A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 19, 2005
Tennis “Bagel”
A "zero" looks like what? A donut? A bagel?

In the 1970s, the American tennis players Eddie Dibbs and Harold Solomon were called the "Bagel Twins" or the "Bagel Brothers." It's believed that one of them - perhaps Brooklyn's Dibbs - named the tennis "bagel."

11 March 1965, New York Times, pg. 53:
It was learned yesterday that even a bagel baker had wanted to exploit the selling magic of the character created by the late Ian Fleming by advertising its doughnut-shaped products as the two zeros in the famous digits--007 (the agent's code number).

9 August 1976, Christian Science Monitor, pg. 22:
Already many Americans know him as one of the "Bagel Twins." The nickname was coined by tennis commentator-TV writer Bud Collins to describe Eddie and his close friend and doubles partner Harold Solomon.

Both players are jockey-sized baseliners, and many people think they're both Jewish. Actually Dibbs is Eastern Orthodox and of Lebanese extraction.

The confusion, though, is the natural outcome of the confusing moniker, Eddie's big-city accent, his close association with Solomon, and his love of bagels and cream cheese.

Dibbs is credited with dreaming up the term "Bagel Job" to describe a 6-0 set and he often kids he would be taller if he hadn't been run over by a bagel truck as a youngster.

22 July 1979, Washington (DC) Post, pg. E10:
Like Harold Solomon, his longtime friend, Dibbs is a tireless back-court player, getting everything back all day and all night, if necessary. Unlike Solomon, Dibbs does not mind coming to the net. He has consistently done better than Solomon on tour as a result, although they are still constantly linked as "The Bagel Twins."

5 June 1988, Toronto Star, pg. G3:
Love-and-love. It sounds so nice. But it's a tennis player's nightmare. The dreaded double bagel job, as Harold Solomon used to say.

17 May 1997, Washington (DC) Times, pg. C1:
Some names are linked for all eternity. Antony and Celopatra. Gilbert and Sullivan. Spahn and Sain. Death and Taxes. And in tennis in the '70s, there was Dibbs and Solomon--Eddie Dibbs, the battler from Brooklyn, and Harold Solomon, the local-boy-makes-good from Silver Spring. TV commentator Bud Collins, in less politically correct times, dubbed them the "Bagel Twins." And he did this not because they were Jewish (actually, Dibbs is Lebanese), but because they seemed like the same player, the same person.
Posted by Barry Popik
Sports/Games • (0) Comments • Wednesday, January 19, 2005 • Permalink