- Very Well Preserved
1942 Signed Maurice Podoloff letter responding to a letter from the Toronto Maple Leaf organization requesting that Ernie Dickens try out for the Leafs. Plus 3 other related letters.
- Auction also includes Ernie Dickens signed Professional Try-out Application form plus 2 addition related communication letters.
- Although Maurice Podoloff had made significant contributions to the American Hockey League, he is best known for being the 1st president of the NBA for 14 years, they have a Basketball MVP trophy named after him as well.
- Comes with a Letter of Authenticity from JSA.
- Size: All Letters 11" x 8 1/2". Try-out Application 8 1/2" x 6 1/4".
- Condition: All letters are in excellent condition and have the natural
mailing folds. One however has paper loss on the bottom.
- Item ID: B21
A distinguished lawyer, Maurice Podoloff (D. 1985), was a man of impeccable character and instrumental in the development and success of professional basketball. On June 6, 1946, when he was serving as president of the American Hockey League, was appointed president of the newly formed Basketball Association of America (BAA) and became the first person to lead two professional leagues simultaneously. After the BAA signed several of the top names from the National Basketball League, Podoloff negotiated a merger between the two groups to form the National Basketball Association in 1949. As a lawyer with no previous experience, Podoloff's great organizational and administrative skills were later regarded as the key factor that kept the league alive in its often stormy formative years.
In 17 years as president, Podoloff expanded the NBA to as many as 17 teams, and briefly formed three divisions and scheduled 557 games. During his tenure, Maurice introduced the collegiate draft in 1947, and in 1954 instituted the 24 second shot clock created by Dan Biasone, owner of the Syracuse Nationals, which quickened the pace of games and took the NBA from a slow plodding game to a fast paced sport. In 1954, Podoloff also increased national recognition of the game immensely by securing its first television contract. As the president of the NBA, he gave lifetime suspensions to Indianapolis Olympians players Ralph Beard and Alex Groza after they admitted to point shaving while in college at the University of Kentucky. Maurice Podoloff stepped down as NBA president in 1963, having increased fan interest during the NBA's formative years and having improved the overall welfare of the sport of basketball through his foresight, wisdom and leadership. In his honor, the NBA would name its annual league Most Valuable Player trophy the Maurice Podoloff Trophy.
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