Baltimore Bullets (1944–1954)

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Baltimore Bullets
Baltimore Bullets logo
HistoryBaltimore Bullets (ABL)
Baltimore Bullets (BAA)
Baltimore Bullets (NBA)
ArenaBaltimore Coliseum
LocationBaltimore, Maryland
Team colors       
ABL: 1946
BAA/NBA: 1948

The Baltimore Bullets were a professional basketball team based in Baltimore. The Bullets competed in the American Basketball League (1944–1947), the Basketball Association of America (1947–1949), and (following the BAA's merger with the National Basketball League) the National Basketball Association (1949–1954). On November 27, 1954, the team folded with a 3–11 record on the season,[1] making the Bullets the last NBA franchise to fold.[2] Out of all defunct NBA teams, the Bullets were members of the association for the longest time and the only defunct team to win a championship.[3]

The Bullets name was revived in 1963, when the former Chicago Zephyrs relocated to Baltimore; even after these Bullets relocated to Washington in 1973, they kept their name for 24 more years until they were renamed the Wizards.

Franchise history[edit]

ABL (1944–1947)[edit]

The Baltimore Bullets began play in 1944 as an American Basketball Association (ABL) team. The Bullets acquired their name in reference to the Phoenix Shot Tower.[4][5] In the ABL, Baltimore reached the championship round all three seasons, winning the ABL title in 1946. The Bullets won a division title in 1947, but forfeited that season's championship in favor of playing in the World Professional Basketball Tournament (the Bullets' second appearance in the tournament).

BAA/NBA (1947–1954)[edit]

The Bullets moved to the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1947, and won the 1948 championship over the Philadelphia Warriors (now Golden State Warriors). In 1949, the BAA absorbed the National Basketball League (NBL), and became the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Bullets struggled on the court after their championship season, and never posted another winning record. In 1954, Ray Felix won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and became the second African-American to be named an All-Star. Felix was traded to the Knicks on September 17, 1954, and on November 27, the Bullets became the last NBA franchise to fold.

Season-by-season records[edit]

ABL champions BAA/NBA champions Division champions Playoff berth
Season League Division Finish Wins Losses Win% GB Playoffs Awards
1944–45 ABL 4th 14 16 .467 8 Won First Round (Tigers) 2–1
Lost ABL Championship (SPHAs) 1–2
1945–46 ABL T-1st 21 13 .618 Won Tiebreaker (SPHAs) 1–0
Won First Round (Gothams) 2–0
Won ABL Championship (SPHAs) 3–1
1946–47 ABL South 1st 31 3 .912 Won First Round (Gothams) 2–1
Forfeited[a] ABL Championship (Tigers)
1947–48 BAA Western 2nd 28 20 .583 1 Won Division Tiebreaker (Stags) 1–0
Won First Round (Knicks) 2–1
Won BAA Semifinals (Stags) 2–0
Won BAA Finals (Warriors) 4–2
1948–49 BAA Eastern 3rd 29 31 .483 9 Lost Division Semifinals (Knicks) 1–2
1949–50 NBA Eastern 5th 25 43 .368 26
1950–51 NBA Eastern 5th 24 42 .364 16
1951–52 NBA Eastern 5th 20 46 .303 20
1952–53 NBA Eastern 4th 16 54 .229 31 Lost Division Semifinals (Knicks) 0–2
1953–54 NBA Eastern 5th 16 56 .222 28 Ray Felix (ROY)
1954–55 NBA Eastern N/A[b] 3 11 .214 N/A


  1. ^ After delays, the Bullets refused to wait for the ABL Championship to get underway and decided to play in the World Basketball Tournament; the ABL declared Trenton the champions, but Baltimore claimed the title as its own on the basis of its overwhelming regular season record.[6]
  2. ^ The Bullets folded during the season on November 27, 1954. Official records for the 1954–55 NBA season do not include the Bullets' games and team statistics, nor do they include the statistics of opposing players and teams in games played against the Bullets.[7]

List of notable personnel[edit]



Basketball Hall of Fame members[edit]

Baltimore Bullets Hall of Famers
No. Name Position Tenure Inducted
Buddy Jeannette1 G 1947–1950 1994
Name Position Tenure Inducted
Clair Bee Head coach 1952–1954 1968


  • 1 He also coached the team in 1947–1951


Year Lg Player College
1954 NBA Frank Selvy Furman University
1954 NBA Slick Leonard Indiana University
1954 NBA Werner Killen Lawrence Institute of Technology
1954 NBA Burt Spice University of Toledo
1954 NBA Lou Scott Indiana University
1954 NBA Bob Heim Xavier University
1954 NBA Joe Pehanick Seattle University
1954 NBA Harry Brooks Seton Hall University
1954 NBA Ron Goerrs Concord College
1954 NBA Gary Shivers University of Houston
1954 NBA Elliot Karver George Washington University
1953 NBA Ray Felix Long Island University
1953 NBA Jack Carby Kansas State University
1953 NBA Bob Emmercik Clarion University of Pennsylvania
1953 NBA Russ Johnson
1953 NBA Bob Kraback
1953 NBA Dennis Murphy Georgetown University
1953 NBA Paul Nolen Texas Tech University
1953 NBA Bob Peterson University of Oregon
1953 NBA Joe Piorkowski
1953 NBA Connie Rea Centenary College of Louisiana
1953 NBA Bill Schyman DePaul University
1953 NBA Herman Sledzik Pennsylvania State University
1953 NBA Bob Speight North Carolina State University
1953 NBA Don Stemmerich
1953 NBA Elmer Tolson Eastern Kentucky University
1953 NBA Edward Walsh
1952 NBA Jim Baechtold Eastern Kentucky University
1952 NBA Blaine Denning Lawrence Institute of Technology
1952 NBA Chuck Grigsby University of Dayton
1952 NBA Frank Guisness University of Washington
1952 NBA Bill Lea Missouri State University
1952 NBA Mike Magula Youngstown State University
1952 NBA Bud Penwell Oklahoma City University
1952 NBA Bob Peterson University of Oregon
1952 NBA Art Press Western Maryland College
1952 NBA Bob Priddy New Mexico State University
1952 NBA Benny Purcell Murray State University
1952 NBA Jim Walsh Stanford University
1951 NBA Gene Melchiorre Bradley University
1951 NBA Jack Stone Kansas State University
1951 NBA Bill Mann Bradley University
1951 NBA Bill Hagler University of California
1951 NBA Leroy Ishman American University
1951 NBA Glen Duggins University of Utah
1951 NBA Tom Riach University of Southern California
1951 NBA Bill Harper Oregon State University
1951 NBA Bob Crowe San Jose State University
1951 NBA Dan Torrey Oregon State University
1951 NBA Clem Pavilonis DePaul University
1951 NBA John Burke Springfield College
1950 NBA Don Rehfeldt University of Wisconsin
1950 NBA John Pilch University of Wyoming
1950 NBA Dick Dickey North Carolina State University
1950 NBA Jerry Reed University of Wyoming
1950 NBA Norm Mager City College of New York
1950 NBA Rick Harman Kansas State University
1950 NBA Frank Comerford La Salle University
1950 NBA George Bush University of Toledo
1950 NBA Jack Laub University of Cincinnati
1950 NBA Mike Zedalis Loyola College in Maryland
1949 BAA Ron Livingstone University of Wyoming
1949 BAA Paul Gordon University of Notre Dame
1949 BAA Bill Evans Drake University
1949 BAA Tom Gallagher St. Francis College
1949 BAA Jim McMullen Xavier University
1949 BAA Eppa Rixey Kenyon College
1949 BAA Roger Wiley University of Oregon
1949 BAA Bill Zipple Lafayette College
1948 BAA Walt Budko Columbia University
1948 BAA Jim Black Occidental College
1948 BAA Darrell Brown Humboldt State University
1948 BAA Robert Carroll West Virginia University
1948 BAA Jake Carter East Texas State University
1948 BAA Marvin English Newberry College
1948 BAA Gene Fellmoth Wittenberg University
1948 BAA J.W. Fullerton Arkansas State University
1948 BAA Marshall Gemberling Lebanon Valley College
1948 BAA Vince Hansen Washington State University
1948 BAA Joe Holland University of Kentucky
1948 BAA Wayne Jones American International College
1948 BAA Dan Kraus Georgetown University
1948 BAA Herb Krautblatt Rider University
1948 BAA Paul Marcincin Moravian College
1947 BAA Larry Killick University of Vermont
1947 BAA Robert Bolyard University of Toledo
1947 BAA Elmer Gainer DePaul University
1947 BAA Harry Gallatin Truman State University
1947 BAA Scotty Hamilton West Virginia University
1947 BAA Hugh Hampton High Point University
1947 BAA Bob Jake University of Vermont
1947 BAA Charles Raynor University of Houston
1947 BAA Chick Reiser New York University
1947 BAA John Rusinko Pennsylvania State University



  1. ^ "Bullets Fold For Season". The Daily Chronicle. Centralia, Washington. November 27, 1954. p. 5. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  2. ^ NBA Teams that don’t Exist anymore All About Basketball
  3. ^ NBA & ABA team index at Basketball Reference
  4. ^ Vecsey, George (November 12, 1995). "Sports of The Times;Say Goodbye To 'Bullets' As Nickname". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  5. ^ Lee, Michael (December 24, 2011). "Former Wizards owner Irene Pollin wouldn't have a problem with name changing back to Bullets". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  6. ^ 1946–47 Baltimore Bullets (ABL) Peach Basket Society
  7. ^ 1954–55 Baltimore Bullets Roster and Stats Basketball Reference
  8. ^ "GEARS DEFEATED BY BALTIMORE IN EXHIBITION TEST". Chicago Tribune. December 22, 1946. p. 28.
  9. ^ "Howard Rosan, basketball pro". The Philadelphia Inquirer. September 5, 1976. p. 34. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "Baltimore Bullets Draft Picks |". Retrieved November 17, 2018.
Preceded by BAA Champions
Baltimore Bullets

Succeeded by