1960′s Harlem Globetrotters Visit To Jacksonville

February 23rd, 2016, 11:52H · Topics: Famous And Not So..., Guys, Sports · Print

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With the Harlem Globetrotters coming to Jacksonville this week I thought this might be a good time to post this image from the Loyd Sandgren collection. There was no information attached to the print but I would date it from the early 1960’s and say it was shot in the old Jacksonville Coliseum. It looks like members of the team were having a meet and greet with local children. I contacted Scott Johnson, the Director of Public Relations for the Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. and shared this image with him to see if he could shed a little light on the photograph shortly after the death of Globetrotter legend Meadowlark Lemon. He was able to tell me that Lemon was not in the photograph and that the fourth player from the left is most likely Geese Ausbie who signed with the team in 1961 and played over 10,000 games with the Globetrotters in addition to holding different positions within the organization during his tenure with the team.

I also stumbled across a recent editorial by retired Globetrotter Curley Neal that appeared in USA Today this week, reflecting on the 90 year history of the team. He had a particularly poignant Jacksonville story which is worth sharing.

I can still remember hearing the story from the great Tex Harrison. Fifty-nine years ago, the Harlem Globetrotters had just played in front of 18,000 fans in northern Florida — most of them white — and tried to grab a bite to eat at a restaurant. The restaurant wouldn’t let the team in. Wouldn’t serve them. They went to a hotel next. They were turned away. Later, they found out that a performing chimpanzee sponsored by a local bowling alley got a big fancy suite.

 Here they were, the Harlem Globetrotters, America’s most famous basketball team, unable to eat a meal or stay in a hotel room in Jacksonville.”  

The complete editorial can be found here.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/02/22/harlem-globetrotters-black-history-month-racial-barriers-discrimination-column/80703798/

 

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More