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

John Beckman

John Beckman (Pro basketball.  Born, New York, NY, Oct. 22, 1895; died, Miami Beach, FL, June 22, 1968.)  Among the stars of the legendary Original Celtics was John Beckman.  Though his 5’9” frame was above average for his time, Beckman was noted for his all-around game.  He first became a star in the original Eastern League with the suburban Philadelphia DeNeri and Jasper clubs (1915-18).  In 1919, Beckman was signed by the Celtics, along with Dutch Dehnert.  Their presence elevated the Celtics from a strong New York area team to a national phenomenon that began to draw 10,000 to Madison Square Garden, then located at Madison Square.  Their renown soon made them into a touring attraction.  In 1925, Beckman was cited as one of the two “best basketball players in the world” by the Reach Guide.  (The other was Nat Holman.)  In 1922-23, the Celtics, with Beckman as their captain, played 215 games and won 204.  When the first American Basketball League ordered the Celtics “broken up,” Beckman went to Brooklyn and then Cleveland, where he had his last great year in 1928-29.

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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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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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