Commemorative issue James A. Naismith, inventor of basketball
While a physical education instructor at the Springfield, MA, YMCA, Dr. James A. Naismith invented the sport of basketball as an alternative to gymnastics. In December 1891, using peach baskets nailed to balconies at opposite ends of the gym and a soccer ball, Naismith coached the first games. The following year he published a booklet containing the basic rules, which are still in use today. Springfield's Basketball Hall of Fame is named for him.