Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1976-1978 Pompano Beach Cubs

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1978 Pompano Beach Cubs ProgramFlorida State League (1976-1978)

Born: 1976 – The Key West Cubs relocate to Pompano Beach, FL
Died: Postseason 1978

Stadium: Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Fred Ferreira

Florida State League Championships: None

 

The Pompano Beach Cubs were a Class-A farm club of the Chicago Cubs for three summers in the late 1970’s. The Cubs were the second minor league club to make a home at Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium, following on the heels of the Pompano Beach Mets (1969-1973).

The most prominent players to play in Pompano Beach during the Cubs’ tenure were Ron Davis and Lee Smith. Both pitchers spent parts of the 1976 and 1977 in Pompano Beach. Both went on to become All-Star pitchers in the Majors during the 1980’s.

The Cubs were owned by renowned Caribbean baseball scout Fred Ferreira, the owner of the Fort Lauderdale Baseball School.

After the Cubs left town in 1978, pro baseball was a rare site in Pompano Beach. The Florida State League’s Miami Miracle played home games at Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium in 1990 and 1991. The Gold Coast Suns of the Senior Professional Baseball Association also played one season at the stadium in the winter of 1989-90. The ballpark was demolished in 2008.

 

==Links==

Florida State League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

July 6th, 2016 at 10:52 am

1975-1977 Tidewater Sharks

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1975-76 Tidewater Sharks ProgramSouthern Hockey League (1975-1977)

Born: 1975 – SHL expansion franchise
Folded: January 7, 1977

Arena: Norfolk Scope

Team Colors:

Owner: Tidewater Professional Sports, Inc. (Richard Davis, et al.)

SHL Championships: None

 

The Tidewater Sharks were a short-lived franchise in the Southern Hockey League of the mid-1970’s. The SHL was the former Southern Division of the Eastern Hockey League, which seceded from that league in 1973.  The Sharks joined up as an expansion franchise two years later, taking advantage of vacant dates at the Norfolk Scope after the Virginia Wings of the American Hockey League left town in the spring of 1975.

Tidewater Professional Sports, Inc., a large consortium of local businessman headed by future Virginia Lt. Governor Richard Davis, operated the Sharks.  TPS, Inc. had operated the minor league baseball Tidewater Tides since 1963 but was unable to find similar support or stability for their minor league hockey efforts.

Midway through the Sharks’ second season in the winter of 1976-77 the Southern Hockey League began to unravel. The Greensboro Generals and Richmond Wildcats folded on January 3rd, 1977, reducing the SHL from 7 to 5 clubs. The Sharks folded four days later on January 7th, along with the Winston-Salem Polar Twins who closed up shop later the same day.  The league staggered along with 3 clubs for another couple of weeks before throwing in the towel at the end of January 1977.

 

==Links==

Southern Hockey League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

July 4th, 2016 at 4:46 pm

1966-1974 San Diego Gulls

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1969-70 San Diego Gulls WHL Media GuideWestern Hockey League (1966-1974)

Born: 1966 – WHL expansion franchise
Folded: June 1974

Arena: San Diego Sports Arena

Team Colors:

Owner: Bob Breitbard

Lester Patrick Cup Championships: None

 

The San Diego Gulls were a popular entry in the minor Western Hockey League in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  The club was the brainchild of veteran San Diego sports booster Bob Breitbard, who oversaw construction of the San Diego Sports Arena in 1966 and owned both of its major tenants: the Gulls and the NBA’s San Diego Rockets.

Tax pressures on the Arena overtook Breitbard in 1971, forcing him to sell off the Rockets basketball team to Houston interests and relinquish control of the Arena to Canadian businessman Peter Graham.  But Breitbard held onto the Gulls for several more seasons and continued to nurture dreams of attracting a National Hockey League expansion franchise to San Diego. Meanwhile, the Gulls continued to pull strong crowds throughout the early Seventies, both for WHL play and for a pair of high profile international exhibitions against the Soviet National Team.

The death knell for the San Diego Gulls WHL franchise rang in the spring of 1974. The National Hockey League went to war with the upstart World Hockey Association over players and expansion markets. The NHL awarded expansion franchises to long-time WHL cities Denver and Seattle. Arena owner Peter Graham served an eviction notice on the Gulls to make way for the relocating Jersey Knights of the WHA. Without a building or a viable league to play in, the Gulls called it quits in June 1974.

The “Gulls” nickname has subsequently been revived by three different San Diego minor league hockey franchises. Most recently, the American Hockey League’s San Diego Gulls opened for business in the fall of 2015.

 

San Diego Gulls Programs

 

==In Memoriam==

Gulls founder Bob Breitbard passed away on May 17, 2010 at the age of 91. San Diego Union-Tribune obit.

 

==Links==

SanDiegoGulls.org – excellent fan history site

Western Hockey League Media Guides

Western Hockey League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

June 20th, 2016 at 4:47 pm

1970-1984 Wichita Aeros

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1972 Wichita Aeros ProgramAmerican Association (1970-1974)

Founded: 1970 – American Association expansion franchise
Moved: September 1984 (Buffalo Bisons)

Stadium: Lawrence-Dumont Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Milton Glickman

American Association Championships: None

 

The Aeros were Wichita, Kansas’ Class AAA baseball club from 1970 through 1984.  For majority of their run, the Aeros were the top farm club of the Chicago Cubs (1972-1980).

Future Major League stars Buddy Bell, Eric Davis, John Franco, Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith all spent time with the Aeros on their way up to the bigs.

After 15 seasons, long-time owner Milton Glickman sold the Aeros for a reported $1.0 million to Bob Rich in September 1984. Rich moved the team to Buffalo, New York where it became the Buffalo Bisons.

After the Aeros left town, Wichita went without minor league baseball for two summers. Pro ball returned to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in 1987 with the formation of the Class AA Wichita Wranglers of the Texas League.

 

Wichita Aeros Programs

 

Links

American Association Media Guides

American Association Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

June 8th, 2016 at 11:58 pm

1979-1993 Toronto Blizzard

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1979 Toronto Blizzard Media GuideNorth American Soccer League (1979-1984)
Canadian Soccer League (1987-1992)
American Professional Soccer League (1993)

Founded: February 1979 – Re-branded from Toronto Metros-Croatia.
Folded: Postseason 1993

Stadiums:

Team Colors:

Owners:

  • 1979-1981: Global Television Network
  • 1981-????: York-Hanover

NASL Soccer Bowl Championships: None
CSL Championships: None
APSL Championships: None

 

Text coming soon…

 

Toronto Blizzard Programs

 

YouTube

Blizzard at Montreal Manic. April 18, 1981

 

Links

North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs

Canadian Soccer League Programs

American Professional Soccer League Programs

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