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    1961-62 ABL Annual Pass Issued to Dick Lezius. In 1961, Basketball Hall of Famer Abe Saperstein (who was also the founder and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters) founded the American Basketball League to rival the NBA. The upstart league employed a three-point shot and wider lane (both of which were later adopted by the NBA). In the inaugural ABL season of 1961-62, the Cleveland Pipers, a franchise owned by future Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and managed by former Celtics' great Bill Sharman, won the title and Connie Hawkins of the Pittsburgh Rens was the league MVP. After the season, the Pipers signed the 1961-62 NCAA player of the year (and future Hall of Famer) Jerry Lucas. Other ABL stars included Hall of Famer George Yardley and Bill Bridges. Half-way through the 1962-63 season, the league folded.

    This bronze-colored metal pass (3.5x2") reads "American League of Professional Basketball Clubs 1961-62" and bears the ABL logo and Commissioner Abe Saperstein's facsimile signature. The annual pass was issued to "Dick Lezius", a prominent Cleveland business man at the time. ABL items are quite rare and this is the first such pass we have ever seen, let alone offered for sale. A significant piece which would make a fine addition to any collection interested in chronicling this often overlooked chapter in the history of professional basketball.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2017
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 251

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