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Lot # 1217: Rare 1925 Basketball Program - Chicago vs. Ft. Wayne with George Halas on the Roster for Chicago

Category: Basketball

Starting Bid: $500.00

Bids: 12 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2024 Winter Classic",
which ran from 2/25/2024 10:00 AM to
3/16/2024 10:00 PM

Addendum (2/29; 9:42 am): In our original title we stated that this program was from the inaugural season of the ABL. It actually predates the formation of the ABL by a few months, which began in the fall of 1925. 

Exceedingly rare 1925 basketball program, issued for a game between the Chicago Bruins and Ft. Wayne Caseys at the Broadway Armory in Chicago on March 5th. This is one of the earliest basketball programs we have ever seen. Its rarity notwithstanding, what makes this example especially significant is that it was issued for a Chicago Bruins home game and also heralds a game against the original New York Celtics. The Chicago Bruins were owned by Chicago Bears owner George Halas, who also saved money by coaching the team. Unbeknownst to many, Halas also took to the court for the team, as evidenced here, where Halas is listed as a reserve guard for Chicago. Chicago was an inaugural member of the American Basketball League (ABL), which began play in the fall of 1925. Most of the first ABL teams were owned by National Football League (NFL) owners, and the league was originally organized by NFL President Joe Carr. The New York Celtics, considered the top basketball team in the country at the time, were not a member of the ABL in 1925, but joined the league the following season. This program announces a game between the Bruins and New York Celtics the following week, devoting the full bottom portion of the program to the game. The one-sided program (6.25x9") displays a complete tear along the horizontal fold, and is also toned with light creases and edge tears. Two bank stamps appear on the front, and the reverse displays extensive handwritten pencil notations.

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