Number 4 turns 75

I was 13 when I first saw Bobby Orr in action at the Montreal Forum with my brother, also named Robert, and in my estimation, the Bobby Orr of art museum curators, who also turned 75 on March 20th. In 1969 he was a student at McGill ($500. semester US!) and I’d visit him often […]

The 1967 Boston Red Sox

October 1, 1967 “May I suggest the best example of brotherhood is right down the street from here. There’s a team over there in Boston Garden made up of blacks, and whites, Catholics and Protestants, coached by a Jew, and they’ve been world champions for a long time now. Everyone’s running around looking for theories […]

Celtics Hire Bill Russell as first Black Head Coach in NBA History

April 17, 1966 “What I found with the Celtics was a set of other players who were brilliant and accomplished. I needed to know who the different players were, what their tendencies were, their habits, their preferences. I had to learn their thinking, their temperaments. For me to play my best game, I had to […]

Celtics Field First All-Black Lineup in NBA History

December 26, 1964 “Red shocked me. I really thought that Red was going to start Havlicek as the fifth man in place of Heinsohn. But Red Auerbach is just different. So there’s five of us (Black starters) and I said ‘my gosh, we better win.’ And we did.” -Sam Jones The perspective of history has […]

The First Patriot, Ron Burton

The Legacy of Ron Burton When the Patriots selected Northwestern University all-purpose back Ron Burton as their first-ever draft choice on November 23, 1959, they welcomed a man who’d not only become one of the top players but would establish himself as one of New England’s most beloved citizens. Burton hailed from Springfield, Ohio, where […]

Willie O’Ree: The Jackie Robinson of Hockey

When rookie Willie O’Ree laced up his skates for the Boston Bruins on January 18, 1958, he became the first black player to appear in an NHL game. In so doing, he made history, breaking the NHL color line and removing another barrier for blacks in professional sports. O’Ree played for the Bruins for several […]

Celtics Select Chuck Cooper as NBA’s First Black Player Drafted

April 25, 1950 “Thank you for having the courage to offer me a contract in pro basketball. I hope I’ll never give you the chance to regret it.” (Text of a telegram from Chuck Cooper to Celtics owner Walter Brown) Long before the NBA draft was a glitzy televised prime-time event the Celtics made history […]

It was 37 years ago…

On January 19, 1986, The Sports Museum mounted a benefit concert at Symphony Hall featuring rock and roll pioneers Bo Diddley and Roy Orbison as well as the Lite Beer All-Stars led by Celtics head coach KC Jones.

Flying High / The Massport Jets

In the early seventies, Boston was the undisputed capitol of the hockey world as the Big Bad Bruins led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito captured two Stanley Cups and elevated the NHL to hitherto unprecedented heights.

Prince of our City

At 8:41 PM on a Friday, August 18, 1967, Boston was aglow with the performance of a Red Sox team, that despite being in fourth place, where only 3 1/2 games behind the Twins…