New York Americans of ABL

NBL, BAA, and others

New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:12 am

Hi - I have many times visited this terrific site but this is my first post. I have been researching (without success) the NY Americans of the old ABL. I have had zero luck (including reaching out to the HOF which has been terrific at ignoring me). I am looking for any photos showing the jersey style worn by the Americans. The "old days" for me only go as far back as Dollar Bill Bradley on my hometown Knicks. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Attached are pics of a jersey I bought that has spurred this search. Thanks again!

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Postby John Grasso » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:22 am

I believe the only season that an ABL team was called the New York
Americans was 1943-44. They had competed in previous years as
the New York Jewels.

On the team in 1943-44 were Sonny Hertzberg, Dick Fitzgerald,
Howie Bollerman, Hagan Anderson, Bobby Holm, Lou Simon,
Leo Gottlieb, Stan Modzelewski (later known as Stan Stutz),
Bobby Dorn, Nat Frankel, Fuzzy Levane, Bill McKeever, Si Lobello
and players named Kantor, S. Rabin, Danyoi, Lieb and Fasules.

I'm not sure whether any of these players are still alive today.
I believe Lobello was killed in action during WWII.

If you have access to New York newspapers on microfilm besides
the NY Times you might be lucky and find a team photo. (The NYT
had minimal coverage of the ABL). Other teams in the league that
year were the Wilmington Bombers, Trenton Tigers, Philadelphia SPHAS
and Brooklyn Indians. Newspapers in those cities might also have
had photos of the Americans.

Good luck in your quest.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:12 pm

Throwing this one back out there to the experts.
I still haven't been able to find any pics of the New York Americans that played in ABL during WWII. The BBHOF and APBR didn't have anything for me (more accurately, BBHOF never responded). I spoke to two old-time BBall historians from Mass (Mr. Bacon and Mr. Meyer) who were very gracious and helpful but who hadn't seen such a pic themselves.
This may or may not be a New York Americans jersey but in the "could be" column is the team initials on the front, the American flag motiff which would be consistent with the team monicker and the patriotic time period in which the team was formed (1943-44), the approximate age and materials used in construction of the jersey, and the labelling from a NY based sporting goods company of the day.
Please let me know if you have any leads on a photo.
John dmzeverg@ptd.net
Thanks again!
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:58 am

Still searching for a photo of New York Americans of 1943-44 American Basketball League.
I found recaps of a number of their games by going through the New York Times archives.
There were no photos to be had. In fact, most of the stories contained little more than the final score.
Here's some of the "fuller stories" I could find (all from NY Times):

November 13, 1943
American Five Wins, 44-43
In a see-saw battle the New York Americans downed the Philadelphia Sphas, 44-43, in an American Basketball League test at the Manhattan Center last night. The victors trailed at the end of the first third, 13-12, conclusion of the second, 30-25.

November 20, 1943
American Five Tops Brooklyn
The New York Americans turned back the Brooklyn Indians, 48 to 41, in an American Basketball league game last night at Manhattan Center. Ozzie Schectman of the losers was high scorer with eighteen points. Izzy Cantor paced the Americans with fifteen tallies.

November 27, 1943
Trenton Quintet Triumphs
The Trenton Tigers defeated the New York Americans by 48-41 in an American Basketball league game at Manhattan Center last night. Bloom of the winners was the high scorer with 13 points.

December 25, 1943
League Fives to See Action
The New York Americans will renew their interborough rivalry with the Brooklyn Indians tonight when the teams clash in an American Basketball league game at Manhattan Center. The Americans, who are close behind the pace-setting Wilmington Bombers and Trenton Tigers in the league standings, will have Lou Simon, ex-L.I.U. star, in their line-up.

December 26, 1943
Americans’ Five Triumphs
The New York Americans defeated the Brooklyn Indians in an American Basketball league game at Manhattan Center last night, 41 to 39. George Slott of the losers was high scorer with 18 points. Sonny Hertzberg, with 12 points, paced the Americans.

January 15, 1944
Bomber Five Triumphs, 53-49
The Wilmington Bombers defeated the New York Americans in an American Basketball league game at Manhattan Center last night, 53 to 49. The event marked the conclusion of the first half of the loop season, with Wilmington holding first place.

January 22, 1944
Americans Beat Sphas, 38-37
The New York Americans defeated the Philadelphia Sphas in an American Basketball league game at Manhattan Center last night, 38 to 37. Dutch Garfinkle of the losers snared scoring honors with 14 points.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:23 am

Throwing this one back out there.
Thanks much.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:20 pm

Five years later, the search for even a single photo of the New York Americans continues.
I recently came across an interesting article in which a pair of loses by NY to Trenton was a side note to a brawling game between Trenton and Philadelphia. See below and PLEASE keep me in mind if you can help me solve this lengthy mystery.

“The Tigers ‘Battle’ Their Way Into First”
By Don Basenfelder
The Sporting News
February 10, 1944

Dutch Dehnert’s Trenton Tigers had a rough time of it, but managed to win two out of three games last week and go into the lead in the final half race of the American Basketball League.
The Jerseymen handed New York a 55 to 30 reverse at Manhattan Center on February 4, then moved into Philadelphia the next night. This game turned out to be one of the most turbulent in the league’s history, fist fights between players of both teams keeping the 3,500 spectators in an uproar most of the time on the Broadwood Hotel floor.
Mike Bloom, Trenton center, shoved Umpire Clarence Jones around, when the latter ruled he had jumped up and illegally deflected a field goal shot by Ossie Schechtman, Spahs forward. Schechtman and Ace Abbott, Trenton forward, threw punches at each other and there were other tifts between Red Rosan and Dutch Garfinkel of the Spahs and Bloom and Herb Gershon, Trenton players.
The Spahs won the game, 54 to 46, to tie for first place. However, Trenton went out in front by knocking off New York, 53 to 37, at Trenton, February 6. Bloom showed the way with 19 points.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:33 pm

I likely state the obvious by suggesting that spotty contemporary reporting makes this research more difficult. As an example, the Sporting News article discussed here lists the league standings (up to and including the games covered in the article).
The standings show Trenton leading the league with a record of 5 wins and 3 losses, followed by Philadelphia with 4 wins and 3 loses, then Wilmington with 2 wins and 3 loses, followed in last place by New York with 2 wins and 4 losses. However, as also seen in this thread, these standings do not jive with the game reports from those Americans games which I previously found in the NY Times archives (also listed in this thread). As an aside, the Sporting News article also lists the following:

Future Games: February 12 – New York at Philadelphia, February 13 – Trenton at Wilmington (afternoon), Wilmington at Trenton (night)
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:45 am

Another year, a renewed request, and a new email address.
Still no luck finding any photos of NY Americans of 1943-44 ABL.
Please send any suggestions to me at address below.
Thank you, John
rangers8588
(at)
icloud
(dot)
com
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:26 am

Worth mentioning is NYU grad Simon "Si" Lobello who played a handful of games for this Americans team before fighting and dying for his country during WW II.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby luckyshow » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:54 pm

Lobello also played for Grumman. He died at the Battle of the Bulge. February 1945
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:21 am

More research but still no photo.

Brooklyn Eagle
November 9, 1943
Americans and Sphas in Pro Cage Opener
Professional basketball makes its earliest start in years hereabouts when the New York Americans, formerly known as the Jewels, tackle the Philadelphia Sphas in an American League game Friday night at the Manhattan Center. The teams met in an exhibition in the Quaker City a fortnight ago with the home team coming out on top by a single point.
The Brooklyn Indians, coached by Honey Russell, start their campaign at the Jamaica Arena on Sunday night against the Wilmington Bombers, managed by Barney Sedran.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:02 am

Some more:

BROOKLYN EAGLE
Friday, December 31, 1943
The New York Americans play the Trenton Tigers for second place in the American Basketball League standing at Manhattan Center, tomorrow night. Trenton, coached by Dutch Dehnert, Original Celtic star, is playing great ball, while the Amerks, coached by Marty Cohen, are on a winning streak.
The Trenton lineup will include Mike Bloom, Temple star; Fitzgerald, Fordham; Bornhelmer, Georgetown; Smith, Maryland, Gershon, East Side, and Goukas, St. Joseph's. The Amerks includes Hertzberg, C.C.N.Y.; Modzelewski, Rhode Island State; Anderson, N.Y.U.; Holm, Seton Hall; Boilerman, Colgate, and Holzman, C.C.N.Y. A preliminary game is scheduled for 8:15 p.m.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:17 am

BROOKLYN EAGLE
SATURDAY, NOV. 13, 1943
In the New York Americans' home opener in the Manhattan Center last night, the host club nosed out the Philadelphia Sphas, 44—43. Hagen Anderson's' foul shot in the last five seconds settled the issue. Sonny Hertzberg starred for the successful five with 12 points and Sol Schwartz paced the Sphas' attack with 17 tallies. The defeated unit led in the first period, 13-12 and in the second, 30-25.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:21 am

NY Post
Saturday, December 18, 1943
If you want to see basketball as it should be played, there's the American Professional League doubleheader at Manhattan Center Thursday night . . . The New York Americans are playing the Renaissance five and the Wilmington Bombers are meeting the Philadelphia Sphas in a doubleheader for Max Kase's Christmas Fund for Disabled Soldiers.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:34 am

LONG ISLAND DAILY PRESS
FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 1944
AMERKS PLAY SPHAS
The New York Americans leading the American Basketball League in the second half, play the Philadelphia Sphas in a league game at Manhattan Center tonight.
Si Lobello and Bob Fitzgerald will make their first local appearance in the Amerks' line-up. The Americans will play the Trenton Tigers for the Infantile Paralysis Fund at Manhattan Center, Feb. 4.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:46 am

LONG ISLAND DAILY PRESS
WEDNESDAY,NOVEMBER 3, 1943
N. Y. Americans Sign Stutz Modzelewski
Determined to make a strong bid for the championship, the New York Americans of the American Basketball League today announced the signing of "Stutz" Modzelewski,
one of the greatest basketball stars developed since Hank Luisetti. Stutz, in fact, broke all of the former Stanford star's scoring records while pacing the famed Rhode Island State quintet to the top of the national picture. The Americans open their league season against the Philadelphia Hebrews in the Manhattan Center floor, Friday, Nov. 12.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:56 am

Long Island Daily Press
Tuesday, October 12, 1943
Professional basketball will hold forth at Manhattan Center this year with the New York Americans of the American Basketball League performing on the Center's hardwood every Friday night beginning Nov. 12. The Philadelphia Hebrews, world champions, are the opponents in the first game. The Americans, formerly the Jewels, will have several of the best collegians in this section of the country in the lineup and announcement of their signing will be made within a few days. The New York quintet will face formidable opposition in league play, what with Philadelphia, Wilmington, Trenton and the Jamaica Indians flooring squads that are expected to be as strong a group of pro teams seen in a long time.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby NYAmericans » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:02 pm

Still no luck locating photo of NY Americans uniform but below is text from the cover of a Philadelphia Sphas program:

"Sphas Sparks"
January 15, 1944
Phila. PA

"Spirited New Yorkers Return Here Next Saturday to Battle Sphas for Second Half Honors"

The New York Americans, one of the most popular basketball quintets ever to appear here, will be seen again on the Broadwood court, next Saturday, January 22, when they play the Sphas in a crucial second half contest.
The Metropolitan lads are the most talked of pro club in the country today, and their rise to the top is remarkable!
Their fight, speed and hustle is the secret of their success, combined with passing and sharpshooting that is absolutely tops.
Led by Bobby Holm and Sonny Hertzberg, the line-up also includes Howie Bollerman, Lou Simon, Sid Rabin, Lou Kantor, Hagen Anderson and Stutz Modzilewski, and is really a tough combination to beat.
The rivalry between the Sphas and New Yorkers is very intense as a result of the visitors' former affiliation with the Jewels, and with both teams fighting desperately for every game, a thriller is sure to result.
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Re: New York Americans of ABL

Postby luckyshow » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:37 am

There's your answer. They were the Americans only in 1943-44, so they may be called the Jewels in accounts of the day....

The next season they were in Westchester until January when they were the NY Gothams.

Simon "Sy" Lobello, out of St. John's, played 5 games for the NY Americans; was killed at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

<Sy Lobello
Patriot, Student, Athlete
He gave all he had for his country and his team

Sy Lobello was graduated from Long Island University in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science degree. While a student at the university, he played three years of varsity basketball and captained the team in 1940-41. He was killed in the Battle of the Bulge, December, 1944.>
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