I have to admit I don't think of my Dad as often as I should since he was the world to me. He was my idol and even at my age there are still events that we shared that seem as if they just happened yesterday. Some of these memories were of seeing the Harlem Globetrotters together at the Sports Center in our small town of Owensboro, Kentucky.
The Globetrotters were started by Abe Saperstein in 1926 in Chicago, Illinois and I think they still are playing today. What other basketball team has played 20,000 games in 118 countries? They started out at first to be a real competing team but then slowly added comedy to their game. That is when they attracted millions of followers. I still can see the players chasing one another with a water bucket and then throwing its contents into the crowd, only to find out it was cut up paper.
When their games started, they always showed that they could really play the game, but after awhile they would go into their comedy act and the crowd would howl with laughter. The two teams that I remember as their opponents were the “House of David” where all the players on the team wore very long beards and the Washington Generals.
I can tell you that the Trotters games were always the highlight of the year for me and I really didn't want to attend them with anyone but Dad. I always got the idea that Dad enjoyed these games as much as I did and if his laughing was any indication I am sure of it.
There were several players on those teams that I still remember today like George "Meadowlark" Lemon, Reece "Goose" Tatum, Fred "Curly" Neal and Marques Haynes. These players have to be in the Basketball Hall of Frame because of what they brought to the game. But there is one player that played for the Trotters that I remember well because I knew him from the college where I graduated, Kentucky Wesleyan in Owensboro. He was an All American there and I followed every college game he was in while attending Wesleyan. He became a real star with the Trotters and played many years with them.
Just like at one time the Dallas Cowboys were known as the American team, the Trotters were also known as the team that represented the best of this country.
I have enjoyed writing this blog so much I hate to get to the end and tell you how money can be made with their memorabilia. Yes uniforms, programs, advertising, pennants, photographs and anything that has the signatures of the stars will be eagerly sought after by collectors. I can assure you that anything that pertains to the "Harlem Globetrotters" will reward you handsomely.
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