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Eddie J Cozart

Okeene, OK

#1 Mar 7, 2006
My name is Eddie J Cozart and live in Oklahoma. I was in the US Army in 1960 to 1963.I was in the 82nd Engineers at Fort Leonardwood MO and was shipped out to Germany on the big build up in Oct. of 1961.
I have started looking for old Army buddies in the past 14 months and have found about 130 guys that was there with us.
There was a guy by the name of Bobby Joe Mason that was in our unit. The great Basketball player. I was told he lives in the Springfield Il. area.
The resaon for wanting to get ahold of him is we are goint to have a 82nd Engineers Reunion this Oct in Springfield MO.and wanted to invite him.
If you have anyway on how to get in touch with him and give him the info below we would deeply thank you.
Eddie J Cozart
Phone 580-335-2999
e-mail [email protected]
our website

Thanks so much

Saint Louis, MO

#2 Jul 6, 2006
Sadly, Bobby Joe Mason passed away July 4, 2006. He was from Centralia, IL.

[email protected]

Kingfisher, OK

#3 Jul 6, 2006
Kim wrote:
Sadly, Bobby Joe Mason passed away July 4, 2006. He was from Centralia, IL.
[email protected]
Thanks Kim for the info on Bobby Joe.....Sad it's to later to be able to find him now..What I remember of him he was a real nice guy.

New York, NY

#4 Jul 12, 2006
MR. Bobby Joe Mason was a legend in my home town of CENTRALIA, Illinois. When the Harlem Globetrotters would come to town and play at the high school (TROUT GYM)We had such a great sense of pride. Until just recently, the CENTRALIA ORPHANS basketball team was noted as the winning-est high school basketball team in the nation!!!Bobby Joe Mason was a CENTRALIA ORPHAN!!!ORPHAN!!! I was an ORPHAN!!!However, not literally an Orphan. There is a storied history for that team name. Evidently, the team went out on the road to play in a game out of town and their uniforms where stolen or they didn't have any and the commentary was "they look like a bunch of ORPHANS",The name stuck and in folklore Mr. Bobby Joe Mason will be historically perhaps Centralia's greatest ORPHAN!!!With all of his Globetrotting, it is also so fitting that with all of his travels representing basketball and the United States of America abroad, that this dashing, debonair man with his defining demeanor, smooth as silk, would come out of a small town that has also once upon a time been noted as being the exact population center of the United States. That is, there were equal population to the north, south, east, and west. The significance being one could not be more of a regular guy, or more down home and down to earth of a guy even by geography!!!Like Willie Mays, Hank Arron, Mickey Mantle, Bill Russel and so many great athletes of his times, an All State high school basketball star, an All American at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Mr. Mason chose to go the Harlem Globetrotter route instead of the NBA route for reasons of his own. Yet, there is no doubt in any one's mind that with his God given court prowess, born in a different era, he would be one of the highest paid athletes of this day of age However again God in his infinite wisdom chose Bobby Joe to represent and bring joy and laughter to the masses, children all over the world, people! [email protected]

New York, NY

#5 Jul 13, 2006
Mr.Mason was my uncle by a union via a love with my mothers joungest sister,"Josephine" Westbrook.This union begot my lovely cousin,Vernetta.Mr. Mason attended the funeral service of my grandmother, a Ms. Elaine Westbrook who lived to be 108 years old and I was able to capture on video tape classic rare footage of Bobby Joe, Josephine, Vernetta,and her daughter Shaela,for all time, three generations of Westbrook women with Vernetta posing with her biological father.Ms.Elaine Westbrook being the mother of my mother Dimple (Westbrook)Currie. This was the last time I saw Bobby Joe alive,say,ten years ago.Even at 60, he had this orray about him,whereby this little kid relative walks up to him, tugged on his coat sleeve and says,"hey up there,whats your name"?Just as a man,a Mr.Eddie J.Cozart living in Oklahoma writes in inguiring where Bobby Joe is now,to invite him to an army reunion of the 82nd engineers.Bobby Joe Mason left a trace with his style of humanity a child would approach him and veteran pals seek. What a great [email protected]

Kingfisher, OK

#6 Mar 6, 2007
This to Richard A Currie. I tryed e-mailing you today but it keeps coming back saying no address like [email protected] I just saw your reply today here.
Paul Luchter

United States

#7 Aug 25, 2007
I am looking for information on when Bobby Joe Mason scored 48 points in a single game for Centralia. Do you know, send answer to [email protected]

Indianapolis, IN

#8 Oct 8, 2007
I thought they were called Orphans because of the children left behind after the mining accident! [email protected]
i like chalklet milk

Eastpointe, MI

#9 Oct 29, 2007
i like chalklet milk

Cincinnati, OH

#10 Jan 5, 2008
Does anyone know if Bobby Joe Mason ever used the name Walter McBride? In his older years was Mr. Mason blind?

Schererville, IN

#11 Jan 17, 2008
I'm trying to find Bobby Joe Mason's stats at Bradley 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960.
Does anybody have then? [email protected]
Joe Soboul

Indianapolis, IN

#12 Jan 27, 2008
Not to take anything away from Bobby Joe Mason, but there was another "Outstanding Orphan” from Centralia High (1939-1942), the University of Illinois (1947-1949) and the NBA named Dwight “Dike” Eddleman. For complete info visit this URL.

Joe Soboul, Browns Mills, NJ
(Grew up in Springfield, IL area 1928-1946)
[email protected]
Joe Soboul

Indianapolis, IN

#13 Jan 27, 2008
(From Wikipedia)
The Centralia High School basketball team became known as the "Orphans" in 1936 because upstate sports reporters thought them shabby upstarts to be competing at the state level. However, the name became prophetic after the No. 5 mine disaster; at one time, all the players had lost a father in the mines. Also, the girls basketball team is called the "Annies"

There are some alternate theories as to why the sports teams of Centralia High School are called the "Orphans". One maintains that it was due to a large orphanage that at one time was present in the town, another widely accepted theory is that the players wore a bunch of unmatched jerseys when they went to state and a state reporter said that they look like a bunch of orphans out there.
Joe Soboul

Indianapolis, IN

#14 Jan 27, 2008
Here’s a book on Illinois basketball that may be of interest:
Marv Keller

Warrenville, IL

#15 Feb 17, 2008
I went to Bradley Univ at the same time as Bobby Joe and was very impressed with his athletic abilities. I believe he led the nation at least once in free throw percentage. He was on the track team as a pole vaulter and was the pitcher on a fast pitch soft ball team.

About 1961 or 62, I went to the Chicago Stadium to see the Globetrotters and after the game my wife and I went down to the floor to see if we could talk to him for a second. He was trotting off the floor, saw us and stopped. A nice man.

Coincidentally, Ernie Banks was at the game sitting with the team as was Satchel Paige.

At Bradley, he pretty much kept to himself but was loved by the other students. He sang with some rock and roll band occasionally but I never saw that.

He was eligible for the NBA draft in 1959 and surprised everyone by coming back for one more semester. I made a bet that he would break the fieldhouse scoring record his last game and lost it. He seemed reluctant to take a shot and was always passing off. When he was introduced at the beginning of the game, he was introduced alone after the other players. He got a huge huge round of applause and seemed to be crying.


#16 Feb 19, 2008
I knew Bobby Joe from bowling in Springfield and he was a iant of a man not only in size but heart If you wanted to talk about the Globetrotters, he would listen or just chit-chat about anything he was a great listener we do miss him ed kienzler springfield, illinois (a former greenview ill. resident) ps no he was not blind that i know...
Don Ryan

Spokane, WA

#17 Mar 5, 2008
I was Bobby Joe's Squad Leader in B Company, 82nd Engineer Bn in Germany. I'd like to hear more from Mr. Cozart so we can compare notes on Bobby. I used to get frustrated with him because he moved so slow at work, but when he was on the basketball court he was greased lightning.
Eddie J Cozart

Kingfisher, OK

#18 May 13, 2008
Don Ryan I have been trying to get ahold of you buddy.....go to our website and sign guest
brenda ross

Mashpee, MA

#19 May 29, 2008
I got a phone call.

Claming toknow my big sisters name.

Her name is Bobby Joe.

I don't think I rember that name.

At all.2
Robert Butterfield

United States

#20 Dec 3, 2009
I remember seeing Bobby Joe Mason play in the
Centralia Holiday Tournament in 1954. Since I am from Collinsville, he was on the oppostion. Collinsville beat Centralia in the semi-finals by controlling Bobby Joe Mason quite well.
I am not sure but I think it was in that tournament that he scored 48 points in an earlier game. In fact I may have seen the game.

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