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

Category Archives: B

Buddy Blattner


Buddy Blattner (Baseball.  Born, St. Louis, MO, Feb. 8, 1920; died, Chesterfield, MO, Sept. 5, 2009.)  Two-time world table tennis doubles champion as a teenager (1936 and 1937) and the regular second baseman for the Giants in 1946 (when he hit .255 in 126 games), Robert Garnett Blattner later became a well-known sportscaster in Los Angeles, Kansas City, and St. Louis.  Blattner spent 1947 and 1948 as a backup with the Giants and then played for the Phillies in 1949.  He had started his big league career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1942 but then spent three years in the military during World War II.  Blattner hit .247 for 272 big league games.

Carol Blazejowski


Carol Blazejowski (College basketball.  Born, Cranford, NJ, Sept. 29, 1956.)  After a distinguished scholastic career, Carol Blazejowski was expected to be an impact player in women’s college basketball, but little did anyone know what an impact she would make.  Blazejowski became one of the truly great players in the history of her sport, racking up 3,199 career points and 1,001 rebounds, making her the first woman ever to score over 2,000 career points and have more than 1,000 rebounds.  Her performances so energized women’s basketball that her Montclair State College team was invited to play in Madison Square Garden, where her shooting and rebounding display in a 52-point effort set a Garden No. 4 collegiate record.  A two-time national scoring champion and three-time All-America, Blazejowski was the first athlete in Montclair State history to have a uniform number retired (No. 12).  She scored 47 points in St. John’s Alumni Hall on March 1, 1977, the most points in a game there by any player, male or female.  She set a women’s scoring record at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion (41) and scored 54 points in a game against Queens College.  In 101 career games, Blazejowski averaged 31.7 points, still the highest career average in women’s collegiate competition. In her senior year, she scored 1,235 points and averaged 38.6 per game, another record.  She was named the Converse Women’s Player of the Year in 1977 and won the first Wade Trophy as player of the year in 1978.  She later became the first general manager of the Liberty, who reached the W.N.B.A. final four times in the league’s first six seasons.  She was promoted to president of the Liberty in 2008, but in 2010, her contract was not renewed.  She became an Associate Vice President at Montclair State (by then a university) in 2011.

Ethelda Bliebtrey


Ethelda Bliebtrey (Swimming.  Born, Waterford, NY, Feb. 27, 1902; died, West Palm Beach, FL, May 6, 1978.)  When what was a coastal life-saving service during World War I was converted into the Women’s Swimming Association of New York, Ethelda Bliebtrey was one of its stars.  In 1920 and 1921, Bliebtrey won seven national championships (all but one in freestyle), five outdoors and two indoors.  On May 30, 1921, at Honolulu, Hi., she set a 100-yard long course outdoor freestyle record that stood for more than a decade.  Bliebtrey was among the pioneers who drew young women into sports and the W.S.A.N.Y. in particular.  But her most impressive triumphs came in the 1920 Olympics at Antwerp, Belgium, when she won the gold in both the 100- and 300-meter freestyle and another on the U.S. 400-meter relay team, the first U.S. woman to win Olympic gold.

Ernest Blood


Ernest Blood (Basketball.  Born, Manchester, NH, Oct. 4, 1872; died, New Smyrna Beach, FL, Feb. 5, 1955.)  A coach who won seven New Jersey state championships at Passaic H.S., Ernest Artel Blood gained national fame with a 159-game winning streak from Dec. 17, 1919, to Feb. 6, 1925.  This feat earned him the nickname, “the Professor.”

George Blossom


George Blossom (Golf.  Born, Chicago, IL, July 10, 1890; died, Chicago, IL, Dec. 12, 1960.)  A Yale graduate (1914) and an insurance executive, George W. Blossom, Jr., was president of the U.S. Golf Association (1942-43) and was instrumental in establishing the U.S.G.A. Golf Museum now located at Far Hills, N.J.

Al Blozis


Al Blozis (Pro football.  Born, Garfield, NJ, Jan. 5, 1919; died, Vosges Mountains, France, Jan. 31, 1945.)  A tackle from Georgetown, Albert Blozis played only three seasons for the Football Giants (1942-44) but earned immortality as a lieutenant who was killed by German machine gun fire during the advance through Europe that ended that continent’s phase of World War II just over three months after his death.

Charles Bluhdorn


Charles Bluhdorn (Executive.  Born, Vienna, Austria, Sept. 20, 1926; died, aboard corporate jet between Santo Domingo, D.R., and New York, NY, Feb. 19, 1983.)  Charles G. Bluhdorn was the creator of the conglomerate that controlled Madison Square Garden for two decades.  Starting with an auto parts company in Grand Rapids, Mich., Bluhdorn formed Gulf + Western Industries (1956), purchased Paramount Pictures (1967), and took over the Garden (1974).  Madison Square Garden had been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1925 when G+W acquired control with a tender offer and took it private.  Bluhdorn served as a board member and was the controlling power of the Garden, but never held a corporate title with the company, which became a G+W subsidiary.  When Martin Davis became the C.E.O. after Bluhdorn’s death, the company became Paramount Communications and, in 1994, Paramount was taken over following a fierce proxy war by Viacom, which outbid QVC.  Viacom then sold the Garden to a combination of Cablevision and I.T.T., paving the way for control of the Garden, and its teams, by James Dolan.

P.J. Boatwright


P.J. Boatwright (Golf.  Born, Augusta, GA, Nov. 8, 1927; died, Morristown, NJ, Apr. 5, 1991.)  From an above-average amateur golfer, Purvis James Boatwright rose to become executive director of the U.S. Golf Association.  Considered the world’s leading authority on golf rules, Boatwright succeeded Joe Dey as U.S.G.A. executive director in 1969.  He served in that position until 1980 and continued to consult with organizations throughout the world on rules of the game until his death.

Hubert Bobo


Hubert Bobo (Pro football.  Born, Dover, OH, July 2, 1934; died, Sept. 1, 1999.)  An Ohio State product, Hubert Lee Bobo began his pro football career as a halfback for Philadelphia in the N.F.L. in 1957 but spent two years (1961-62) with the A.F.L. New York Titans as a 205-pound linebacker.  Bobo was the middle linebacker in the basic 4-3 defense.  He played a year in the C.F.L. and was acquired by the Titans from San Diego for a draft choice after the 1960 season (which he missed due to knee surgery).

Hal Bock


Hal Bock (Sportswriter.  Born, New York, NY, May 11, 1939.)  A principal sports columnist for The Associated Press, Harold I. Bock is thought to have covered more World Series and Super Bowls than any other A.P. writer.  Bock began covering both events in 1968 and by 1980 began writing columns.  He became a columnist full-time in 1984.  Bock’s professional career began as an assistant in the New York Rangers publicity office (under Herb Goren) in 1961 following his graduation from N.Y.U.  He joined the A.P., primarily as a hockey writer, in 1963.  He retired in January 2004.  Bock, who teaches journalism at Long Island University, edited, co-edited, or written numerous books, including the text for the A.P. History of Baseball.  He has also written books with Bill Chadwick and Marv Albert, books on David Robinson and Steve Young, among others, and books for children.

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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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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