And the coolest of all...Frank Basloe,, not a famer but interesting story
Born in Hungary, Basloe emigrated to the United States as a young child and settled with his family in Herkimer, New York. Learning the game with a ball made of rags and a wooden barrel hoop tacked to a barn behind his family's house, Basloe grew to love basketball. His formal education ended after sixth grade, and in 1903, at the age of 16, Basloe decided to organize a team. Frank ordered stationary with money raised from his paper route that read, "Herkimer -- Champions of the Mohawk Valley" -- before his team ever played a game. Borrowing $10 from his mother, Frank organized 9 games in upstate New York, and returned home with $300. Over the next 20 years, Basloe formed the team every year but one -- he skipped 1918 due to World War I.
In 1911, one of his teams -- the 31st Separate Co. of Herkimer -- defeated the Buffalo Germans. This was an extraordinary accomplishment, as the Germans -- one of only five complete teams to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame -- had won an amazing 111 consecutive games entering the contest with the Herkimer squad. Basloe's teams defeated the Germans four of the next five times they met, and Frank claimed the title of "world champions." With his team established in the East, Basloe decided to promote games in the Midwest, where basketball was popular but the professional game was less developed.
As his team became more well-traveled, they became known as Basloe's Globe Trotters, and made the first cross-country basketball tour. In 1914, the Globe Trotters extended their realm to the Midwest and traveled by train to Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin; they were the most successful and long-running barnstorming team before the famous Original Celtics (with Hall of Famers Nat Holman and Davey Banks). Playing approximately 100-130 games each year, Basloe organized games wherever he could. His teams played in halls, armories, and even a schoolroom once (before a full house of 40 people).
Between 1903-1923, Basloe's teams had an amazing overall record of 1,324 wins and 127 losses, and traveled a staggering 94,800 miles in the process. Frank later owned teams in the New York State League, was the president of the league from 1937-1941, and commissioner from 1947-1948. Basloe, who was successful in real estate and insurance as well, was also a regular on the vaudeville circuit. He performed with such comic legends as W.C. Fields and Buster Keaton. Frank also wrote a book called I Grew Up With Basketball.