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Ed Gottlieb Philadelphia Warriors Document and Photograph Collection/Archive (300+ items)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,700
Remarkable collection of NBA documents, photos, financial ledgers, and personal papers once belonging to Ed Gottlieb, former coach and owner of the Philadelphia Warriors and 1971 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. All of this material originates from the family of Jules Trumper, who was Gottlieb's cousin and a minority shareholder in the Philadelphia Warriors. Gottlieb was a lifelong bachelor and therefore had no immediate family. As a result, most of his business-related material went to Trumper after his death in 1979. Most of Gottlieb's papers and personal souvenirs were ultimately donated to the Basketball Hall of Fame, with the exception of the items offered here. This is one of four lots in this auction comprised of material from Gottlieb's business archives, all of which have been consigned directly by the Trumper family.
Ed Gottlieb (1898-1979) was one of the most important figures in the history of basketball. In 1918 he founded the Young Men’s Hebrew Association basketball team. Three years later, he found a new sponsor for the club, the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association, which played under the team name SPHAs (an acronym for South Philadelphia Hebrew Association). The club quickly rose to prominence as one of the top basketball teams on the East Coast, and later played in the Eastern League and American Basketball League (the team won seven ABL championships in thirteen seasons). In 1946 Gottlieb assumed the titles of coach and general manager of the Philadelphia Warriors in the newly formed National Basketball League, which became the NBA in 1949. During the NBA's formative years, Gottlieb served as chairman of the league's rules committee, a position he held for twenty-five years, and was also responsible for all of the league's scheduling until just shortly before his death. (Gottlieb did all of the scheduling by hand; it wasn't until his final year, in 1979, that he reluctantly used a software program.) Gottlieb eventually purchased the Warriors in 1952, but sold them ten years later when the club moved to San Francicso. In addition to his NBA duties, Gottlieb served as a booking agent and scheduler for Negro League baseball teams (he owned an interest in the Philadelphia Stars) and arranged overseas tours for the Harlem Globetrotters (the SPHAs were the original touring opponent of the Globetrotters beginning in the late 1940s). He also promoted fights and wrestling matches, and usually had a hand in most sporting events that took place in Philadelphia during the 1940s through the 1960s. That wide reach later earned him the nickname, "The Mogul."
This collection is comprised of approximately 140 photos (vast majority are 8 x 10 inches; black-and-white), 225 documents, and a few miscellaneous items, including financial ledgers, passports, and personal items. The majority of the photos are second-generation images and are varied in nature. Most picture Gottlieb at various banquets, either posing with celebrities and dignitaries, or accepting awards, but a few picture Warrior players through the years. Approximately eighty of the documents relate to gate receipts for individual Warriors games dating from the late 1950s to early 1960s, while many of the remaining papers relate to NBA scheduling matters in the late 1970s (the majority of the documents are office copies, not originals). Among the highlights of the collection are the following: 1) Six specially produced Philadelphia Warriors team photos, each laminated on a wood plaque (15.5 x 11.5 inches), for the years 1947-1948, 1948-1949 (two examples), 1950-1951, and 1955-1956 (two examples). Excellent condition overall. 2) Special commendation document presented by the City of Philadelphia to the Philadelphia Warriors for winning the 1956-1957 NBA Championship, together with a photo of Gottlieb and the club accepting the award. 8 x 10.5 inches and matted and framed to total dimensions of 12 x 15 inches. Ex-Mt. Together with a photo (8 x 10 inches) of Gottlieb and the club accepting the award. 3) Two passports (3.75 x 6.25 inches), each issued to Ed Gottlieb. One was issued in 1964 and bears numerous travel stamps. The other was issued in 1976 and was never used. 4) Various lifetime membership cards and season passes, including those issued by the Basketball Hall of Fame, Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, Philadelphia Sportswriters, and NBA (media pass for the 1979-1980 season). Ex-Mt overall. 5) Financial ledger (5.5 x 8.5 inches) recording expenditures and revenues for various boxing and professional wrestling promotions in the late 1940s and early 1950s. 6) Original photo (8 x 10 inches), circa 1918 of Ed Gottlieb posing in a football uniform. Gd. Framed to slightly larger dimensions. 7) A small number of original letters to Gottlieb (regarding scheduling), dating from the late 1970s, on team letterhead and signed by the respective club's general manager, including Ed Donovan of the Knicks, Bill Fitch of the Cavaliers, and Pat Williams of the 76ers. Ex. Total: approximately 300 items, including documents, photos, and miscellaneous items. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,700
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