Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘One-Year Wonders’ tag

1976 Tacoma Tides

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Tacoma TidesAmerican Soccer League (1976)

Born: 1976 – ASL expansion franchise.
Died: November 1976 – The Tides cease operations.

Stadium: Cheney Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Booth Gardner & Tacoma Baseball, Inc.

 

The Tacoma Tides were a One-Year Wonder that competed in the American Soccer League in the summer of 1976.  The lower-division soccer club was jointly owned by Booth Gardner, a future Governor of the state of Washington, and the operators of the Tacoma Twins minor league baseball team.  The Tides shared Cheney Stadium, the city’s baseball field, with the Twins.

The Tides were a good side in their only year of action.  The team finished 10-6-5 and earned a playoff spot, losing to th eventual champion Los Angeles Skyhawks in the semi-final match.  English import David Chadwick was the Tides’ leading scorer with 9 goals and 8 assists.  Future U.S. National Team coach Bruce Arena was the Tides’ second string goalkeeper, but he bulk of the net duties were handled by lower division warhorse Jamil Canal.

The Tides lost a reported $100,000, which was deemed unacceptable and the club was shuttered in November 1976.

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

April 9th, 2015 at 12:36 am

1977 Santa Barbara Condors

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Santa Barbara CondorsAmerican Soccer League (1977)

Born: 1977 – ASL expansion franchise.
Died: July 1977 – The Condors fold in midseason.

Stadium: Valley Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner:

 

The Santa Barbara Condors were a financially bereft 2nd division American soccer club that folded after playing just a dozen games in the summer of 1977.  During their brief run, the Condors played home games at Valley Stadium, a high school field in Goleta, California.

Former Liverpool captain Ron Yeats was the Condors’ player-coach.  The owners stopped paying the team almost immediately and bailed on the club.  On July 1, 1977, after playing without pay for nearly two months, Condors players went out on strike, refusing to play a pair of weekend games against the Los Angeles Skyhawks.

American Soccer League officials were unable to find new investors for the club and the Condors folded with a 4-4-4 record.  The remaining 12 games on the club’s regular season scheduled were cancelled. Midseason failures were not unusual in the ASL and the Condors were one of numerous 2nd division clubs in the States who were unable to complete their schedules during the 1970’s.

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

April 8th, 2015 at 12:50 pm

1973 New York Golden Blades

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New York Golden BladesWorld Hockey Association (1973)

Born: May 30, 1973- Re-branded from New York Raiders
Died: November 20, 1973 – The Golden Blades relocate to Cherry Hill, NJ.

Arena: Madison Square Garden

Team Colors:

Owner: Ralf Brent, Lee Matison & Lawrence Stern

 

The New York Golden Blades lasted for just 24 games and marked the grim conclusion to the World Hockey Association’s hopes to plant its flag in New York.  The WHA, a 1970’s rival to the NHL, originally hoped to place its New York Raiders franchise in the brand new Nassau Coliseum on Long Island in 1972.  But the senior circuit blocked the WHA from Nassau by hastily awarding the New York Islanders expansion club to Long Island.  The Raiders wound up in Manhattan, getting pushed around by the New York Rangers at the Madison Square Garden.  The team’s original investors bailed and the league had to take over the Raiders two months into the WHA’s 1972-73 maiden season.

The league found a new buyer in the spring of 1973 with a consortium led by Ralf Brent.  Brent’s group took over the club and immediately changed the name from Raiders to “Golden Blades”.  The team, in fact, would wear white skates with gold colored blades.  The Golden Blades scored an early coup in the summer of 1973, signing the league’s reigning scoring champion Andre Lacroix away from the similarly troubled Philadelphia Blazers club.  Then things went south in a hurry.

The new owners were still saddled with the Raiders’ old lousy dates and expensive lease at the Garden.  And they turned out not to have any real money.  Brent & Co. missed their very first payroll in October 1973.  (At least the Raiders’ owners made two payrolls before evaporating the previous winter).  The WHA took over player payroll, but Brent and his partners were still responsible for funding the remaining operations of the Blades.  By November 1973 they were on the verge of eviction from Madison Square Garden.  The league stepped in on November 20th and seized the franchise.  The Golden Blades were swiftly shipped off to tiny 5,000 Cherry Hill Arena on the outskirts of Philadelphia and finished out the 1973-74 season as the “Jersey Knights”.

The WHA never returned to New York.  The league folded in 1979 following a merger that saw four of its teams join the NHL.

 

==Links==

World Hockey Association Media Guides

World Hockey Association Programs

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Written by andycrossley

March 25th, 2015 at 2:25 am

1964 Wytheville A’s

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Wytheville Athletics ProgramAppalachian League (1964)

Born: 1964 – Affiliation change from Wytheville Twins.
Died:
1965 – Affiliation change to Wytheville Senators.

Stadium: Withers Field

Team Colors:

Owner:

 

The small Western Virginia town of Wytheville (Pop. 8,211 circa 2010) played hosted to professional baseball off and on from 1948 until 1989.  Major League parent clubs typically didn’t stay long – in 25 summers with baseball, the Wytheville club changed names 11 times.   The Kansas City Athletics one-summer partnership with Wytheville  in 1964 was typical of these short commitments.

As Kansas City’s Rookie League farm team in the Appalachian League, Wytheville hosted the A’s youngest prospects, most of whom were spending their first summer away from home playing pro ball.  The oldest players on the ball club were 22 years old and the Wytheville A’s even fielded a couple of 17-year olds.  One of the 17-year olds was Joe Rudi, who played 8 games for Wytheville in 1964 and would have the best Major League career of any one on the team.  Rudi later won three World Series and appeared in three All-Star Games for the Oakland A’s in the early 1970’s.

Following the 1964 season, Kansas City pulled out and the Washington Senators came in.  The team became the Wytheville Senators prior to the 1965 season.

Eric & Wendy Pastore have photos of what’s left of Withers Field in Wytheville on their excellent Digital Ballparks website.  The grandstand remains, but the diamond was converted into a public park in 1993.

 

==Links==

Withers Field on DigitalBallparks.com

Appalachian League Media Guides

Appalachian League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

March 16th, 2015 at 8:15 pm

1975 Pittsburgh Miners

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American Soccer League (1975)

Born: January 16, 1975 – ASL expansion franchise.
Died: Postseason 1975 – The Miners cease operations.

Stadiums:

Team Colors:

Owner: William Renton

 

The Pittsburgh Miners were a 2nd Division soccer club that competed in the American Soccer League in the summer of 1975.  The club had a miserable season, winning just one of 20 matches (1-16-3).  Coal executive William Renton of Cleveland owned the Miners.

The Miners’ roster was composed entirely of American players.  Among the best was Pennsylvania native and Pitt grad Joe Luxbacher, the Miners’ leading scorer with six goals.  He would later play for the Pittsburgh Spirit of the Major Indoor Soccer League, before becoming head coach at his alma mater in 1984.  As of 2014, Luxbacher has coached the University of Pittsburgh soccer team for 31 seasons.

Miners home games were originally scheduled at Martorelli Stadium at North Hills High School.  Midway through the season, the club shifted to a field in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.  The team folded quietly at the end of the 1975 season.

 

==Links==

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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