Tag Archives: Carl Shy

Patricia Burris met “Uncle Carl” in 1977, when she married into the Shy family. She soon would learn one heck of a hoops story and would – 37 years later – wind up in possession of his 1936 Olympic gold medal. Burris used to visit Carl Shy in Seal Beach, where he had retired in Leisure World with Laura, his wife of 39 years. He had completed a 20-year career as a captain and detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, and used to talk about mysterious cases. He even gave his nephew and Burris’ late husband, Michael, an opium scale as a souvenir from a drug raid.

The 1936 Summer Olympic Games were held in Berlin, Germany, and hosted the very first competitive international basketball competition. This also signified the first time the United States would be fielding a basketball team on the Olympic stage, which was introducing the sport to a worldwide audience. One of the players earning a spot on the U.S. squad was Carl Shy, a standout college player at UCLA in the late ‘20s and early ‘30s who was competing on the Universal Pictures amateur team (shown below) when tryouts began. Standing 6’ 1” and weighing 170 pounds, he quickly became a pivotal playmaking guard on the 1936 U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.


When the Games concluded, the U.S. squad had an undefeated record of 5-0 and outscored its opponents 152 to 69. A 25-10 U.S. triumph over Mexico in the semi-finals set the stage for a gold-medal encounter between basketball inventor James Naismith’s native Canada and his adopted United States. When the final buzzer sounded, the U.S. had outscored Canada, 19-8, in a torrential downpour as the basketball competition was actually played outdoors. SCP Auctions is proud to present Shy’s gold medal from the ’36 Games along with other coveted pieces from his basketball career and international travels in its 2015 Fall Premier online auction, which starts on Wed., Nov. 18, and concludes on Sat., Dec. 5.                                                                -Terry Melia