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

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Boris Nachamkin


Boris Nachamkin (College basketball.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Dec. 6, 1933.)  A lanky 6’6” from Brooklyn’s Thomas Jefferson, Boris Alexander Nachamkin set a then-record at N.Y.U. with 437 points in 1952-53 (in 20 games), averaging 21.8 per game.  He also set Violets records for points (1,091) and rebounds (844) in his three-year career of only 63 games, surpassing Sid Tanenbaum’s (1944-47) 1,074.  His teams were just 20-20 in his junior and senior years.  Nachamkin had a brief N.B.A. career (six games) with Rochester Royals.

Boris Nachamkin


Boris Nachamkin (College basketball.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Dec. 6, 1933.)  A lanky 6’6” from Brooklyn’s Thomas Jefferson, Boris Alexander Nachamkin set a then-record at N.Y.U. with 437 points in 1952-53 (in 20 games), averaging 21.8 per game.  He also set Violets records for points (1,091) and rebounds (844) in his three-year career of only 63 games, surpassing Sid Tanenbaum’s (1944-47) 1,074.  His teams were just 20-20 in his junior and senior years.  Nachamkin had a brief N.B.A. career (six games) with Rochester Royals.  He was an executive at Bankers Trust Company for 37 years.

Barney Nagler


Barney Nagler (Sportswriter.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Aug. 24, 1912; died, Freehold, NJ, Oct. 22, 1990.)  Becoming a sportswriter in 1937 under Harry Singer at the Bronx Home News, Bernard Nagler was one of the outstanding writers of his era with a special affinity for boxing.  Nagler did not move to the Post when that paper bought the Home News, instead spending two years writing scripts for Bill Stern’s radio program, “Colgate Sports Newsreel.”  He returned to newspaper writing in 1950 with The Morning Telegraph, the racing daily that was merged into the Daily Racing Form in 1972.  Nagler wrote a column on all sports titled “On Second Thought.”  He also authored numerous books, his last with matchmaker Teddy Brenner.

Joe Namath


Joe Namath (Pro football.  Born, Beaver Falls, PA, May 31, 1943.)  During his collegiate career at the University of Alabama (under the legendary Bear Bryant), Joseph Alexander Namath quarterbacked teams that lost only three games in three years.  His Alabama teams played in three Bowl games.  In 1965, Namath became one of the most celebrated names in American sports before ever playing a single pro game when Sonny Werblin signed him to a contract with the New York Jets of the American Football League for a then unheard-of $427,000.  In 12 years with the Jets, the flamboyant Namath, despite knee and other injuries, passed for 27,057 yards and 170 touchdowns.  His most spectacular seasons came in 1966 and 1967.  He completed 232 passes for 3,379 yards in 1966 and the next season completed 258 for 4,007 yards, leading all pro football in both categories both seasons.  He threw for 26 touchdowns in 14 games in 1967.  His best was yet to come.  He blazed himself into the sports consciousness of America in 1969 when he “guaranteed” that the Jets would beat the heavily-favored N.F.L. champion Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III – and Joe Willie Namath (and the Jets) delivered, 16-7.

Joe Namath


Joe Namath (Pro football.  Born, Beaver Falls, PA, May 31, 1943.)  During his collegiate career at the University of Alabama (under the legendary Bear Bryant), Joseph Alexander Namath quarterbacked teams that lost only three games in three years.  His Alabama teams played in three Bowl games.  In 1965, Namath became one of the most celebrated names in American sports before ever playing a single pro game when Sonny Werblin signed him to a contract with the New York Jets of the American Football League for a then unheard-of $427,000.  In 12 years with the Jets, the flamboyant Namath, despite knee and other injuries, passed for 27,057 yards and 170 touchdowns.  His most spectacular seasons came in 1966 and 1967.  He completed 232 passes for 3,379 yards in 1966 and the next season completed 258 for 4,007 yards, leading all pro football in both categories both seasons.  He threw for 26 touchdowns in 14 games in 1967.  His best was yet to come.  He blazed himself into the sports consciousness of America in 1969 when he “guaranteed” that the Jets would beat the heavily-favored N.F.L. champion Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III – and Joe Willie Namath (and the Jets) delivered, 16-7.

Bob Naso


Bob Naso (College football, lacrosse.  Born, Garden City Park, NY, Sept. 11, 1937.)  A successful lacrosse coach at Rutgers, Robert J. Naso was much less successful with Columbia football.  Naso became Columbia’s 13th head coach Dec. 18, 1979, but his five seasons (1980-84) produced a dismal 4-43-2 record.  His teams never won more than one game in any season and went 0-9 in 1984.  At Rutgers, Naso was a football center (1956-58) and played lacrosse (1957-59).  As head lacrosse coach there (1962-74), he was 95-59-1.

Bob Naso


Bob Naso (College football, lacrosse.  Born, Garden City Park, NY, Sept. 11, 1937.)  A successful lacrosse coach at Rutgers, Robert J. Naso was much less successful with Columbia football.  Naso became Columbia’s 13th head coach Dec. 18, 1979, but his five seasons (1980-84) produced a dismal 4-43-2 record.  His teams never won more than one game in any season and went 0-9 in 1984.  At Rutgers, Naso was a football center (1956-58) and played lacrosse (1957-59).  As head lacrosse coach there (1962-74), he was 95-59-1.

Art Nehf


Art Nehf (Baseball.  Born, Terre Haute, IN, July 31, 1892; died, Phoenix, AZ, Dec. 18, 1960.)  On Aug. 11, 1919, the Giants sent four players and an estimated $50,000 to the Boston Braves for lefthander Art Nehf in the season’s most sensational baseball trade.  Nehf first came to public notice while at Rose Polytechnic Institute, where he also played football.  On Aug. 5, 1915, Nehf joined Boston, where was 17-8 in 1917 but slipped to 15-15 the following year and 8-9 in 1919 before being dealt to the Giants.  Though the deal was controversial when made, it helped the Giants win four pennants and two World Series.  Nehf pitched the Giants into the 1919 race by going 9-2 after the trade, was 21-12 in 1920, and 20-10 for the 1921 world champions.  Overall, he was 107-60 for the Giants before being sent to Cincinnati early in the 1926 season.  He pitched a four-hit 1-0 victory in the eighth (and final) game of the 1921 Series, won by the Giants over the Yankees, five games to three.  With the Series reverting to a best-of-seven format, he threw a five-hitter to win the clincher in 1922.  The following year, Nehf won the third game, 1-0, on Casey Stengel’s homer.  But he lost the decisive game and gave up a homer to Babe Ruth as the Yankees won their first world championship.  Nehf was 4-4 in five Series starts, including a 12-inning, complete game 4-3 victory over Walter Johnson and Washington in the 1924 opener.  Nehf also briefly appeared in the 1929 Series for the Chicago Cubs.  He was 194-120 in his career with a 3.20 e.r.a., recording 182 complete games in 319 starts.  Nehf made 132 relief appearances, too.

Art Nehf


Art Nehf (Baseball.  Born, Terre Haute, IN, July 31, 1892; died, Phoenix, AZ, Dec. 18, 1960.)  On Aug. 11, 1919, the Giants sent four players and an estimated $50,000 to the Boston Braves for lefthander Art Nehf in the season’s most sensational baseball trade.  Nehf first came to public notice while at Rose Polytechnic Institute, where he also played football.  On Aug. 5, 1915, Nehf joined Boston, where was 17-8 in 1917 but slipped to 15-15 the following year and 8-9 in 1919 before being dealt to the Giants.  Though the deal was controversial when made, it helped the Giants win four pennants and two World Series.  Nehf pitched the Giants into the 1919 race by going 9-2 after the trade, was 21-12 in 1920, and 20-10 for the 1921 world champions.  Overall, he was 107-60 for the Giants before being sent to Cincinnati early in the 1926 season.  He pitched a four-hit 1-0 victory in the eighth (and final) game of the 1921 Series, won by the Giants over the Yankees, five games to three.  With the Series reverting to a best-of-seven format, he threw a five-hitter to win the clincher in 1922.  The following year, Nehf won the third game, 1-0, on Casey Stengel’s homer.  But he lost the sixth and deciding game and gave up a homer to Babe Ruth as the Yankees won their first world championship.  Nehf was 4-4 in five Series starts, including a 12-inning, complete game 4-3 victory over Walter Johnson and Washington in the 1924 opener.  Nehf also briefly appeared in the 1929 Series for the Chicago Cubs.  He was 194-120 in his career with a 3.20 e.r.a., recording 182 complete games in 319 starts.  Nehf made 132 relief appearances, too.

Edward J. Neil


Edward J. Neil (Sportswriter.  Born, Methuen, MA, Jan. 17, 1900; died, Saragossa, Spain, Jan. 2, 1938.)  A former football player and track weightman at Bowdoin College, Edward Joseph Neil, Jr., joined The Associated Press in Boston after graduation.  Neil was transferred to Baltimore and came to New York in 1926 as a sportswriter.  He was a specialist in boxing, which in those days was a six-nights-a-week beat.  He built a national reputation as a fight writer but also covered other events such as the 1932 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, N.Y.  In 1936, Neil went to Europe to cover events there, including the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, the coronation of Britain’s King George VI, and the Arab uprising in Palestine.  In May 1937, Neil went to Spain to cover the civil war there.  On New Year’s Eve, a government shell exploded in front of a parked car in the village of Caudete, in which four war correspondents were seated.  Two were Americans (Neil and Bradish Johnson) and two British (Hal Philby and Richard Sheepshanks).  Johnson was killed immediately, Sheepshanks died shortly thereafter, and Neil was rushed to a hospital in Saragossa, where he lasted two days.  The New York Boxing Writers annually present the Edward J. Neil Award for contributions to boxing.  The first winner was former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey in 1938.

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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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