Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘One-Year Wonders’ tag

1962 Visalia White Sox

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California League (1962)

Born: 1962 – Affiliation change from Visalia A’s.

Stadium: Recreation Park

Team Colors:



The Visalia White Sox were a Class C farm club of the Chicago White Sox for one season in the summer of 1962.

Three players from the 1962 Visalia club eventually made it up to the Major Leagues: outfielder Ken Berry, pitcher Cisco Carlos and second baseman Dick Kenworthy.  Berry had the most distinguished career, playing parts of 14 seasons in the Majors from 1962 to 1975, mostly with the White Sox.

Visalia dropped out of the California League after the 1962 season, consigning the White Sox to One-Year Wonder status.  Visalia then went without pro baseball from 1963 through 1967, which is the longest stretch the city has been without a ball club since World War II.  Baseball returned in 1968 with the arrival of the Visalia Mets and Visalia has been a fixture on the California League summer schedule ever since.



California League Programs



Written by andycrossley

April 24th, 2014 at 1:11 pm

1994 Toronto Rockets

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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

1970 Sumter Indians

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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

1966 Oneonta Red Sox

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New York-Penn League (1966)

Born: 1966 – The Wellsville Red Sox relocate to Oneonta, NY.
Died:1967 – Affiliation change to Oneonta Yankees

Stadium: Damaschke Field

Team Colors:

Owner: Joe Buzas


The Oneonta Red Sox were a Class A farm club in the New York-Penn League for one season in the summer of 1966.  A previous incarnation of the Oneonta Red Sox played in the Class C Can-Am League from 1946 to 1951.

The team featured a pair of teenage Red Sox prospects who would go on to long Major League careers in pitcher Ken Brett (brother of George) and outfielder Amos Otis.  The 1966 O-Sox finished 65-59-1 (yes, they had a tie), good for fourth place in the six team NY-Penn League.

The 1966 Oneonta club was one of dozens owned by legendary minor league operator Joe Buzas between 1958 and his death in 2003.  Buzas had close ties with the Boston Red Sox – he also operated their Class AA farm team in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the time.

After his first season in Oneonta, Buzas sold the team to a local consortium led by Oneonta Mayor and longtime baseball booster Sam Nader.  During the same winter offseason, the Red Sox pulled their affiliation and the New York Yankees replaced them for the 1967 season.



New York-Penn League Media Guides

New York-Penn League Programs


Written by andycrossley

April 7th, 2014 at 2:31 am

1982 Phoenix Sunsets

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World Team Tennis (1982)

Born: 1981 – Team Tennis expansion franchise.
Died: Postseason 1982 – The Sunsets cease operations.

Arena: Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Team Colors: Burgundy & White

Owner: Jock Miller


The Phoenix Sunsets existed for one year (well, actually, one month) in Billie Jean King’s Team Tennis league in the summer of 1982.  The Team Tennis format called for four-person teams (two men, two women).   A match consisted of five sets – one each for men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles.  The entire league season took place in the month of July 1982, during which time the Sunsets hosted a few matches at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, including the league-wide playoffs.

The Sunsets roster consisted of veteran tour pros Tom Gullikson, Ann Kiyomura, Andy Pattison and Pam Teeguarden.

Pattison, who served the dual role of Player-Coach, previously played for the defunct Phoenix Racquets (1975-1978) of the 1970′s version of World Team Tennis, which was a much grander and more ambitious operation than the 1980′s re-boot of the league.  (Both the Racquets and the rest of the original league folded in November 1978 after years of steep financial losses).

The Sunsets finished the 1982 season as runners-up to the Dallas Stars.

The Sunsets did not return for the 1983 season.  World Team Tennis took a third crack at Phoenix in 1992 with the formation of the Phoenix Smash (1992-1994), who lasted for three seasons and featuredJimmy Connors.



World Team Tennis Media Guides

World Team Tennis Programs


Written by andycrossley

March 24th, 2014 at 9:20 pm