American Basketball League

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The American Basketball League (ABL) was an early professional basketball league. During six seasons from 1925–26 to 1930–31, the ABL was the first attempt to create a major professional basketball league in the United States. Joseph Carr, who was, in 1925, the president of the recently founded, three year old National Football League, organized the ABL from nine of the best independent pro teams from the East and the Midwest. George Halas of the NFL Chicago Bears was the owner of the Chicago Bruins, and department store magnate Max Rosenblum, a part owner of the NFL's Cleveland Bulldogs, financed the Cleveland Rosenblums. Future NFL (Washington Redskins) owner George Preston Marshall, the owner of a chain of laundries, was owner of the Washington Palace Five. Other teams were the Boston Whirlwinds, Brooklyn Arcadians, Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Pulaski Post Five, Fort Wayne Caseys, and Rochester Centrals. With the exception of 1927–28, the ABL season was divided into two halves, with the winner of the first half playing the winner of the second half for the championship.

In 1953, ABL and NBL merge to form the American Basketball Association (ABA), ABL and NBL become the two conferences in ABA.

History[edit | edit source]

The "American" champions[edit | edit source]

ABL Conference[edit | edit source]

The eight teams chosen for the first ABA season in 1953-54 are Baltimore Bullets, Brooklyn Visitations, Scranton Miners, Trenton Tigers and Washington Brewers joined by two new teams: Cleveland Thorns, Pittsburgh Harlequins and the Sphas moved to Atlanta.

The eight teams are divided into two divisions as follows:

Brooklyn Visitations, Cleveland Thorns, Pittsburgh Harlequins and Scranton Miners join the Western ABL Division.

Atlanta Sphas, Baltimore Bullets, Trenton Tigers and Washington Brewers join the Eastern ABL Division.

In 1958 Tigers moved to Chicago. In reaction ABL swap Chicago Tigers and Brooklyn Visitations.

In 1961 Miners moved to Des Moines and replaces Miners to Farmers.

League winners[edit | edit source]

"American Champions"[edit | edit source]

Year Winner Result Runner Up
1925–26 Cleveland Rosenblums 3-1 Brooklyn Arcadians
1926–27 Cleveland Rosenblums 3-0 Brooklyn Arcadians
1927–28 Fort Wayne Hoosiers 3-2 Chicago Bruins
1928–29 Cleveland Rosenblums 3-2 Fort Wayne Hoosiers
1929–30 Cleveland Rosenblums 3-2 Rochester Centrals
1930–31 Brooklyn Visitations 3-1 Fort Wayne Hoosiers
1931–32 League suspended operations.
1932–33 League suspended operations.
1933–34 Philadelphia Sphas 3-2 Trenton Moose
1934–35 Brooklyn Visitations 3-0 Newark Mules
1935–36 Philadelphia Sphas 3-0 Brooklyn Visitations
1936–37 Philadelphia Sphas 3-1 Jersey Reds
1937–38 Jersey Reds 3-2 New York Jewels
1938–39 New York Jewels 3-1 Jersey Reds
1939–40 Philadelphia Sphas 3-1 Troy Celtics
1940–41 Philadelphia Sphas 3-1 New York Jewels
1941–42 Wilmington Blue Bombers 3-2 New York Jewels
1942–43 Philadelphia Sphas 3-1 Trenton Tigers
1943–44 Wilmington Blue Bombers 3-2 Philadelphia Sphas
1944–45 Philadelphia Sphas 3-2 Trenton Tigers
1945–46 Baltimore Bullets 3-0 Philadelphia Sphas
1946–47 Baltimore Bullets 3-1 Trenton Tigers
1947–48 Scranton Miners 3-2 Paterson Crescents
1948–49 Scranton Miners 3-1 Paterson Crescents
1949–50 Scranton Miners 3-1 Washington Brewers
1950–51 Baltimore Bullets 3-1 Philadelphia Sphas
1951–52 Brooklyn Visitations 3-0 Baltimore Bullets
1952–53 Brooklyn Visitations 3-2 Baltimore Bullets

ABL Conference champions[edit | edit source]

Year Winner Result Runner Up
1953-54 Baltimore Bullets 4-3 Brooklyn Visitations
1954-55 Brooklyn Visitations 4-2 Baltimore Bullets
1955-56 Brooklyn Visitations 4-2 Trenton Tigers
1956-57 Baltimore Bullets 4-2 Brooklyn Visitations
1957-58 Pittsburgh Harlequins 4-3 Brooklyn Visitations
1958-59 Atlanta Sphas 4-2 Pittsburgh Harlequins
1959-60 Atlanta Sphas 4-1 Chicago Tigers
1960-61 Atlanta Sphas 4-2 Cleveland Thorns

External Links[edit | edit source]