Ray Felix - New York Rens

The New York Rens, et al

Ray Felix - New York Rens

Postby skiptomylou » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:22 am

Most sources, like the Basketball Hall of Fame, have the New York Rens disbanding after the 1948-49 season. Serious basketball researchers know that Harlem Globetrotter’s owner Abe Saperstein purchased the team from founder Bobby Douglas in May ‘49.

Although most players scattered to other teams after the sale; ‘48-49 holdovers Rookie Brown and Tom Sealy played with the Saperstein Rens for the ‘49-50 season (along with on-again, off-again Ren-Globetrotter Duke Cumberland). Although often portrayed as Globetrotter patsies, Abe used the team primarily as a farm club, a pretty good one at that. Nearly all of the players were former, current or future Globetrotters; Bob Hall, Fred Pearson, Chico Burrell, Josh Grider, Sam Wheeler and Carl Helem, just to name a few.

Saperstein’s New York Rens play for 2 seasons and then seem to vanish from the Globetrotter’s tours as if Saperstein simply dissolved the team like he often had done with his other clubs. So I was little surprised when I read in Jabbar’s On the Should of Giants;

Two years later, Douglas resumed ownership of the Rens and once again sent them on a barnstorming tour. But their games were rarely reported and their past glory was never to be repeated.

Rarely reported? I had to know more! So I immediately jumped on Google News Archives to track down a few game articles and box scores. The earliest games that I could find were during the 1952-53 season - although the newspaper assured me that the Rens “have their best team in five years” – implying among other things that they had been continuously playing every season.

The game of most interest was on Jan 27 1953 vs Hamilton Standard of the Hartford Industrial League. The Hamiltons were lead by Ken Goodwin and Vin “Yogi” Yokabaskas – both players were “double dipping” and playing for the nearby Manchester British-Americans of the ABL that same season.

The game day issue of the Hartford Courant featured short player profiles for the New York Rens. The Rens roster included Ed Warner of CCNY point fixing scandal infamy, Sonny Jameson also from CCNY, Jim Brady from Lincoln U and Eddie Anderson of LIU among others.

The next day, the Hartford Courant, reported that the Rens had won 107-77. The box score revealed most of the names described in the previous day’s article with one notable exception. The Rens center, last name Felix, had 23 points. Perhaps Ray Felix of future NBA fame?

Ray Felix was a star sophomore for LIU in ’50-51. However, he was without a team in ’51-52 after LIU’s basketball program was dropped because of its own involvement in the point fixing scandal. (Note: Unlike Warner who served a prison sentence and was banded from the NBA, Felix was not involved and never accused).

Despite being without a team as a junior, Felix was invited to play in the College All Star Game vs the Lakers in Oct ’52. He scored 11 points that night. Having to wait for his senior class to graduate in ’53 before he could be drafted by the NBA, Felix spent the 52-53 season with the ABL champion Manchester British-Americans. His 22.0 ppg that season set the ABL record. The Baltimore Bullets chose him as the NBA’s 1st overall pick in 1953. He averaged 16.5 ppg over his 9 year NBA career. He was all star selection in 1954 and also spent that summer touring with the Harlem Globetrotters.

So was Ray Felix also playing for the New York Rens in ’53? I think it’s very likely. Ray was playing for the ABL’s Manchester, CT team that season. The ABL season was only 28 games long, leaving plenty of time to moonlight. Even if not on the regular Rens roster, the Rens-Hamilton game was conveniently located in nearby Hartford, CT. Two of his ABL teammates were on the opposition along fellow LIU alumni, Eddie Anderson of the Rens – making Ray an easy addition to the Rens roster that night. And how many other center’s with last name Felix were in the area that day who were capable of scoring 21 points?

Epilogue – This version of the Rens (w/o Felix) continue to barnstorm at least through March ’55. The next appearance of the New York Rens name comes as a touring opponent of Goose Tatum’s Harlem Stars and Harlem Roadkings during the early sixties. Did Goose buy the team from Douglas like Saperstein had done before him?

Then in the late sixties, the New York Rens reappear as a touring opponent of Marques Hayne’s Fabulous Magicians. They even play in Madison Square Garden (before a Knicks game) and get televised on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Haynes disbands the Fabulous Magicians after the ’71-72 season but based on lack of newspaper coverage, the Rens appear to have played their last game under the New York Rens banner the prior season.

Does anyone have more information about the Goose Tatum / Marques Haynes Rens or about Felix and the Rens?
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Postby rlee » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:38 am

Great Info, Skip. One small correction: Ray's NBA career ppg was 10.9
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Postby skiptomylou » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:42 pm

I accidently used his 36 minute average. Good catch - thanks!
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Re: Ray Felix - New York Rens

Postby Jon Scott » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:59 pm

skiptomylou wrote:Then in the late sixties, the New York Rens reappear as a touring opponent of Marques Hayne’s Fabulous Magicians. They even play in Madison Square Garden (before a Knicks game) and get televised on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Haynes disbands the Fabulous Magicians after the ’71-72 season but based on lack of newspaper coverage, the Rens appear to have played their last game under the New York Rens banner the prior season.

Does anyone have more information about the Goose Tatum / Marques Haynes Rens or about Felix and the Rens?


I don't have time right now to look but doing a search for "New York Rens" in Newspaper Archive from 1951 until today returns a couple hundred hits.

The most recent hit I could see from glossing over the results where they actually played was from the Delaware County (PA) Daily Times February 3, 1972. (ID # 84194848) It talks about a double-header played in Philadelphia. The first game was the Harlem Magicians and Rens followed by the 76ers vs. Buffalo Braves.

This from the paper:

The Philadelphia 76ers tried one of those promotions Wednesday night at the Spectrum. It was called a doubleheader.

The first game brought together the Harlem Magicians and something called the New York Rens. The Rens never had a chance. In the second game, the 76ers handed the Buffalo Graves, supposedly an entry in the National Basketball Association, a 119-104 defeat.


Note the spelling of the Buffalo team. I don't know if "Graves" was a typo of it they meant to write it that way, given the attitude of the writeup, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter.

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Postby Jon Scott » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:13 pm

Going earlier, I did find a boxscore. This from the Lebanon (PA) Daily News March 9, 1970 where it talks about a double-header between the Lebanon High School Alumni vs. the Catholic High Alumni in one game the Rens and Magicians in the other game. (Newspaper Archive # 106251610) This was sponsored by the local YMCA Men's Club.

On the Rens team was Stan Kratzer (23 points), Proctor (16), Jim Harris (2), Holmes (12), "Bo" Ellis (35), Cas'rande (6). On the Magicians team was Baker (20), Plowden (4), Kerr (10), Hayes (16), Marques Haynes (20) and "Sugarfoot" Johnson (31).

It was noted in the article that Jim Harris was a local player who was added as a sixth man to the team who were 'undermanned'. It notes that the "Bo" Ellis was "a onetime Minneapolis Laker, [who] can still put the ball in the hole" (edited, looking back I'm not sure who this is). Also, there is a photo of Marques Haynes dribbling in front of Kratzer. Kratzer appears to be white so it seems the Rens were not an all-black team at the time.

Jon
Last edited by Jon Scott on Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Very impressed with Abdul-Jabbar's research

Postby luckyshow » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:22 am

And yours, Skiptomy


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did some very good research work, discovering that Douglas bought the name, bought the team back and tried making a go of it in the 50s. Most athletes don't even write their own copy, let alone do genuine research and digging. Many writers these days just reassemble other's writings. Very impressive.

And, may I ask how you access the Hartford Currant, isn't Pro Quest prohibitively expensive, with sales only to university and major libraries now? I must be losing it. I am either losing my mind or this really bad tooth ache is muddying my thought...
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Postby meej » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:11 am

According to "Great Rookies of Pro Basketball" (Ed. Zander Hollander):

Ray Felix finished college, playing semi-pro basketball, the professional ball for a team in the now-extinct American Basketball League.


It also mentions that he got an offer from the Globetrotters before joining the NBA. I would say that by 1951 or 1952, the Rens qualified as "semi-pro basketball".
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Postby Claude » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:34 am

Great research on this topic Skip!

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did some very good research work, discovering that Douglas bought the name, bought the team back and tried making a go of it in the 50s. Most athletes don't even write their own copy, let alone do genuine research and digging. Many writers these days just reassemble other's writings. Very impressive.


Not to burst anyone's bubble, but Kareem almost certainly got this and most of his other research about the Rens from Susan Rayl's dissertation. That's a "whole 'nuther story." Meanwhile, she suggests that Douglas "leased" the Rens name to Saperstein because he needed the money. The name still meant something for a while. The "lease" turned out to be for a permanent duration of time.

My own impression is that the public knew what was going on or at least Abe couldn't get away with pawning them off as the real Rens for very long. Remember, the Amsterdam News and others followed every move of their beloved Douglas and former "real" Rens.

Also, old timers like George Crowe and Donald Hines described the post-1949 Rens as a "patsy" team. That's why they were soon forgotten and resurfaced as an under-undercard -- some like Rayl speculate that that was Saperstein's goal in the first place.

PS -- Nice to be back on here. Good stuff.
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Postby skiptomylou » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:49 pm

Great feedback!

I also did find one box score between Goose Tatum’s Harlem Roadkings and the New York Rens from a game on Jan 16 ’63 in Fort Wayne, Kansas. The Roadkings won 85-82.

The Rens had E. Anderson (24), Douglas (2), Presly (20), Coffee (12), Boyd (2) and Gibson (23). The Roadkings had Ramon Wilkinson (2), Freeman (25), Johnson (4), Goose Tatum (33), and Goose Tatum Jr (21). (Of course we know from Ben Green’s Spinning the Globe, Goose Jr was really Tiny Brown. Although further research seems to indicate that Tiny Brown was yet another alias for the real Charles Ward).

A few days earlier, the Fort Scott Tribune had done a preview on the Rens-Roadkings upcoming game:

Goose Tatum and his Harlem Roadkings tangle with Satchel Paige’s famous New York Rens led by Cleveland Harp, high scoring center from the 1961 Indianapolis Olympians of the NBA.


Apparently, Satchel Paige had teamed with Goose in the early sixties to provide half time entertainment and to lend his name to the Rens as owner, coach or something.

To go along with the fact that Cleveland Harp never played in that game are his inflated credentials. First, there were no Indianapolis Olympians in the NBA in 1961 - having last played in 1953. Suspecting a typo, I still could not find Harp on the roster or draft list of the Olympians or any other NBA team. Maybe he was signed as a free agent and cut in pre-season? Maybe they were exaggerating the fact that he may have played for the Harlem Magician’s earlier touring opponent, the New York Olympians. One thing for certain is the Cleveland Harp does show up on the Harlem Globetrotters all time roster and appears to have played with several other barnstorming units.

(luckyshow – the Proquest articles are overpriced but a few here or there don’t break the bank … not yet at least!).
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Postby Ralph Pittman » Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:02 pm

Dear Skip - The Rens rose with a generation of players from the 1910s and 1920s, most of whom had retired by World War II. Bob Douglas certainly had restocked the team with outstanding young talent by the early 1940s, i.e., Pop Gates, John Isaacs, in an attempt to stay atop the pro basketball world. But rationing during the war killed the team. Gas was just too expensive to fill up the "Blue Goose," the team bus, and roll. So just as many early black baseball teams called themselves the Giants, a lot of basketball teams have called themselves the Rens over the decades. True, Douglas still had his hand in the game a bit, but his glory years were behind him. Where I'm headed with this is you really can't use the term Rens as an institutional continuum, such as you could today with the Lakers or the Bulls. That's where a lot of people get hung up. Sometimes names, like words, can be misleading.
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Postby Dementia Man » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:58 pm

Goose Tatum appropriated the name "New York Rens" (sometimes printed as "New York Renaissance" by nostalgia-steeped newspaper editors) for the traveling team facing his Harlem Stars/Harlem Roadkings between the 1958-59 and 1963-64 seasons, inclusive.

Marques Haynes, in turn, put his then-"Fabulous" Magicians against the "New York Rens" beginning with the 1969-70 campaign and continuing through the 1971-72 season, when they played the front half of a few NBA doubleheaders.

Most notable of all these latter-day "Rens" was probably the onetime Minneapolis Laker, by way of Niagara University, Alex (Boo) Ellis. He made occasional appearances with Haynes' stooge team in 1969-70 and later promoted dates for the Magicians in his native Ohio.

The most enduring of Tatum's "Rens" were Jimmy Reed (West Texas State) and Lawrence Hall (Fisk). One season, 1962-63, he employed the ubiquitous Cleveland Harp. Goose also enhanced his shows with celebrity guests like Satchel Paige and the Ink Spots, while Marques Haynes even managed to lure Sugar Ray Robinson onto the road with his Magicians-Rens tour for a brief period early in the 1969-70 season.
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Postby Ralph Pittman » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:28 pm

Dementia Man. Sounds like those synapses are working just fine. Thanks for the post. Great info.
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Re: Ray Felix - New York Rens

Postby Jon Scott » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:35 pm

skiptomylou wrote:The next day, the Hartford Courant, reported that the Rens had won 107-77. The box score revealed most of the names described in the previous day’s article with one notable exception. The Rens center, last name Felix, had 23 points. Perhaps Ray Felix of future NBA fame?

Ray Felix was a star sophomore for LIU in ’50-51. However, he was without a team in ’51-52 after LIU’s basketball program was dropped because of its own involvement in the point fixing scandal. (Note: Unlike Warner who served a prison sentence and was banded from the NBA, Felix was not involved and never accused).

Despite being without a team as a junior, Felix was invited to play in the College All Star Game vs the Lakers in Oct ’52. He scored 11 points that night. Having to wait for his senior class to graduate in ’53 before he could be drafted by the NBA, Felix spent the 52-53 season with the ABL champion Manchester British-Americans. His 22.0 ppg that season set the ABL record. The Baltimore Bullets chose him as the NBA’s 1st overall pick in 1953. He averaged 16.5 ppg over his 9 year NBA career. He was all star selection in 1954 and also spent that summer touring with the Harlem Globetrotters.

So was Ray Felix also playing for the New York Rens in ’53? I think it’s very likely. Ray was playing for the ABL’s Manchester, CT team that season. The ABL season was only 28 games long, leaving plenty of time to moonlight. Even if not on the regular Rens roster, the Rens-Hamilton game was conveniently located in nearby Hartford, CT. Two of his ABL teammates were on the opposition along fellow LIU alumni, Eddie Anderson of the Rens – making Ray an easy addition to the Rens roster that night. And how many other center’s with last name Felix were in the area that day who were capable of scoring 21 points?


Just to follow up on Ray Felix, I did go through Newspaper Archive around the 1951-1953 timeframe and below are the notable mentions of him. There's nothing really new from what you posted above. I didn't see a mention of him playing for the Rens but like you, it seems to make sense that he did given the boxscore, timing etc.

Jon

PS, Below is the timeline I could make out:

Spring 1951 - Playing for LIU. Led the nation in FG percentage.

October 24, 1952 - Plays in College All-Star team vs. Minneapolis Lakers (note he appears to have been a late addition, it was mentioned in Oct. 23, 1952 papers that he was to join the squad. NYT headline (Oct. 22, 1952) suggests he replaced Bob Zawoluk.

"Mikan had his hands full against the All Stars' 6-foot, 10-inch Ray Felix of Long Island University and left the game late in the third quarter with five personals. The game was played under pro rules allowing six personals."

Feb 24, 1953 - Mentions that a player (Eugene Hudgins who was a freshman at Virginia State) previously scored 61 points in a game vs. the Ray Felix All Stars but doesn't give date of game etc. (Newpaper Archive ID# 95385142)

March - April 1953 - Playing for Manchester

April 25, 1953 - Drafted by Baltimore

July 20, 1953 - Signs with Baltimore (Newpaper Archive ID# 4861899)

"The 22-year-old giant is a protege of Bullet Coach Clair Bee, having played under him at Long Island University.

Felix scored 616 points in 28 games for Manchester, Conn., for an average of 22 points per game. In four American League playoff games he tallied 147 points."


October 30, 1953 (Newpaper Archive ID# 3471371)

"Bee in making his first serious pitch at professional coaching has gathered four of the players which were on his 1950-51 LIU squad when scandal erupted. The sport then was dropped at the university and Bee was on the sidelines after 21 years during which he built the Brooklyn school into national champions of 1936, 1939 and 1941.

Back with their old coach are Ray Felix, Al Roges, Harold Uplinger and Rollen Hans. None of them was involved in the bribery blowup.

Uplinger, Hans and Roges left LIU after the scandal to enter the Navy and continued to play together. Felix stayed to get his degree and played semi-pro basketball around New York."


November 1953 - Plays with Baltimore

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Postby Dementia Man » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:36 pm

One of the things in this life which I wish I knew more about was a doubleheader at the Chicago Stadium on the night of Saturday, Dec. 3, 1949. I've never seen a box score of the Rens game, but I suspect they used much the same lineup the next afternoon at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when – somewhat dispiritedly – they went through the motions to beat a local all-star five.

Perhaps Stan (Chico) Burrell, Sam Wheeler, Duke Cumberland, Bill (Rookie) Brown and Don (Ducky) Moore wore themselves out chasing after the Zollner Pistons … I'm curious as to whether any other part-time Rens from that 1949-50 season – when Saperstein operated them entirely as an independent team – were in uniform. Tom Sealy, Fred Pearson, Bill Roseborough and William Mobley are the prime candidates who might have seen service … Another possibility is Vic Hansen, whose service to the Renaissance/Rens overlapped the Saperstein era, from 1947 to 1952 – and who also wore a Washington Bear uniform in 1947-48.

Chicago IL: December 3, 1949
(Stadium, att. 9,186) ... Fort Wayne Pistons 66, New York Rens 61 ... Minneapolis Lakers 91, Chicago Stags 80 … George Mikan led the Lakers with 34 as the visitors halted Chicago's five-game NBA win streak and the Stags' home skein of seven straight home games … The Zollner Pistons led the Rens, 36-26, at halftime and then coasted (or hung on, according to your sense of the thing) to victory in the exhibition opener … With a 95-80 win over the Rochester Royals the next day, Minneapolis closed the gap for the Central Division lead to a half-game (Chicago 12-5; Minneapolis 11-5) and was about to exert its dominance, not only over the division but the league as a whole, in the loop's inaugural season as the National Basketball Association … The Pistons, after this weekend, remained a game back of the Lakers in third place.

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Postby rlee » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:50 pm

In the Cedar Rapids Gazette of 12/4/49, the story previewing the game between the Rens & the CR All-Stars that day lists Fred Pearson as one of the Rens who will play. The game story in the 12/5 Gazette reports that the Rens beat the All-Stars 50-46. The box score shows the following Rens: Moore, Wheeler, Brown, Burrell, Cumberland, Pullins. The story says that the All-Stars were "considerably improved since their startling loss to the Globetrotters." Only 125 fans attended.

Interestingly, in another story in that day's paper, Saperstein is promoting an idea to combat the offensive effectiveness of the tallest players (referred to as "goons" in the story) by outlawing shots that start with the player's back to the basket w/in 4 1/2 feet radius of the hoop. It would be enforced with the help of a painted semi-circle similar to today's "no charge" restricted area. The story refers to the proposed area as the "anti hook-shot zone" Saperstein notes that there would still be hook shots but that they would have to begin from outside of 4 1/2 feet.
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Feeling picky.

Postby Claude » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:51 am

@ Ralph Pittman:

For some reason, I am feeling picky. :-)

So I thought I would make some comments to help "align" the facts.

The Rens rose with a generation of players from the 1910s and 1920s, most of whom had retired by World War II.


This might be oversimplifying. The post-WWII Rens were among the best there were, especially the 1947-48 team, which ought to have defeated the Lakers in the 1948 World Pro Tournament. That team included Pop Gates, Nat Clifton, Duke Cumberland, Sonny Woods, George Crowe, Eddie Younger, and Dolly King. This may have been the best Rens unit of all time, pound for pound.

Bob Douglas certainly had restocked the team with outstanding young talent by the early 1940s, i.e., Pop Gates, John Isaacs, in an attempt to stay atop the pro basketball world.


Pretty good attempt, I'd say, considering the results.

But rationing during the war killed the team. Gas was just too expensive to fill up the "Blue Goose," the team bus, and roll.


The war was a setback, but it is not accurate that it "killed the team."

So just as many early black baseball teams called themselves the Giants, a lot of basketball teams have called themselves the Rens over the decades.


This statement is true only in the "decades" after the formation of the NBA.

True, Douglas still had his hand in the game a bit, but his glory years were behind him.


After the formation of the NBA, which is to say, after he sold the Rens name to Saperstein, Douglas was out of basketball. His last glory year with the Rens was 1948, if that's what is meant by this statement.
Where I'm headed with this is you really can't use the term Rens as an institutional continuum, such as you could today with the Lakers or the Bulls. That's where a lot of people get hung up. Sometimes names, like words, can be misleading.


If you are talking about after 1949, then ... true dat!! :-)
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Postby skiptomylou » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:52 am

From the Dec 4, 1949 Chicago Tribune

The Fort Wayne Pistons ran up a healthy half time lead of 36 to 26 over the New York Rens and managed to stave off a second half rally to win, 66-61.


The Rens had Duke Cumberland (15), Sam Wheeler (11), Donald “Duck” Moore (11), Bill “Rookie” Brown (8 ), Chico Burrell (9), Fred Pearson (6), and _____ Scott (1).

The Pistons had Leo Klier (18 ), Bob Carpenter (14), Bill Henry (10), Jerry Nagel (5), Jack Kerris (13), Fred Schaus (2), Johnny Oldham (2), Bob Harris (2), Richie Niemiera (0).

I’m not sure who Scott is … John Scott? Jack Scott? Henry Scott?

Another interesting game is from Nov 24, 1950 in Chicago – Minneapolis Lakers 58 New York Rens 52. This game was the first part of double header that featured the Harlem Globetrotters over the Philadelphia Sphas 63-38 in the second. The attendance was 9,278. I bet Saperstein billed the Lakers-Rens game as a rematch of the 1948 World Pro Tournament Championship Game.

Henry Singleton of the Rens opened the scoring in the first game with a free throw, but Mikan made a field goal and the Lakers never were behind afterward.


It was Lakers leading 28-22 at the half. The Lakers appear to have treated it like an exhibition game as they seemed to use their whole squad. George Mikan only had 11 points and 2 fouls. Tony Jaros was also listed at center and had 7. Then again, I’m sure the Lakers didn’t want to lose.

The Rens had Fred Pearson (6), Chico Burrell (16), Sammy Gee (2), Henry Singleton (8 ), Bob Hall (9), George “Sonny” Smith (6), Josh Grider (0), and Carl Helem (5).

The Lakers had George Mikan (11), Jim Pollard (1), Ed Beach (0), Slater Martin (8 ), Kevin O’Shea (0), Tony Jaros (7), Vern Mikkelson (13), Arnie Ferrin (4), Bob Harrison (3), Herm Schaeffer (7), Joe Hutton (0) and Bud Grant (4) of football fame.

The most prominent Rens opponent that I could find during Bobby Douglas’ second tenure as owner was a 68-66 loss against the Sheboygan Redskins on Mar 5 1952.

I also checked Newspaper Archives and still didn't see any more games for that version of the Rens beyond the 1954-55 season.

With all respect to Claude and Ralph, we have to acknowledge that the 1949-55 Rens are a continuation of the once great New York Rens franchise from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Just like the Lakers were once the Detroit Gems and the 76ers used to be the Syracuse Reds.

Not much has ever been discussed about the post-glory era - that’s what makes this dialog so fascinating.

It’s also interesting that Goose Tatum and Marques Haynes decided to resurrect the name - even if no longer tied to the original franchise. I’m surprised Douglas didn’t put up a fuss. In the modern world, I think this would have qualified for a lawsuit.

I’ll close with a couple more research notes on the topic. I found that Haynes called his opposition the “East Coast Rens” or “Kansas City Rens” during 67-68 and 68-69. I also found that Puggy Bell lead a team of barnstomers during the 1950-51 season called the “Former Rens”.
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Postby Jay » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:11 pm

I have to find where I read it, but somewhere in my research travels I found that the Rens would invite up to 200 players to tryouts, and then decide which lucky one or two made the team. Certainly from a pool this size, they were getting the best available. I am still looking into this, but they seemed to have picked up Wilmeth Sidat-Singh and played him for a few games. I spoke with Mark Haller on this and he stated he went to a SPHAS-Rens game in 1940 as a spectator. As he was walking through the crowd, he heard a familiar voice "Hey, Haller!". It was his college friend Sidat-Singh, just before playing in the game. He didn't say what the results of the game were, just that it was last time he saw him before he went to the Tuskegee Airmen.

I have to say, amazingly, given all the games some of these guys played, and with their successes on the court, many didn't consider futures in the pro game. Haller was a great scorer, a self-described "left-handed set shooter," but left the game to begin is career. He did say he was recruited by Honey Russell and sat a few games on the Celtics bench. He doesn't believe he would be in any box scores, having played only a few minutes.

Getting back to Wilmeth... he didn't see himself as much a pro, but was just playing to pay his way through medical school in Washington, D.C.

Sorry if I had strayed, this is all good stuff.
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Pop Gates with Rens 1955

Postby luckyshow » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:40 am

I am just giving you the citation, I can't pay for individual articles. Not yet, at least

Hartford Courant [ProQuest Archiver] Feb. 19, 1955

titled: Frankie's Drive-In Book New York Renaissance
"...The Rens will be led by the colorful 'Pop' Gates, one of the real old..."


The same 1949-50 Rens, playing their 61st game of year, lose to the Milwaukee Bright Spots. I love the write up of the Beefy Bears-Brown Bombers game.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YfUZAAAAIBAJ&sjid=jCMEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3283,3816111&dq=basketball+rens&hl=en

Here's a short history before the 1952-53 season
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bjsmAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rP4FAAAAIBAJ&pg=992,2179237&dq=basketball+rens&hl=en
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Postby skiptomylou » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:11 am

Pop Gates did not play in the 1955 Rens – Frankies game. I suspect it was a deceptive press release to entice fans. I also doubt that Gates ever played for the Rens in 1954-55 as he was busy coaching for the Globetrotters that season.

Frankies beat the Rens that night 74-73.

Rens had Buddy Thompson (21), Hines (9), Rodgers (2), Haynes (13), Johnson (12), Jacox (7), Georgie Moore (9). Thompson played briefly in the ABL. Georgie Moore was advertised as a former Harlem Globetrotter – although I don’t see his name on the All Time Roster.

Frankie’s was lead by former Globetrotter Bobby Knight (21). Knight had also played for the New York Knicks that same season.
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coaching

Postby luckyshow » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:31 pm

It said he was coaching in 1955, not playing. All I said is he was back with the Rens because it said so, it said he was coaching them.
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Postby skiptomylou » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:36 am

Oh coaching!

You know I found an article from The Daily Reporter Jan 6 1955 that mentions Pop Gates has the coach of the Globetrotter's Kansas City Stars farm club.

Considering that I also found that he "retired to private industry" and didn't come back to coach in the Globetrotters organization for the 1955-56 season, this would suggest that he was with the Globetrotters/Stars in January but hooked onto the Rens as coach by Feb/March.

I also found that he returned from "private industry" to become the Globetrotters coach in 1956-57. (Baltimore Afro American Nov 6, 1956).
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