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Jack Inglis

 

Date and Place of Birth: 1887 Troy, NY
Date and Place of Death:    October 6, 1918 Troy, NY
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Catcher
Rank: Seaman
Military Unit: US Navy
Area Served: United States

One of the greatest basketball players of the first half of the 20th century, Jack Inglis was stricken with influenza and dead within a week.

John W. “Jack” Inglis was born in Troy, New York in 1887. He was a star football player on the Lansingburg High School team and entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, in 1911. In his two years at RPI he excelled in basketball, baseball, football and track.

In 1913, Inglis signed with the Newburgh Hilltoppers of the Class D New York-New Jersey League. Sharing the catching duties with fellow rookie Russell Holmes, Inglis batted .242 in 49 games. Inglis went on to coach the Colgate Red Raiders and RPI football teams, but it was in basketball that he truly made his mark. A star player on the Troy Trojans of the New York State Basketball League he was one of the first players to dunk the ball. Inglis and teammate Ed Wachter led the Trojans to three league championships between 1911 and 1915, making a cross-country trip that final year and winning 38 straight games.

After two seasons away from organized baseball, Inglis returned to the game in 1916 and played 17 games with the Troy Trojans of the Class B New York State League, batting .294.

The following season he was playing semi-pro baseball with Dunn’s Garnets of Albany, New York, and was the leading scorer in the Penn State Basketball League. He was playing basketball with the Halfmoons in 1918 and enlisted in the Naval Reserve, training for a commission at the Naval Training Camp, Pelham Bay Park, New York. In late September 1918, he was in Troy on a furlough visiting his sister when he suffered an attack of influenza. His health rapidly deteriorated and pneumonia developed. Within a week – October 6, 1918 – he was dead.

Jack Inglis was a friend and rival of local baseball player Guy Milliman, who died of influenza three days later on October 9, 1918.

Inglis was inducted in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Hall of Fame in 1945.

In 1950, Sog Grauley, sports editor of the Philadelphia Enquirer, listed Jack Inglis as the greatest basketball player of the first half of the 20th century.

Sources
Albany Evening Journal, October 7, 1918
Albany Knickerbocker News, January 27, 1950
Catskill Recorder, October 11, 1918
Hudson Evening Register, October 4, 1917
New Castle News, October 24, 1918
Schenectedy Gazette, February 12, 1913

Date Added: June 8, 2012

 

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