John Beckman

In his 28 years on the courts, John Beckman, considered the "Babe Ruth of Basketball," was basketball's premier attraction. With a gritty playing style and nearly perfect free throw ability, the 5-foot-10-inch Beckman always electrified the crowd. Although he never played college ball, Beckman developed his skills in a wide variety of early professional leagues. He led Patterson to the 1916 Inter-State League title, and repeated the feat with the Bridgeport Blue Ribbons the following year. In 1920, he was the leading scorer in the Pennsylvania State League, taking the Nanticoke Nans to the championship. Beckman signed with the Original Celtics, became one of that team's leading scorers, and helped the squad to the 1922 Eastern League title. When the Celtics folded, Beckman finished his career with several different teams, and won the 1929 American Basketball League championship with the Cleveland Rosenblums. Although an excellent individual scorer, Beckman was known as one of the best men to play with because of his devotion to teamwork, passing, and team defense.