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 Team and League History

   November 1947   
    Jim Price announces that he will own the Birmingham franchise in the new Southern Professional Basketball League. The team will be named the Birmingham Vulcans. 

The season is to begin later this month and the Vulcans will play their games at the Municipal Auditorium and the National Guard Armory.

Price also names Wheeler Flemming as player-coach. Kevin Connors, first baseman for the Mobile Bears baseball club, was to be the coach but he could not secure a release from the Boston Celtics.


1947-48 Southern Professional Basketball League


Birmingham Vulcans

  Gadsden Whiz Kids (moved during season to became the Bessemer Whiz Kids)  
  Jackson Senators  
  Memphis Legionnaires  
  Montgomery Rebels  
  Nashville Vols  
   December 1947   
    Manuel Dorsky and Abe Epsman quit the Vulcans after the game against the Gadsden Whiz Kids. The two players are some of the better players in the league. Dorsky said they had not been paid for the game they played in the month of November.

Dorsky said they quit because team owner Jim Price "held out on the paycheck" and they weren't the only dissatisfied players on the team. "There are more than us not satisfied. Some other players are going to quit before this thing is settled," Dorsky said.

Price issued a statement saying, "I have released Manuel Dorsky for the good of the club. I haven't released Abe Epsman yet, but it looks like it's coming. They have caused dissention on the club by criticizing the players when on the bench. The reason they did not get paid for the game in November was that it would cause extra bookkeeping at the end of the year. We close our season February 29, so we brought the November game over to the December records. All players have been paid in full."

    After losing to the Montgomery Rebels by one point (69-68), Price protests the outcome of the game with the league. At the end of the game a Rebel player was given an extra free throw due to an inadvertent whistle from the scorer's table. The league agrees and decrees the game will be replayed at a later date.   
    League commissioner Raymond Johnson announces that the winless Gadsden club has been relocated to Bessemer and will be known as the Bessemer Whiz Kids.   
   January 1948   
    The Southern Professional Basketball League announces the Memphis Legionnaires franchise will move to Mobile and become the Mobile Bears. Games will be played in Mobile's Recreation Center.   
    Player-coach Wheeler Flemming resigns due to "constant changes in personnel which made it impossible to form a winning combination." General manager Jim Price responds by saying, "We are parting on the best of terms. I'm already lining up his successor and I'm keeping the wires hot looking for new players. Anybody who can strengthen our team, I'll sign."   
    Price announces the Vulcans have a new coach. Cherry Foster, one of Howard College's all-time basketball greats, will take over the team. Foster graduated from Howard in 1931.   
   February 1948   
    Price announces that Vulcans head coach Cherry Foster is leaving the team to attend to his construction business in South Alabama. Price says he will coach the team until a replacement is found.   
   March 1948   
    League commissioner Raymond Johnson announces that Birmingham, Montgomery and Nashville will form the playoff teams after Jackson withdraws due to injuries to three of their players. The three teams will play one another until one team has lost three games. The remaining two teams will play a best three out of five series for the championship.   
    It is reported that all the former Vulcans players are considering suing team owner Jim Price for salaries they have not received for weeks. Price agrees the players are due some remaining payments but not to the extent they contend. Price says the teams has enough money deposited with the league to pay the players what he believes they are due.   
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Last Update: May 24, 2008