Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘One-Year Wonders’ tag

1980 Auburn Americans

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1980 Auburn Americans ProgramNew York-Penn League (1980)

Born: 1980 – Re-branded from Auburn Red Stars
Folded: Postseason 1980

Stadium: Falcon Park

Team Colors:

Owners: Auburn Community Baseball

New York-Penn League Championships: None


The Auburn Americans were a co-op minor league baseball team that played for just one season in the New York-Penn League in the summer of 1980. Co-op teams don’t have a player development contract with one Major League club. Instead they cobble together a roster from several Major League organizations. The arrangement is largely a relic of the past now, but was relatively common in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, particularly in small communities with sub-standard ballparks. Co-op teams were rarely competitive as the roster was cobbled together from other teams’ left overs.

In the case of the Auburn Americans, they received players from both the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only one Americans player, journeyman catcher Jack Fimple, would ever go on to play in the Major Leagues.

The Americans folded at the end of the 1980 season, leaving the New York community of Auburn without pro baseball in 1981 for the first time since 1957. After a one-year absence, minor league baseball returned to Falcon Park with the formation of the Auburn Astros in 1982.



New York-Penn League Media Guides

New York-Penn League Programs


Written by Drew Crossley

May 28th, 2016 at 4:09 pm

1992 Sacramento Attack

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Sacramento Attack LogoArena Football League (1992)

Founded: May 5, 1992
Folded: Early 1993

Arena: ARCO Arena

Team Colors:

Owner/Operator: Jim Thomas, et al. (Lease team from Arena Football League)

Arena Bowl Championships: None


The Sacramento Attack were a hastily assembled Arena Football League squad that lasted just a single season in the California state capital in 1992. In fact, the Attack played just opened the gates of ARCO Arena in Sacramento during their brief existence.

The franchise had a convoluted back story.  The team was first announced in early March 1992 as an expansion franchise called the L.A. Wings that was supposed to play in the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.  The original ownership group, headed by Jim Hartman, wanted to play in Denver and acquired the contract righst to most of the players from the Denver Dynamite, a rudderless AFL franchise that had lost its ownership group. For reasons never fully explained, Hartman’s group was either dissuaded or prevented from playing in Denver and thus the L.A. Wings were born. Hartman hired former Cal star quarterback Joe Kapp, who led the Minnesota Vikings to a berth in Super Bowl IV, as the Wings’ head coach.

One month later the Hartman was out and the Wings were done in L.A. With the start of the 1992 season just three weeks away, the Arena Football League scrambled to find a home for the team.  In early May 1992, the ownership of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings agreed to operate the team on a leased basis at ARCO Arena. Kapp came along for the move, as did many of the former Denver Dynamite players still on the team’s roster. The team name was changed to Sacramento Attack.

The Attack backed in the Arena League playoffs with a 4-6 record.  The team lost in the first round to the eventual champions, the Detroit Drive, on August 7th, 1992.  That was the last appearance of the Sacramento Attack, just 92 days after the team was formed. Sacramento Kings management declined to renew their lease arrangement with the Arena Football League in 1993, choosing to cast their lot with indoor soccer instead to fill summer dates at ARCO Arena.


Sacramento Attack Programs 1992




Brief clip of the Sacramento Attack on the road at the Arizona Rattlers on June 13, 1992.



Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs



1975 Key West Cubs

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1975 Key West Cubs ProgramFlorida State League (1975)

Born: 1975 – The Key West Conchs are re-branded as the Key West Cubs
Moved: 1976 (Pompano Beach Cubs)

Stadium: Wicker Stadium

Team Colors:

Owners: Dr. Julio DePoo, Joseph DePoo, et al.

Florida State League Championships: None


Key West, Florida had a fitful run with minor league baseball during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The southernmost outpost of the U.S. played host to four iterations of a Class A Florida State League franchise in the years 1969 to 1975. The San Diego Padres backed a Key West club in 1969. After a summer without baseball in 1970, the FSL returned to Wicker Stadium in 1971 with the Key West Sun Caps, who became the Key West Conchs in 1972.

The Chicago Cubs became the parent club of the Conchs for the 1974 season and stocked the team with pitching prospects, many of whom would later go on to Major League stardom: Bruce Sutter, Donnie Moore, Mike Krukow and Dennis Lamp.  Nevertheless, the team was terrible and finished dead last at 37-94.

During the winter of 1974-75, the ball club was officially re-branded, dropping the traditional Conchs name in favor of “Key West Cubs“. The change was either ignored or accepted half-heartedly.  The team’s 1975 game program (pictured top right) still features several ads exhorting “Go Conchs!” and the club’s local ownership is listed as the Executive Members of the Key West Conchs.  The septuagenarian President of the Key West Cubs ownership group with Dr. Julio DePoo, founder of Key West’s private DePoo Hospital.

Unlike the 1974 Conchs squad, the roster of the 1975 Key West Cubs featured no big names who went on to make a splash in the Bigs. But the team was much more competitive, finishing the campaign at 65-69.  Meager crowds doomed to club at Wicker Stadium. The team relocated to Pompano Beach prior to the 1976 season and pro baseball has never returned to Key West.


==In Memoriam==

Key West Cubs manager Walt Dixon passed away on September 25, 2003 at the age of 82.

Catcher Mike Gordon died of leukemia on May 26, 2014 at age 60. Brockton Enterprise obituary.



Florida State League Programs

1975 Key West Cubs statistics at


Written by AC

April 18th, 2016 at 7:18 pm

1976-77 Hartford Downtowners

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Eastern Basketball Association (1976-1977)

Born: 1976
Folded: 1977

Arena: Bulkeley High School

Team Colors:


EBA Championships: None


All-but-forgotten minor league basketball outfit that played just a single season in the Eastern Basketball Association in the winter of 1976-77. The Hartford Downtowners were the second Hartford-based entry in the Eastern League, replacing the more successful Hartford Capitols (1966-1974).

The club played its home games at Bulkeley High School and finished the 1976-77 season with a 5-19 record before quietly disbanding.

If you have any information or memorabilia from this team, please contact us.



Eastern Basketball Association Programs


Written by AC

January 9th, 2016 at 8:00 pm

1976 Oakland Buccaneers

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1976 Oakland BuccaneersAmerican Soccer League (1976)

Born: 1976 – ASL expansion franchise
Folded: Postseason 1976


Team Colors:

Owner: Jaime Ruiz Llaguno, Juan Jose Camacho, Leon Crosby, et al.

ASL Championships: None


The Oakland Buccaneers (also known as the Golden Bay Buccaneers) were an obscure U.S. pro soccer club that played one season in the summer of 1976.  The team was a typical lower-division disaster of the era, beset by bounced paychecks, non-existent promotion and vanishing owners.  The penniless club operated the final months of the 1976 season without so much as a working phone line, a subject of frequent mockery by The Oakland Tribune and the Fremont-based Argus, both of which somewhat inexplicably gave the team coverage.

The Buccs were founded in early 1976 as part of a nationwide expansion of the 43-year old American Soccer League. The ASL was traditionally a Northeastern semi-pro collection of ethnic clubs. But the league became fully professional in the 1970’s and became the de facto 2nd Division of American soccer. Clubs in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and Salt Lake City were added in 1976 to give the ASL a true national footprint for the first time. All but the Los Angeles Skyhawks franchise turned out to be poorly-organized basket cases.

The founder and principal owner of the Buccs was a tequila exporter from Guadalajara named Jaime Ruiz Llaguno.  Llaguno signed former C.D. Guadalajara manager Javier De La Torre to coach the team and talked of playing at the Oakland Coliseum.  That grandiose plan fell through and the Buccs wound up at Edwards Stadium, the track and field venue at California-Berkeley. Midway through the season, Llaguno abandoned the club. Without any sort of announcement, the team left Berkeley and shifted its games to Tak Fudenna Stadium, a high school football field in Fremont. The players and a couple of staff members soldiered on without pay and somehow managed to complete 18 of 21 scheduled games. The Oakland Buccaneers finished their only season with a record of 6-10-2.

The American Soccer League went out of business in 1984.


==Oakland Buccaneers Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Year Date Opponent Score Program Other


1976 6/6/1976 vs. Cork Hibernians L 5-3 Program
1976 6/19/1976 @ Los Angeles Skyhawks ?? Program



June 6, 1976 Oakland Buccaneers vs. Cork Hibernians (Ireland) Program

June 1976 Oakland Buccaneers Fan Survey



American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs