Chicago Majors Information

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Table of Contents ⇨
Chicago Majors
Chicago Majors logo
Leagues American Basketball League (1961–63)
Arena International Amphitheater
Team colors Red & White

The Chicago Majors was a basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, that was a member of the American Basketball League from 1961 to 1963.


The American Basketball League played one full season, 19611962, and part of the next season until the league folded on December 31, 1962. The ABL was the first basketball league to have a three point shot for baskets scored far away from the goal. Other rules that set the league apart were a 30-second shooting clock and a wider free throw lane, 18 feet instead of the standard 12.

The American Basketball League was formed when Abe Saperstein did not get the Los Angeles National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise he sought. His Harlem Globetrotters had strong NBA ties. When Minneapolis Lakers owner Bob Short was permitted to move the Lakers to Los Angeles, Saperstein reacted by convincing National Alliance of Basketball Leagues (NABL) team owner Paul Cohen (Tuck Tapers) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Champion Cleveland Pipers owner George Steinbrenner to take the top NABL and AAU teams and players and form a rival league. [1]

League franchises were: the Chicago Majors (1961–1963); Cleveland Pipers (1961–1962); Kansas City Steers (1961–63); Long Beach Chiefs (1961–1963), as Hawaii Chiefs in 1961–62; Los Angeles Jets (1961–62, disbanded during season); Oakland Oaks (1961–1963, as San Francisco Saints in 1961–1962; Philadelphia Tapers 1961–1963, as Washington Tapers in 1961–62; moved to New York during 1961–62 season; as New York Tapers in 1961–62 and the Pittsburgh Rens (1961–1963). [1]

The Majors were owned by Abe Saperstein. [2] Former Globetrotter Ermer Robinson was the team's business manager for their two seasons. [3] Chicago native Ron Sobieszczyk came out of retirement to play for the Majors. [3] In 1961 Chicago was coached by Andy Phillip. [3]

The Majors finished 38–42 in 1960–1961 under Phillip, finishing third in the ABL Eastern Division. In 1962–1963 they finished 8–19 under Ron "Sobie" Sobieszczyk, folding along with the entire league on December 31, 1962. [4] [5]

The arena

The Majors played at the Chicago International Amphitheater. Demolished in 1999, it was located at 4220 South Halsted Street, Chicago 60609. [6]

Notable players

1962 ABL draft selections

Territorial selections
First round
Additional selections


Year League Reg. Season Playoffs
1961/62 ABL 3rd, Eastern Quarterfinals
1962/63 ABL 6th No playoff


  1. ^ a b "History of the American Basketball League".
  2. ^ Grasso, John (2011). Historical dictionary of basketball. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 89. ISBN  0810875063. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c A Biographical Directory of Professional Basketball Coaches. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. 2003. ISBN  1461726530.
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