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Early Ed Gottlieb Philadelphia SPHAs Collection Including Corporate Seal (38 items)
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,440
Hall of Fame Ed Gottlieb's basketball career began in earnest at the age of twenty when, in 1918, he founded 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). Offered here is a collection of material, culled from Ed Gottlieb's business archives, relating to the early history of the SPHAs. All of the items in this grouping originate 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 the auction comprised of material from Gottlieb's business archives, all of which have been consigned directly by the Trumper family.
1) SPHA's Corporate Seal. This hand-operated device was used to emboss the club's corporate seal on official documents. As noted on the seal created by the device, the SPHAs were incorporated in 1923. Given the heavy wear exhibited on this device, one can only assume that it was used from much, if not all of the club's existence. (The team was sold by Gottlieb in 1950, at which time the team was the traveling opponent for the Harlem Globetrotters. After the sale of the club, the new owner changed the team's name to the Washington Generals.) 2) Original cabinet photo, circa late 1920s, of Gottlieb posing alongside six members of the "Hebrews" basketball team. 9.5 x 11.5 inches. Vg. 3) One-page agreement, between the Philadelphia SPHAs and the Herald-American World's Professional Basketball Tournament, dated 2/25/41, signed by Ed Gottlieb in black fountain pen (grading "10"). The agreement stipulates the terms of the SPHAs' participation in the tournament. 8.5 x 11 inches. Vg. 4-6) Three vintage real-photo postcards (5.5 x 3.5 inches). One pictures Ed Gottlieb and the SPHAs, circa early 1940s (Vg), another captures the SPHA's baseball team, which is identified in print as the "Foremost Jewish Baseball Club" (Gd-Vg) , and the last one pictures Ed Gottlieb at the age of sixteen posing with four other members of the Southern High basketball team in 1915 (Fr-Gd). 7-38) Thirty-two photos (mostly second-generation prints) picturing SPHAs players through the decades. Six duplicates are included. Most photos are 8 x 10 inches, with a few smaller. Ex overall. Total: 38 items (seal, cabinet photo, contract, 3 real-photo postcards, and 32 photos). Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,440
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