Our museum is temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Theodis Ray Lee Harlem Globetrotters Card

Theodis Ray Lee Harlem Globetrotters Card

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
This Theodis Ray Lee Harlem Globetrotters card is number 54 in a series of 84 featuring the Harlem Globetrotter basketball team that was issued by the Fleer Corporation in 1972. The front of the card features an image of the Harlem Globetrotters guard holding a basketball at his side. The card’s reverse lists the player’s height, weight, school, and residence, as well as a short biography.
The Harlem Globetrotters—originally called the Savoy Big Five—were founded in 1927 as a promotion for the Savoy Ballroom nightclub in Chicago. The team soon changed their name to associate themselves with the African-American cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. This gave the Globetrotters the prestige of being associated with Harlem, while also letting white Midwestern audiences know what to expect when the team came to town. Before the advent and rise of the NBA, the Globetrotters drove to small towns in the Midwest and played competitive games against other semi professional teams in a practice known as “barnstorming.” The Globetrotters soon became one of the America’s best teams, and they began to incorporate “The Show” into their games to keep the score close. As the years went by, these tricks and comedic routines became the centerpiece of Globetrotter games that they are still known for today.
Currently not on view
Object Name
card, basketball
date made
Lee, Theodis Ray
Harlem Globetrotters, Inc.
Fleer Corp.
Fleer Corp.
Harlem Globetrotters, Inc.
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 3 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in; 8.89 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Sport and Leisure
Basketball Cards
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Great Ball player at Carroll High School, we were in the same P.E. class six period. Very friendly, always the gentleman, how could we contend with his tall frame. Well loved ! R.I.P. God bless !!!

Add a comment about this object