From SABR member Ryan Whirty at Home Plate Don’t Move on May 13, 2019:
This past March 28 was the 80th anniversary of one of the most important events in both black history and American sporting history. In 1939, the legendary New York Renaissance African-American basketball team — known as the Harlem Rens or just the Rens — won the very first professional World Basketball Championship when they beat the Oshkosh All-Stars, a white team from Wisconsin, in the championship game of the inaugural pro hoops tournament, held in Chicago.
The Rens — who, unlike their clowning rivals, the “Harlem” Globetrotters, where actually from Harlem (the ’Trotters were based in Chicago) — were the first fully professional all-black basketball team in history, and by winning the world tournament, they showed the world what many in the black community (not to mention the team’s white rivals, like the great Original Celtics and the Philadelphia Sphas) already knew — they were one of the best hoops teams ever assembled by that point.
Read the full article here: https://homeplatedontmove.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/3475/
Originally published: May 16, 2019. Last Updated: May 16, 2019.