Monday, March 30, 2009

The Harlem Globetrotters Not at Fenway This Time Around

Start whistling Sweet Georgia Brown. The Harlem Globetrotters, fresh off their appearances with Scooby Doo and Gilligan, take to the parquet tonight at 7 PM at the TD Banknorth Garden. Their opponent tonight will be the lowly Washington Generals, who have lost their last 12,861 against the Trotters. Law of averages says the Generals are due tonight, right? If you're brackets are busted, might as well throw some good money after the bad and take the Generals and the points. 

The Generals aren't the only team that has barnstormed with the Globetrotters. In fact, Boston once played the patsies. In the 1950s, a team called the Boston Whirlwinds played the role of the foils, and college great Bevo Francis (who holds the record of most points in a college game: 113) was among those on the Whirlwinds. (Another team called the Boston Whirlwinds was the first professional basketball team in the Hub back in 1925.) 

Of course, the Harlem Globetrotters have played the old and new Garden many times. In 1958, they even played members of the New York Football Giants. But what may be hard to believe is that the Globetrotters once played in the shadows of the Green Monster. On July 29, 1954, the Globetrotters defeated George Mikan's U.S. All-Stars 61-41 in front of 13,344 fans at Fenway Park. Now that outdoor hockey is making a comeback, maybe outdoor hoops can as well. The WNBA had an outdoor basketball game in New York last year, so it's been done. Maybe we can get the Globetrotters to play their next game in Boston back in the great outdoors. Or better yet--a pre-season Celtics game at Fenway. Hey, no paint job would be needed for the Green; Fenway's walls already match those of the home team.  

More stories on Boston's basketball history are contained in The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston

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