Buys the Rens and SPHAs as well. Turns them all into patsies in scripted games against the Globetrotters.
27) (Last New York Celtics exhibition game played in 1952?)

So that's what I was able to find. If any historians can fill in some blanks I'd greatly appreciate it!!!
J-Sal
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:15 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: The Original Celtics

Postby Robert Bradley » Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:09 am

1) They were founded as a local amateur tour team in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, for the 1914-15 season by Frank "Tip" McCormack.

I have them being founded in Manhattan's west side, which i would assume is the same area (since i'm not that familiar with Manhattan)

2) They were dormant for the 1917-18 season as McCormack and several of his players were sent of fighting in WWI.

see list below for early rosters after WWI

3) They were re-established for the 1918-19 season by McCormack's cousin, James A. Furey. McCormack didn't want to lose control of the team's name so Furey billed them as the "Original Celtics."
4) Thanks to the best players of their day (Swede Grimstead, Dutch Denhert, Johnny Whitty, Nat Holman, Joe Lapchick, John Beckman, Davey Banks etc., etc.)
as well as John "Pete" Barry, the only member from McCormack's group, Furey has the world's best team.
5) After winning titles while barnstorming touring and jumping around minor pro leagues they briefly move to Atlantic City (replacing the AC Sandpipers).
They take the name Atlantic City Celtics for part of the 1922-23 season.

They also replaced the New York Giants in the Eastern League in 1921-22, and played in the Metropolitan League in 1922-23.

6) They quickly move back to New York after poor draws in Atlantic City.
7) They join the ABL (the country's first true national league) for the 1926-27 season as an early season replacement for the defunct Brooklyn Rockets (previosly the Brooklyn Arcadians).
They play out of Arcadia Hall in Stuyvesant Heights, Brooklyn and take the name Brooklyn Celtics. At season's start Furey is jailed for embezzlement.

a8) Furey friend and Hell's Kitchen bootleger, James "Bugs" Donovan, takes control of the team. Celtics win ABL crown.
9) Donovan sells the team to MSG chief, Tex Rickard after the 1926-27 season and the name changes back to New York Celtics.
10) After a few disappointing draws at MSG, Rickard sells the team to the league. They move back to Arcadia Hall in Brooklyn.
11) After the 1927-28 season, and another league crown, the ABL moves them back to Manhattan and changes their name to New York Hakoahs.
Most of their roster is sold off to bitter rivals, the Cleveland Rosenblums.
12) After the 1928-29 season Furey is released from prison. He regains control of the team and changes the name back to New York Celtics.
Even without their best players still on Cleveland, the re-christened Celtics still win another World Championship tournament.
13) After the stock market crash and with Furey unable to fund the club, the New York Celtics go defunct early into the 1929-30 season.
***Cleveland Rosies go defunct nearly a year to the day later. Original Celtic players are all reunited by the Toledo Red Men.
The Red Men drop most of their own roster days after the Rosenblums withdraw from the ABL.***
***Red Men go bankrupt a year after the 1930-31 season***
14) Max Rosenblum returns and recollects the Original Celtic players. The team barnstorms as the Rosenblum Celtics for the 1931-32 season. (Based in Cleveland?) Team sputters during Great Depression.
15) Kate Smith, biggest radio star of the day, and her manager, Ted Collins, sponsor the team for the 1935-36 season.
16) A dispute between Smith and Rosenblum leads to a schism during the 1936-37 season. The franchise breaks. Kate Smith takes the "Original Celtics" name and reinstates the team into the ABL.
Another Celtic team (owned by Rosenblum?) barnstorms as the Kingston NJ Celtics. (Possibly known as New York Celtics too?)
17) Kate Smith Original Celtics move to Troy for the 1938-39 season. Also known as Troy Haymakers.

Bobby McDermott signed with the Celtics in 1936

18) Troy Haymakers/Celtics move back to Arcadia Hall and become Brooklyn Celtics for the start of the 1940-41 season. Reach ABL Finals. Finalist in each of there three season at Arcadia ('1928, '29, '41).
19) Kate Smith/Ted Collins dissolve Brooklyn Celtics after 1940-41 season.
20) Kingston or New York Celtics barnstorming team dissolves after 1941-42 season.
21) John "Pete" Barry tries reuniting Celtics as a tour team for the 1942-43 season?
22) Paul Sahagian recreates Celtics for 1945-46 season. Team based in Troy and stars future Knick coach, Red Holzman. (Beat Harlem Rens)
Sid Rosenholz and Eddie Wilde (original owner of the Brooklyn/New York Jewels also on staff).
23) Troy Celtics join ABL for the 1946-47 season.
***Coincidentally, Walter A. Brown created the Boston Celtics of the BAA during the same season. (James A. Furey consents to Brown using the Celtic name?)***

Charley Rosen's Book THE FIRST TIP-OFF mentions that Brown paid Furey $1,000 for the right to use the name.

24) After the 1946-47 season Paul Sahagian drops out of ABL. Celtics move back to New York and return to barnstorming for 1947-48 season. (Beat Harlem Globetrotter) (owner?)
25) After the 1947-48 season George Mikan joins team for several exhibitions.
26) Abe Saperstein buys the Celtics (from whom?) midway through the 1948-49 season. Buys the Rens and SPHAs as well. Turns them all into patsies in scripted games against the Globetrotters.
27) (Last New York Celtics exhibition game played in 1952?)

ORIGINAL CELTICS PLAYER ROSTERS
1919-20 - Pete Barry, Ernie Reich, Mike Smolick, Joe Trippe, Eddie White, Johnny Witte
1920-21 - Pete Barry, Johnny Beckman, Dutch Dehnert, Ernie Reich, Mike Smolick, Joe Trippe, Johnny Witte
1921-22 - Pete Barry, Johnny Beckman, Dutch Dehnert, Swede Grimstead, Horse Haggerty, Nat Holman, Chris Leonard, Ernie Reich, Mike Smolick, Johnny Witte
1922-23 - Pete Barry, Johnny Beckman, Eddie Burke, Dutch Dehnert, Horse Haggerty, Nat Holman, Chris Leonard, Johnny Witte
1923-24 - Pete Barry, Johnny Beckman, Eddie Burke, Dutch Dehnert, Joe Lapchick, Nat Holman, Chris Leonard, Johnny Witte
1924-25 - Pete Barry, Johnny Beckman, Eddie Burke, Dutch Dehnert, Joe Lapchick, Nat Holman, Chris Leonard, Elmer Ripley, Johnny Witte
1925-26 - Pete Barry, Johnny Beckman, Benny Borgmann, Shang Chadwick, Dutch Dehnert, Joe Lapchick, Nat Holman, Chris Leonard
1926-27 - Davey Banks, Pete Barry, Johnny Beckman, Dutch Dehnert, Joe Lapchick, Nat Holman, Chris Leonard, Johnny Witte
1927-28 - Davey Banks, Pete Barry, Dutch Dehnert, Joe Dreyfuss, Nat Holman, Joe Lapchick, Chris Leonard, Johnny Witte
Author of THE BASKETBALL DRAFT FACT BOOK: A HISTORY OF PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL'S COLLEGE DRAFTS
Available at https://Rowman.com

Robert Bradley's Pro Basketball History Revisited Blog
http://apbrbasketball.blogspot.com/
Robert Bradley
Emeritus
 
Posts: 1076
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:39 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: The Original Celtics

Postby J-Sal » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:52 pm

Thanks for the rosters, RB!

Just read that Paul Sahagian moved to Albany in 1947. Was probably still owner as the team became the Albany/Troy Celtics for the 1947-48 season. Despite their win against the Globetrotters in an exhibition game that season, they were not barnstorming but instead dropped down from the ABL to the New York State Basketball League. Chuck Connors, who had earlier played in the ABL before jumping to the Boston Celtics in 1946-47 went back down to the Albany/Troy Celtics the following year. Between future Hall of Fame coach, Red Holzman, future Vegas mobster, Ash Resnick, and future actor Chuck Connors, as late as the late '40s the Troy Celtics still had some pretty colorful characters.
J-Sal
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:15 pm
Location: Brooklyn

Re: The Original Celtics

Postby bla2222 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:16 am

They also played in the original ABL and were owned by Tex Riccard.

I liked looking at the newspapers in the 1920s and reading about them as a touring team. They came to Washington, DC many times to play George Marshall's Palace Laundry bunch and had some good games.
bla2222
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:43 pm


Return to Pre-NBA Leagues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest