Thomas B. "Tom" Barlow

Enshrined 1981
Trenton, NJ
July 9, 1896 - September 26, 1983


When Thomas Barlow played basketball, the game was fast, rough, tough, and played in cages. In 1922 when Barlow and the Eastern League's Trenton Tigers played against the Original New York Celtics at Madison Square Garden, promoters displayed a seven-foot cutout photograph of Barlow with the caption, "Caveman Barlow Plays Here Tonight." Barlow wasn't seven feet tall. He only played that big. At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, the then-gigantic Barlow was a strong defender, scorer, and rebounder, attaining stardom from 1912 through 1932. Barlow was basketball's first true enforcer and played on at least a dozen professional teams - frequently on two or three teams simultaneously. Barlow is most noted for his contributions with the EL's Tigers, the SPHAs of the Philadelphia League, and the Philadelphia Warriors of the American Basketball League.

Career Highlights

Defeated Original Celtics and New York Rens as a member of Philadelphia SPHAS, 1926
Played in first professional game at the old Madison Square Garden
Played under Hall of Fame coach Eddie Gottlieb with Philadelphia SPHAS and Warriors
Known as basketball's first enforcer