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

Category Archives: B

Al Babartsky


Al Babartsky (College football.  Born, Shenandoah, PA, Apr. 19, 1915; died, Kettering, OH, Dec. 29, 2002.)  Known to his teammates as “Ali Baba,” Albert J. Babartsky was a tackle on the celebrated “Seven Blocks of Granite” line at Fordham (1935-37).  He earned some All-America mentions in his senior season (1937) and had an N.F.L. career with both Chicago teams (Bears, 1938-39, 1941; Cardinals, 1943-45).  After retiring from football, he changed his name to Al Bart to reduce “constant misspelling.”

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Larry Babich


Larry Babich (Sportswriter.  Born, The Bronx, NY, Nov. 26, 1935.)  A long-time sportswriter and columnist for the Jersey Journal, Lawrence Babich also had an extensive career as a baseball coach.  During his nearly four decades at the Journal (1960-99), Babich covered Hudson County high schools and colleges and, occasionally, big league teams in all major sports, as well as doing features and columns.  At the start, he was part of a staff that included Lou Greenberg and Fred Cranwell under sports editor Jack Powers and, later, Wayne Witkowski and Mike Spina.  As a coach, Babich mentored New York Tech (1967-72), Jersey City State (1973-85), and the Jersey Pilots of the Atlantic Collegiate League (1973-91).

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Johnny Bach


Johnny Bach (College basketball.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, July 10, 1924.)  Following a career as a college player at Rochester, Brown, and Fordham, interrupted by military service in World War II, John William Bach became Fordham’s head basketball coach in 1950.  His first five teams were 93-39 and his overall record for 18 seasons (1950-68) was 263-193.  Bach sent five Rams teams to the N.I.T.  He then coached 11 seasons at Penn State (1968-79), where he was 122-121 before going to the N.B.A.  At Golden State, Bach was 95-172 in parts of four seasons (1980, 1983-86).  He was also a long-time N.B.A. assistant coach, most notably with the Chicago Bulls, where he assisted Phil Jackson’s six N.B.A. champions.

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C. Everett Bacon


C. Everett Bacon (College football.  Born, Westbrook, CT, Aug. 18, 1890; died, Southampton, NY, Feb. 1, 1989.)  Clarence Everett Bacon, Jr., was a standout quarterback at Wesleyan (1910-12) and become the school’s only player to earn First Team all-America major college honors, in 1912.

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Red Badgro


Red Badgro (Pro football.  Born, Orillia, WA, Dec. 1, 1902; died, Orillia, WA, July 13, 1998.)  A six-foot, 190-pound end from Southern California, Morris Badgro is the only man to play pro football for Yankees, Giants, and Brooklyn Dodgers teams.  Badgro joined the Football Yankees in 1927 and played for the Giants for six seasons (1930-35) and then Brooklyn in 1936.  He played 75 games for the Giants and led the N.F.L. in receptions (16) in 1934.  Badgro was all-League three times and his second-quarter reception for 29 yards from Harry Newman in the 1933 N.F.L. championship game was the first touchdown pass in league playoff history.  He later was an assistant coach under Lou Little at Columbia.

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Max Baer


Max Baer (Boxing.  Born, Omaha, NE, Feb. 11, 1909; died, Hollywood, CA, Nov. 21, 1959.)  Maxmillian Adelbert Baer was world heavyweight champion for one day less than a year.  He knocked out Primo Carnera in the 11th round June 14, 1934, at the Madison Square Garden Bowl in Long Island City.  On June 13, 1935, Baer was upset by James J. Braddock in 15 rounds in the same ring.  He was the fourth straight champion to both win and lose the heavyweight title in New York.

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Braulio Baeza


Braulio Baeza (Horse racing.  Born, Panama City, Panama, Mar. 26, 1940.)  During his long career as one of New York’s (and America’s) most successful thoroughbred jockeys, Braulio Baeza accomplished almost everything possible for a jockey to achieve.  At age 21, Baeza rode the first of his three Belmont Stakes winners.  He was the nation’s leading money-winning jockey five times (including four years in a row) and a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award as the nation’s best jockey.  Baeza’s first Belmont winner was Sherluck in 1961 and his victory prevented Carry Back (winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness) from earning the Triple Crown.  His second Belmont winner was Chateaugay, a horse that won two of the three Triple Crown races (winning the Derby but missing out on the Preakness).  In 1969, Majestic Prince made his bid for Triple Crown laurels but Baeza rode Arts & Letters to victory in “the test of champions” to thwart him.  In between his second and third Belmont triumphs, Baeza rose to become the dominant jockey in the country.  In 1965, he led the nation in money earnings for the first of four straight years when his 1,245 rides produced 270 winners (including 24 stakes) worth $2,582,702. He rode 298 winners in 1,341 mounts the next year and just missed the $3 million plateau in earnings ($2,951,022) but became the first jockey to crack that barrier the next year.

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Dick Bailey


Dick Bailey (Television sports.  Born, Macon, GA, Dec. 10, 1910; died, Holmdel, NJ, Oct. 25, 1991.)  In 1956, Richard E. Bailey founded Sports Network, Inc., largely to provide equipment and engineering for sports remote pickups.  Bailey’s S.N.I. trucks soon became ubiquitous at big league ballparks, arenas, and racetracks.  In Dec. 1968, he sold the company to Howard Hughes, who renamed it Hughes Sports Network (later Hughes Television Network), but Bailey remained as the company’s president until he retired in 1973.  At one time, Hughes carried road-game local television feeds for 25 out of 26 major league baseball teams.  Bailey also owned Overbrook Farms in Colts Neck, N.J., where he bred thoroughbred horses that he also raced.

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James Bailey


James Bailey (College basketball.  Born, Boston, MA, May 27, 1957.)  A lanky freshman on the Rutgers team that was 31-0 going into the national semifinals in 1976, James L. Bailey went on to become the school’s third 2,000-point scorer.  Bailey averaged only 8.5 points per game on the 1975-76 team but came into his own as a sophomore with 468 points in 28 games (16.7 per game).  He finished his career with 2,034 points (16.7) and 1,047 rebounds (second-best in Scarlet Knights history).  At 6’9”, 220 pounds, Bailey was a first-round pick by Seattle (sixth overall) in the 1979 N.B.A. draft.  He had a 10-year N.B.A. career (561 games) that included a stint with the Knicks in 1984-85 and two tours with the Nets.

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Abie Bain


Abie Bain (Boxing.  Born, St. Petersburg, Russia, Aug. 10, 1906; died, Ormond Beach, FL, Apr. 9, 1993.)  Brought to the U.S. as a child, Abie Bain (the Anglicized version of his Russian name) gave Cambridge, Mass., as his birthplace in the 1930s when he was a middleweight and light heavyweight fighting mainly out of Newark, N.J.  Bain had over 100 pro fights, the highlight of which was his three-round knockout of German middleweight champion Herman Hersch Jan. 2, 1929.  Following his boxing career (1924-34), he developed a second career as a technical advisor for many boxing films and appeared in several, including Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962).  Bain retired to Florida in 1984.

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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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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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