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

Category Archives: Bicycle racing

Franco Georgetti

Franco Georgetti (Bicycle racing.  Born, Bovisio Mombello, Italy, Oct. 3, 1902; died, Rome, Italy, Mar. 18, 1983.)  Over a period of nearly 15 years, one of the most popular and consistent of the six-day bicycle race riders in Madison Square Garden was Franco Georgetti. The rugged Italian won eight of the 144-hour grinds with five different partners from 1926 to 1935.  One of Georgetti’s first partners was the legendary Alfred Goullet with whom he finished fourth in the Mar. 1924 race at the second Garden on Madison Square. But his most profitable pairings were with Reggie McNamara and Gerard Debaets.  Partnering with McNamara, Georgetti won the Mar. 1926 and Mar. 1927 six-day events.  In 1927, the team had to scramble home in a wild finish with three teams only one lap behind after 2,340.9 miles. Georgetti finished fourth with McNamara in Dec. 1927, and then began his flourishing combination with Belgium’s Debaets. In their first pairing, Georgetti and Debaets won the Mar. 1928 race (2,162.9 miles). That victory started a string of four successive Garden six-days in which Georgetti was on the winning team.  With Debaets unavailable, Georgetti won his fourth win in a row in Dec. 1929. He won for the seventh time in Dec. 1930, as part of an all-Italian team with Paul Brocardo in another wild finish. That team logged 2,666.9 miles in the six days, the most ever for a Georgetti team. His eighth and final career win at the Garden came in Mar. 1935 with Alf Letourner of France as his partner.

John M. Chapman

John M. Chapman (Bicycle racing.  Born, College Park, GA, 1877; died, Santa Monica, CA, Mar. 20, 1947.)  During the era when bike racing was a major sport indoors and outdoors in the U.S., John M. Chapman was the sport’s leading promoter for 30 years (1907-37).  He was the operator of the New York and Newark (N.J.) Velodromes, where outdoor racing was staged at night.  The New York oval was destroyed by fire Aug. 4, 1930, and the 20,000-seat plant at 225th Street and Broadway was never rebuilt.  Chapman was president of the National Cycling Association, the U.S. pro racing circuit, for over 20 years.  From 1915-37, he was the promoter of the annual six-day international races at Madison Square Garden, which he increased from one per year to two in 1920.

Bill Brady

Billy Brady (Boxing, bike racing.  Born, San Francisco, CA, June 19, 1863; died, New York, NY, Jan. 6, 1950.)  A successful Broadway producer and sports promoter, Billy Brady was also a theatre operator and the only man to manage two heavyweight champions.  Brady promoted bike racing champion Major Taylor and managed both James J. Corbett and James J. Jeffries when they were heavyweight titlists.  He also operated the Playhouse Theatre in New York and produced over 260 plays (many starring his wife, actress Grace George (1879-1961)).  Brady was nearly wiped out by the 1929 stock market crash but was saved by his production of Elmer Rice’s Street Scene, the 1929 Pulitzer Prize-winning play.  It ran 601 performances before going on tour.

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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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