Monday, June 20, 2016

Here's a basketball team the Cleveland Cavaliers never defeated

I don't think it's far-fetched to claim that I'm one of the few Americans who has a 100-year-old photograph of his great-grandmother's women's college basketball team. Greta Chandler was a member of the Class of 1914 hoops team at West Chester Normal School and appears in this photo, which was taken in March 1913.

As you can see above, the photograph is mounted on a thick piece of cardboard that measures 14 inches by 12 inches and has some big chunks missing from two corners. The photograph itself measures 9½ inches by 7½ inches, and here's a closer look...

Let's zoom in further on the basketball players...

Greta Chandler, who wouldn't meet me until about 57 years later, is the fifth person from the left, in the back row. She's competing with her teammate at the end of that row for Best Hat. We might have to declare that contest a draw.

Here's the full rundown on the players, who we can identify because their names were written in ink on the back of the cardboard (yay!).

Front row, from left
  • Mary Ritchie, guard
  • Rebecca Greenburg, captain and forward
  • Aline Corwin, side center (a former position in women's basketball that played in the backcourt along with the guards)

Back row, from left
  • Julia Kirk, guard
  • Miriam Holt, guard
  • Ethel Bratton, center
  • Miss Harding (coach)
  • Greta Chandler, forward
  • Mary DeHart, side center
  • Elizabeth Holden, manager and forward

Here's a closer look at Captain Greenburg...

And here are her shoes, which are clearly not Nikes...

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