New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: C

Bobby Cruickshank

Bobby Cruickshank (Golf.  Born, Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland, Nov. 16, 1894; died, Delray Beach, FL, Aug. 27, 1975.)  Leaving his native Scotland in 1921, Robert Allan Cruickshank came to New Jersey as the pro at Shackamaxon.  Cruickshank was a member of the P.G.A. tour from 1921-50, but some of his best years came late in his career, when he was a top senior player.  He was runner-up in the U.S. Open in 1923, losing a playoff to Bobby Jones at Inwood (L.I.), and tied for second in the Open in 1932, three strokes back of Gene Sarazen at Fresh Meadow in Queens.  Cruickshank was second in the 1927 Metropolitan Open by a stroke and runner-up in the 1923 New Jersey Open.  But the Wee Scot shot his age or better in 12 straight starts in P.G.A. senior and stroke play events for at least a round.  At age 79, he had two 75s and a 79.

Mickey Crowley

Mickey Crowley (College basketball.  Born, Elmhurst, NY, Apr. 22, 1934.)  In the top echelon of referees throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Christopher Thomas Crowley is the last person to officiate both the N.I.T. and N.C.A.A. championship games in the same season.  Crowley worked the 1991 N.I.T. final at the Garden (Stanford-Oklahoma) and the N.C.A.A. championship (Duke-Kansas) in the final week of his active officiating career.  He then became supervisor of officials for the Atlantic 10 Conference for 11 seasons (1991-2002).  Crowley retired from that position only to be asked to assume the job with the Ivy League-Patriot League combination.  He began his officiating career at a Catholic Youth Organization in Elmhurst, where he was sports director.  Crowley moved to C.H.S.A.A.-P.S.A.L. high schools, junior colleges, and Div. II and Div. III games.  In 1962, he did his first Div. I game (at Rhode Island) and spent most of the next two decades among the first rank of Eastern college referees.  Crowley worked numerous N.I.T. finals and the 1989 N.C.A.A. championship.  He also worked internationally in pre-Olympic tournaments in Mexico, Germany, and elsewhere, as well as the European championships in Zagreb, Yugoslavia.  As to the nickname by which he was universally known throughout his career, it was given to him as a baby by an uncle.  Crowley then took Michael as his confirmation name to give validity to the “Mickey” moniker.

Jim Crowley

Jim Crowley (College football.  Born, Chicago, IL, Sept. 10, 1902; died, Scranton, PA, Jan. 15, 1986.)  One of the legendary “Four Horsemen” of Notre Dame, James Harold Crowley was head football coach at Fordham for nine seasons (1933-41).  “Sleepy Jim” coached the second “Seven Blocks of Granite” team (1936-37) and took the Rams to two bowl games.  His 1940 club lost the Cotton Bowl to Texas A&M, 13-12, but his 1941 team (8-1-0) won the Sugar Bowl, edging Missouri, 2-0.  Of Crowley’s nine teams, only one lost more than two games (1934, 5-3-0), and he had a 56-13-7 record, the most wins for any Fordham coach.  In addition to playing at Notre Dame (1922-24), he was head coach at Michigan State (1929-31).

Jay Cross

Jay Cross (Executive.  Born, Toronto, Ont., Feb. 15, 1953.) A three-time Olympic sailor (1976, 1980, 1984) for his native Canada, Jay Cross joined the Jets July 25, 2000, to spearhead the project for building the team its own stadium, and he became Jets president March 1, 2001, following the retirement of Steve Gutman.  He came to New York from the Miami Heat, where he was president of business operations for the N.B.A. club from 1996-2000.  Cross coordinated the project to build the Heat’s new arena after having the same task in Toronto, where he was the key figure in the completion of the Air Canada Centre, the 22,500-seat arena.  Previously, he had been senior vice president of the Urban Development Group of Marlborough Properties, Ltd., a major Canadian international real estate developer.  Cross graduated from the University of Toronto and holds an M.A. in architectural technology from Columbia.  He is also a member of the New York Yacht Club and is on the board of the New World Symphony.  Cross resigned as Jets president in 2008, shortly after a deal was finalized to build a new Meadowlands football stadium, to join the real estate firm Related Cos.

Harry Cross

Harry Cross (Sportswriter.  Born, New Britain, CT, Sept. 9, 1881; died, New York, NY, Apr. 3, 1946.)  Considered to be one of the most authoritative writers of his era, Harry E. Cross was an expert on such sports as curling, figure skating, polo, and rowing, as well as baseball, football, and boxing.  Except for golf and tennis, Cross was assigned to almost every major event.  He left Harvard in 1905 to become a sportswriter with the Waterbury (Conn.) American and four years later went to The New York Times.  During his nearly 12 years (1909-20) at The Times, Cross covered principally baseball and primarily the Giants.  He was one of the first Times writers to regularly attend spring training.  In 1920, Cross became sports editor of the Evening Post but returned to The Times for two years (1924-26).  He then moved to the Herald Tribune, where he remained for more than 20 years (1926-46).  Cross was briefly the sports editor at the Herald Tribune in 1927.  He was the chairman of the New York chapter of the B.B.W.A.A. in 1944-45.  Cross was also one of the early members of the Football Writers Association and covered many of the major college football games of the time.

Frank Crosetti

Frank Crosetti (Baseball.  Born, San Francisco, CA, Oct. 4, 1910; died, Stockton, CA, Feb. 11, 2002.)  A skilled defensive shortstop before World War II and a long-time third base coach, Frank Peter Joseph Crosetti was part of 122 World Series games encompassing 23 of the Yankees’ first 29 A.L. champions.  He appeared in 1,682 games as a player, hitting .245 with 98 homers before retiring in 1948.  He became a coach in 1947 with Phil Rizzuto firmly established as the shortstop, and became the third base coach in 1949, when Casey Stengel arrived as the manager.  Crosetti retired after the 1968 season after a record 37 consecutive seasons in uniform for the Yankees.

Fritz Crisler

Fritz Crisler (College football.  Born, Earlville, IL, Jan.12, 1899; died, Ann Arbor, MI, Aug. 19, 1982.)  Considered the father of two-platoon football, Herbert Orin Crisler was also the most successful Princeton coach ever.  Crisler coached the Tigers for six seasons (1932-37), posting a record of 35-9-5 for a .765 winning percentage, the best ever for a Tigers coach.  He played for (1919-21) and was an assistant coach (1922-29) under Amos Alonzo Stagg at Chicago.  He then became head coach at Minnesota.  Crisler left Princeton to coach Michigan (1938-47), where he perfected his two-platoon system.

Mike Crispino

Mike Crispino (Sportscaster.  Born, Hartford, CT, July 10, 1952.)  An all-purpose reporter and anchor, Michael Crispino has been with the MSG Network since 1992 and has done play-by-play for Knicks, Rangers, and Liberty games.

Guido Cribari

Guido Cribari (Sports editor.  Born, Mt. Vernon, NY, July 12, 1915; died, Bronxville, NY, Oct. 8, 2008.)  A chance meeting in a barbershop led Guido Cribari to a 50-year career in the newspaper business and a place as one of the leading golf writers and organizers in the East. Cribari was approached by Art Saunders, general manager of the Mt. Vernon Daily Argus, in 1945 about replacing ailing sports editor Jack Wertis.  He accepted the job on what was a temporary basis at the start, but, within two years, rose to become the sports editor for the entire group of papers known in those days as the “Macy chain” (after its founderValentine Macy). Cribari served as executive sports editor for the group of 10 daily and five weekly newspapers through its expansion and growth into one of the largest and most influential suburban publishing groups in the country.  From Westchester County Publishing, the group became Westchester-Rockland Newspapers and then Gannett Suburban Newspapers, which eventually consolidated all the papers into The Journal News.  Writing principally about golf, Cribari became recognized as both an authority and an enthusiast for the sport.  This led to his helping Bill Jennings and Fred Corcoran establish the Westchester Classic, a P.G.A. Tour tournament later known as the Buick Classic held at the Westchester Country Club.  For his long service to golf, Cribari has been honored with four major awards. These include the P.G.A.’s Sam Snead, the Metropolitan Golf Writers’ Lincoln A. Werden, the Golf Superintendents’ John Reid and the Distinguished Service Award of the Metropolitan Golf Association. No one else has won all four of these prestigious awards.

Jim Creighton

Jim Creighton (Baseball.  Born, New York, NY, Apr. 15, 1841; died, New York, NY, Oct. 18, 1862.)  Perhaps the greatest athlete of his era, James Creighton was an infielder, outfielder, pitcher, and hitter who became the first great star of baseball.  Creighton died of an apparent ruptured bladder and was mourned at a sizeable funeral.  By dint of a technically illegal wrist snap, he perfected nearly unhittable pitching despite throwing underhand, in accordance with the rules of the day.  By 1859, Creighton was a star and helped pitch Brooklyn to national (amateur) championships in 1861 and 1862, although he probably was a sub rosa professional (believed to be the first ever in baseball).  He spent the final years of his career (and life) with the Eckfords, making them the most powerful club of the time before fully professional teams.

About This Dictionary

The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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