Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Home Pages’ Category

1939-1940 Dayton Wings

leave a comment

Middle Atlantic League (1939-1940)

Born: 1939 – Re-branded from Dayton Ducks.
Died: 1941 – Switched back to Dayton Ducks.


Team Colors:



The Dayton Wings were a Class C farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Dayton franchise played in the Middle Atlantic League from 1933-1942 and was known as the “Dayton Ducks” for all of that time except for this two-year interlude in 1939-1940.  The Ducks took their name from the team’s owner and field manager, a cantankerous former catcher named Howard “Ducky” Holmes who played one week in the Majors for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1906 and later became a Major League umpire.  T

The Dayton club seems to have parted ways with Holmes in 1939 and felt the need to re-brand the team at the same time.  In 1941, Holmes regained control of the ball club and changed the name back to the Ducks.

The most prominent player to come out of Dayton during the Wings era was Wally Westlake, who appeared in 30 games for the club as a 19-year old outfielder in 1940.  Westlake eventually made the Majors in 1947 and stayed for ten seasons, appearing in nearly 1,000 games and hitting 127 home runs for six teams.



Mid-Atlantic League Programs


Written by andycrossley

April 20th, 2014 at 1:07 am

1997-1999 Corpus Christi Sharks

leave a comment

Southwest Basketball League (1997-1999)

Born: October 16, 1997 - SWBL founding franchise.
Died: 1999 – The Sharks relocate to Sugarland, Texas.


Team Colors:

Owner: Charles E. Johnson


The Corpus Christi Sharks were part of an obscure, fly-by-night operation called the Southwest Basketball League which operated in Texas and Louisiana for parts of four seasons between 1997 and 2001.  The SWBL was introduced to the press and the public just three weeks before tip off of the first game in November 1997, leaving no time for the six founding clubs to make any sort of impact in their communities.

The Sharks were owned by league founder and Commissioner Charles Johnson, a former NBA agent. The league intended to play a 40-game schedule in 1997-98, but Johnson shut it down after just 14 games amidst a flurry of bounced paychecks in late December 1997.  The Sharks were the best team in the league at the time with an 11-3 record, but few would have noticed.  The team averaged just over 1,000 fans at Memorial Coliseum, which was the best figure in the league.

Surprisingly, the Sharks and the league regrouped for a second season in early 1999.  The Sharks downgraded from the city-owned Memorial Coliseum to a local high school gymnasium.  One of Charles Johnson’s former clients, the former Houston Rockets guard Robert Reid, coached the Sharks during their second and final season.  Reid would suit up for the team’s final home game at age 43 and score 4 points.  Crowds dwindled to little more than friends and family at Ray High School and the Sharks quietly moved to Sugarland, Texas prior to the Southwest Basketball League’s third season in the winter of 1999-00.

The SWBL teetered along in obscurity until 2001 and then disappeared.



1997-98 Corpus Christi Sharks Program


1994 Toronto Rockets

leave a comment

American Professional Soccer League (1994)

Born: 1994 – The former North York Rockets join the APSL.
Died: 1995 – The Rockets cease operations.

Stadium: Etobicoke Centennial Stadium (6,000)

Team Colors: Blue & White

Owner: Antonio Fontana


The Toronto Rockets were a One-Year Wonder in the American Professional Soccer League (APSL), active for the summer of 1994 only.  The franchise originally formed in 1987 as the North York Rockets of the Canadian Soccer League,  a pro league that operated from 1987 to 1992.  After the CSL folded, the North York Rockets played a semi-pro schedule in the Canadian National Soccer League in 1993.

The Rockets moved to Toronto for the 1994 season and returned to professional status as a member of the eight-team APSL.  The APSL was the highest level of pro soccer in the United States or Canada at the time, but the league was in terrible shape.  For the past three years the league had struggled to round up enough viable clubs to stage a season.  1994 was no different.  The expansion Houston Force franchise was kicked out of the league after just one game, reducing the membership to seven clubs.

The Rockets were the weakest entry in the group, finishing in last place with a 5-15 record.  The Rockets also had the worst attendance in the APSL, attracting fewer than 1,500 fans per match to Etobicoke Centennial Stadium.  The club announced plans to return for the 1995 season, but pulled out of the league and disbanded shortly before the season got underway.



==1994 Toronto Rockets Results==

Date Opponent Score Program Other
7/1/1994 @ Montreal Impact ??
7/8/1994 vs. Seattle Sounders L 2-1
7/15/1994 vs. Montreal Impact W 1-0
7/20/1994 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers ??
7/27/1994 vs. Montreal Impact W 1-0
7/29/1994 @ Montreal Impact ??
7/31/1994 vs. Montreal Impact L 3-0
8/5/1994 vs. Los Angeles Salsa L 2-1
8/12/1994 vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers W 1-0
8/17/1994 vs. Vancouver 86ers L 1-0
8/20/1994 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers W 2-1
8/26/1994 @ Seattle Sounders
8/31/1994 vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers W 3-1
9/2/1994 @ Vancouver 86ers L 1-0
9/4/1994 @ Los Angeles Salsa
9/9/1994 vs. Colorado Foxes L 3-1
9/14/1994 vs. Croatian Stars (Exh.) W 1-0
9/17/1994 @ Seattle Sounders
9/20/1994 @ Fort Lauderdale Strikers
9/23/1994 vs. Fort Lauderdale Strikers L 2-1
9/25/1994 @ Montreal Impact



APSL Media Guides

APSL Programs


Written by andycrossley

April 18th, 2014 at 12:26 am

1990-1994 Louisville IceHawks

leave a comment

East Coast Hockey League (1990-1994)

Born: April 1990 – ECHL expansion franchise.
Died: 1994 – The IceHawks suspend operations and later move to Jacksonville, FL.

Arena: Broadbent Arena (6,410)

Team Colors: White, Black, Sunflower Yellow & Burnt Orange



The Louisville IceHawks were a minor league hockey outfit that played during the early years of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).  The club served as a second-tier farm club of the Chicago Blackhawks and Hartford Whalers during its inaugural season of 1990-91 and later supported the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning (1992-1993) and Pittsburgh Penguins (1993-1994).

Serial hockey investor Horn Chen acquired the club from founder Leo Hunstiger in the early 1990′s and operated the IceHawks during their final seasons at Broadbent Arena.  Chen shuttered the team following the 1993-94 season and the franchise went into inactive status for a year.  In 1995, Chen reanimated the team as the Jacksonville Lizard Kings (1995-2000).

In 1995 the ECHL returned to Broadbent Arena after a year’s absence with the formation of the Louisville River Frogs, who lasted three seasons from 1995 through 1998.



East Coast Hockey League Media Guides

East Coast Hockey League Programs



Written by andycrossley

April 15th, 2014 at 11:03 am

1970 Sumter Indians

leave a comment

Western Carolinas League (1970)

Born: December 1, 1969 – The Monroe (NC) Indians relocate to Sumter, SC.
Died: 1971 - Affiliate change to Sumter Astros.

Stadium: Riley Park

Team Colors:

Owner: Joe Buzas


The Sumter Indians were a South Carolina minor league baseball team that played for only one season in the summer of 1970.  Sumter was a new addition to the six-team Western Carolinas League, replacing a faltering Indians farm club that split the 1969 season between the small North Carolina cities of Statesville and Monroe.  The Indians were the first pro baseball team to call Sumter home since the Sumter Chicks of 1949-1950.

Notable players included 18-year old third baseman Buddy Bell and 21-year old pitcher Jim Kern.  Both became Major League All-Stars for the Cleveland Indians and later for the Texas Rangers.

Attendance was miserable with fewer than 300 spectators per game for the first two months of the 1970 season according to The Sumter Daily Item.  Following the 1970 season the Indians withdrew from Sumter and were replaced by the Houston Astros for the 1971 season.  The Astros also lasted just one season and Sumter went without pro baseball again from 1972 until 1985.



Western Carolinas League Programs


Written by andycrossley

April 7th, 2014 at 3:03 am