Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘One-Year Wonders’ tag

1982-83 Virginia Raiders

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1982-83 Virginia Raiders ProgramAtlantic Coast Hockey League (1982-1983)

Born: 1982 – Re-branded from Salem Raiders
Folded: August 1983

Arena: Salem-Roanoke County Civic Center

Team Colors:

Owner: Henry Brabham

ACHL Championships: None


The Virginia Raiders were a lower-tier minor league hockey club out of Salem, Virginia. The franchise was formerly known as the Salem Raiders (1980-1982). They played just one season under the Virginia Raiders name before folding.

The Raiders finished 4th in the 6-team Atlantic Coast Hockey League with a 20-36-9 record during the winter of 1982-83. The eventual champion Carolina Thunderbirds swept the Raiders out of the playoffs in the first round.

Minor league journeyman Dave MacQueen led the Raiders in scoring with 42 goals and 36 assists during the 1982-83 campaign.

Henry Brabham, an oilman who owned several mid-Atlantic minor league hockey franchises during the 1980’s and 1990’s, operated the Raiders during their final season in Salem. He folded the Raiders in August 1983, citing $100,000 in losses during the 1982-83 season. Several months later, however, he purchased the ACHL’s struggling Nashville South Stars club and moved the franchise in mid-season back to the Salem Civic Center, renaming them the Virginia Lancers.


Written by Drew Crossley

October 9th, 2016 at 8:54 pm

1968 Boston Beacons

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Boston BeaconsNorth American Soccer League (1968)

Born: 1967 – NPSL expansion franchise
Folded: October 1968

Stadium: Fenway Park (33,700)

Team Colors: Navy Blue & Gold

Owners: Richard O’Connell, Arnold “Red” Auerbach, Stephen Mugar, Sabestino Volpe

NASL Championships: None


The Boston Beacons were a One-Year Wonder that played at Fenway Park during the summer of 1968. The club was owned by a group of prominent Bostonians, including philanthropist Stephen Mugar, Celtics general manager Red Auerbach and Boston Red Sox executive vice president Dick O’Connell.

The Beacons originally formed in 1967 as a franchise in the start-up National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). But the Beacons delayed their entry into the NPSL until 1968. In the meantime, the club hosted a few 1967 NPSL regular season matches at Fenway in 1967 to generate buzz for the new league.

Another pro soccer start-up, the United Soccer Association (USA), also launched in 1967. The USA also had a Boston franchise, the Boston Shamrock Rovers, who played at the Manning Bowl in Lynn, Massachusetts. Boston Bruins owner Weston Adams and his family back the Rovers financially. Unlike the Beacons, the Rovers fielded a team and played a full season in 1967.

In December 1967, the USA and NPSL merged to form the North American Soccer League (NASL). The new league now had two Boston franchises. The Rovers fell by the wayside and the Beacons became Boston’s sole pro soccer franchise when the NASL kicked off in April 1968.

The Beacons lone season in Boston was a flop. The team failed to qualify for the NASL playoffs with a 9-17-6 record. The team was a bust at the box office as well. The Beacons drew just 64,064 for 16 dates at Fenway, for a meager 4,004 average. Beacons ownership announced the club would not return in late October 1968.


Boston Beacons Memorabilia



North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs




Written by Drew Crossley

October 9th, 2016 at 4:17 pm

1977 Daytona Beach Islanders

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1977 Daytona Beach Islanders ProgramFlorida State League (1977)

Born: September 1976
Affiliation Change: 1978 (Daytona Beach Astros)

Stadium: City Island Park

Team Colors:

Owner: Fred Nichols

Florida State League Championships: None


The Daytona Beach Islanders formed in October 1976. At the time, Daytona Beach had hosted more Florida State League seasons (33), games (4,461) and victories (2,328) than any other city in Florida. This despite the fact that City Island Park sat empty the previous three summers since the departure of the Daytona Beach Dodgers in 1974.

The Islanders were a Class-A farm club of the Kansas City Royals. A half-dozen Islanders players would go on to make the Major Leagues. The most prominent were first baseman Ken Phelps and pitcher Renie Martin. Phelps hit 123 homers in the Majors as a journeyman DH between 1980 and 1980. Martin made relief appearances in three games of the 1980 World Series for Kansas City.

Islanders owner Fred Nichols was a Connecticut financial advisor who owned a small collection of minor league baseball clubs in the Eastern United States during the late 1970’s.

Following the 1977 season, Kansas City pulled out of Daytona Beach and the Houston Astros came in. The team was subsequently re-branded as the Daytona Beach Astros (1978-1984).



April 1977 Daytona Beach Islanders vs.  Miami Orioles Game Notes



Florida State League Programs


Written by Drew Crossley

October 1st, 2016 at 6:23 pm

1984 Charlotte Gold

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1984 United Soccer League Media GuideUnited Soccer League (1984)

Born: April 1, 1984 – USL founding franchise
Folded: Postseason 1984

Stadium: American Legion Memorial Stadium (24,500)

Team Colors: Carolina Blue & Charlotte Gold

Owner: C. Richard Melvin

USL Championships: None


The Charlotte Gold played one season of lower-division men’s professional soccer in the summer of 1984. The franchise was a successor/replacement for the more popular Carolina Lightnin’ team that played in the 2nd Division American Soccer League from 1981 to 1983. The Lightnin’ folded along with the rest of the ASL during the winter of 1983-84.

The United Soccer League quickly rose from the ashes of the ASL and Charlotte was awarded the league’s ninth and final franchise on April Fools’ Day 1984. The Gold were formed just six weeks prior to their first match on May 19th, 1984.

Former U.S. National Team captain Dave D’Errico was the Gold’s head coach. Charlotte finished the 1984 USL season with an 11-13 record and narrowly missed the playoffs. Following the season, seven of the nine USL clubs folded, including the Charlotte Gold.  The league itself went out of business midway through the 1985 season.

Fun While It Lasted is looking to buy any and all memorabilia from the Charlotte Gold, or acquire photos or images of the team. Post to the comments if you can help.



United Soccer League Media Guides

United Soccer League Programs


Written by Drew Crossley

August 30th, 2016 at 11:50 am

2013-14 Pennsylvania Roar

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2013-14 Pennsylvania Roar Pocket ScheduleMajor Indoor Soccer League (2013-2014)

Born: July 24, 2013 – MISL expansion franchise
Folded: Spring 2014

Arena: Santander Arena (7,200)

Team Colors:

Owners: Andrew Haines & Glen Goldstein

MISL Championships: None


The Pennsylvania Roar were yet another creation of minor league flim-flam artist Andrew Haines. The serial entrepreneur has left a trail of failed zero-budget teams and unpaid legal judgments throughout the Eastern U.S. in recent years.

Haines and his partner Glen Goldstein hoped to operate a pair of indoor franchises at Reading’s Santander Arena. The Roar, formed in July 2013, r began play in November 2013. The duo also announced plans for an indoor football team, known as the Pennsylvania Steam, that would begin play in the spring of 2014.

Unlike the doomed Steam, the Roar actually managed to stage a season in Reading. And it was historically awful. The Roar were outscored 375-109 on the season and finished with a record of 1-19. Crowds were an embarrassment for the team’s 10 home dates at Santander Arena (see the archived stream of the team’s 2013 home opener below). To the surprise of no one, the Roar quietly closed their doors sometime in April/May of 2014.


Pennsylvania Roar Video

The Roar debut in Reading at an empty Santander Arena on November 15th, 2013.

Written by Drew Crossley

August 10th, 2016 at 8:06 pm