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

Category Archives: P

Eddie Price


Eddie Price (Pro football.  Born, New Orleans, LA, Sept. 2, 1925; died, New Orleans, LA, July 21, 1979.)  After naval service in the Pacific during World War II (Saipan, Guam, Leyte, Luzon), Edward J. Price, Jr., returned to his native New Orleans, where he married and enrolled at Tulane.  By 1948, Price was one of the nation’s top collegiate running backs, gaining 1,178 yards in 10 games (second in the nation) and 1,137 (third best) in 10 games in 1949.  He came to the Football Giants in 1950 and was fourth in the N.F.L. (703 yards) in rushing as a rookie.  In 1951, Price led the N.F.L. with 971 yards on 271 carries and was second the next year with 748 on a league-high 183 rushes.  He totalled 3,292 yards on 846 rushes in six years before retiring after the 1955 season.  Price was an All-Pro selection in both 1951 and 1952.  No Giants back has led the league in rushing since 1951.

Pat Powers


Pat Powers (Executive.  Born, Trenton, NJ, June 27, 1860; died, Belmar, NJ, Aug. 27, 1925.)  For nearly three decades, Patrick Thomas Powers was a major figure in New York-area sports.  He was involved with the promotion of early six-day bike races at Madison Square Garden in the 1890s after a brief stint managing the Giants (21-80) in 1892.  Powers also served as president of baseball’s Eastern League (forerunner of the International League) for 18 years (1892-1910).  He then joined with William A. Brady promoting boxing and bike racing until 1915, when he returned to baseball.  This time, he was president of the Newark Peps of the “outlaw” Federal League in 1915.  When the F.L. folded at the end of that season, Powers became associated with oil millionaire Harry Sinclair, backer of the Peps, in his racing stable and other sports ventures.

Richie Powers


Richie Powers (Basketball.  Born, New York, NY, Oct. 14, 1930; died, Allentown, PA, July 31, 1998.)  A colorful but inconsistent referee, Richard Powers refereed in the N.B.A. for 23 seasons (1956-79).  Powers worked three All-Star Games (1961, 1970, 1973) and 25 times in the N.B.A. championship final series.  Among those final series games was Game 5 at Boston in 1976, when he was heavily criticized by the losing Phoenix Suns.  In 1977, he was one of just two refs who worked when their new union struck just before the playoffs (Earl Strom was the other).  Powers later said that he worked because he was the only official with an individual contract with the league.  He sought the job of supervisor of officials but was passed over in favor of another ref, Norm Drucker.  Powers was dropped by the N.B.A. after 1978-79.  He then spent four years as a broadcaster and sports anchor with WABC, SportsChannel, and USA Network.  Powers was subsequently director of operations for the U.S.B.L. and sold cars, but more than once was nearly destitute.  He played baseball at St. John’s and was an umpire in the minor leagues, including the Eastern League and the I.L., where he umpired in 1961 and 1962.

Jimmy Powers


Jimmy Powers (Sports editor.  Born, Cleveland, OH, Feb. 9, 1903; died, Bal Harbour, FL, Feb. 11, 1995.)  Jimmy Powers was one of the most influential members of the New York sporting press during the 1940s and 1950s when he was sports editor of the Daily News and its leading columnist.  Powers was the oldest of ten children and grew up largely around Enid, Okla., where his family settled after moving from Ohio.  In 1921, Powers matriculated at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc., and immediately began engaging in the two areas that would interest him most of his working life:  sports and newspapers.  In addition to being active in basketball and earning a varsity letter in track, Powers also wrote for the school newspaper (The Marquette Tribune).  He won a Sigma Delta Phi journalism fraternity award for his newspaper work and struck out for New York to make his fortune.  Landing a job at the News, Powers also did some turns in vaudeville and had a radio sports program before moving into the sports editor’s job after the departure of the fabled Paul Gallico.  Powers also authored the main sports column every day under the title “The Powerhouse.”  After a four-year stint in the Navy in World War II, Powers returned to the News and added a sports spot on WPIX after the paper’s television station went on the air in 1949.  He achieved perhaps his greatest national fame while serving for many years as the ringside boxing commentator for Gillette’s “Friday Night Fights” from Madison Square Garden.  He also authored several books on sports before his retirement in 1959.

Jack Powers


Jack Powers (College basketball.  Born, The Bronx, NY, Oct. 22, 1935.)  A three-year star at Manhattan, John J. Powers then became the school’s head basketball coach (1968-78) and athletic director (1980-87) before becoming executive director of the N.I.T. in 1988.  A 6’2” guard, Powers played on Jaspers teams that were 47-27 in his three varsity seasons (1955-58) and made post-season play all three years, the N.I.T. in 1957 and the N.C.A.A. in 1956 and 1958.  During his senior season, Powers put on a brilliant all-around show of offense (29 points), defense, and rebounding to lead Manhattan to a stunning 89-84 upset of West Virginia in the N.C.A.A. first-round game at the Garden (Mar. 11, 1958).  He became head coach, succeeding Ken Norton, at Manhattan in 1968.  In 10 seasons, he was 142-114 and produced four N.I.T. teams.  He followed Pete Carlesimo as executive director of the N.I.T. in 1988, administering what became both pre-season and post-season events culminating in Garden finals before their sale to the N.C.A.A. in 2005.  As a player, Powers scored 1,139 points in 74 games (15.4) for the Jaspers.

Marvin Powell


Marvin Powell (Pro football.  Born, Fort Bragg, NC, Aug. 30, 1955.)  As the No. 1 draft choice for the Jets in 1977, Marvin Powell became a mainstay of the team’s offensive line for nine seasons.  At 6’5”, 270 pounds, the Southern California star was a fixture at tackle for 124 games before finishing his career in parts of two seasons with Tampa Bay (1986-87).

Jake Powell


Jake Powell (Baseball.  Born, Silver Spring, MD, July 15, 1908; died, Washington, DC, Nov. 4, 1948.)  In between two tours with the Washington Senators, Alvin Jacob Powell spent parts of five tumultuous seasons with the Yankees.  An outfielder with good defensive skills, Powell was a righthanded hitter who never reached his potential.  He was, however, a stormy character who had on-field brawls with Joe Cronin and Joe Kuhel, among others.  He broke Hank Greenberg’s wrist in a 1936 collision at first base and was suspended in 1938 for making anti-black racist comments during a radio interview.  Ben Chapman, a similar character, was traded to Washington for Powell June 14, 1936.  Powell hit .306 in 87 games for the Yankees and was the star of the World Series against the Giants.  Powell hit .455 with 10 hits, including a homer, and drove in five runs in the six-game Series win.  He also had the only stolen base of the Series and scored eight runs.  Powell was a regular in the outfield with Joe DiMaggio and Myril Hoag in 1937 but had only one at-bat in that year’s Series.  He was sold to San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League for $10,000 after the 1940 season.  He returned to Washington in 1943 and played during the war years but was back in the minors from 1946-48.  Powell was picked up by Washington police for passing a $25 bad check in Nov. 1948.  While being questioned about other bad checks at a District police station, he pulled out a .25-caliber revolver, said, “To hell with all this,” and shot himself in the chest.  Before cops could wrest the gun away, he shot himself again, this time in the head, finishing the job.

Art Powell


Art Powell (Pro football.  Born, Dallas, TX, Feb. 25, 1937.)  A lanky 6’2” receiver from San Jose (Calif.) State, Arthur L. Powell played in Canada (with Toronto) and, briefly, Philadelphia before joining flanker Don Maynard as the pass-catching tandem of the A.F.L. New York Titans in 1960.  As a split end, Powell caught 204 passes in three seasons (for 3,179 yards) and scored 27 touchdowns for the Titans.  When the team went bankrupt, he moved to Oakland in 1963 for four more years.  Powell also played for Buffalo (1967) and Minnesota (one game in 1968).

Denis Potvin


Denis Potvin (Hockey.  Born, Ottawa, Ontario, Oct. 29, 1953.)  Thought by some to be the best all-around defenseman ever to play in the National Hockey League, Denis Potvin was the backbone of the New York Islanders teams that won four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 through 1983.  Potvin was the first draft choice overall in the N.H.L. and came to the Islanders in 1973.  His first season, he notched 54 points in 77 games with 17 goals and was voted the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year.  In 1975, he was first team All-Star for the first of five times (he also made first team in 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1981 and the second team in 1977).  During the 1978-79 season, Potvin became only the second defenseman in N.H.L. history to score more than 100 points in a season when he matched his career high of 31 goals (also 1975-76) and added 70 assists for 101 points. That year he won the Norris Trophy as the best N.H.L. defenseman for the third time in four years (1976, 1978 and 1979).  Although he struggled with injuries in 1979-80, Potvin returned to play a key role in the Islanders first Stanley Cup win and then turned in powerful seasons each of the next three years as the Islanders extended their dynasty.  He had 76 points in 74 games in 1980-81 and 61 points in 59 games in 1981-82.  By the time he retired at the end of the 1987-88 season, Potvin had played 1,060 games for the Islanders, scoring 310 goals and adding 742 assists to give him 1,052 career points.  There was more than hockey to Denis Potvin, however.  He was an avid reader and art collector who later became a real estate broker, a hockey commentator and entrepreneur.

Albertson Post


Albertson Post (Fencing.  Born, New York, NY, 1866; died, New York, NY, Jan. 23, 1938.)  One of the most versatile fencers in American history, Albertson Van Zo Post was a member of the New York Fencers Club who excelled in all three weapons.  He was the national foil champion in 1895 and the national epee champion in 1896.  Then he switched to the sabre, winning the national title in that weapon three straight years – 1901 to 1903.  At the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, Mo., Post won a gold medal in single sticks competition, a silver in foil and a bronze in sabre.

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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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