Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘One-Year Wonders’ tag

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

1976 San Diego Jaws

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North American Soccer League (1976)

Born: October 1975 – The Baltimore Comets relocate to San Diego, CA.
Died: 1976 – The Jaws relocate to Las Vegas, NV.

Stadium: The Aztec Bowl

Team Colors:

Owner: Ken Keegan


The San Diego Jaws were a club that lasted only one season in the North American Soccer League in the summer of 1976.  The team was owned by San Jose car dealer Ken Keegan, who was a part owner of the NASL’s San Jose Earthquakes franchise when that team debuted in 1974.  In October 1975 Keegan organized a group to buy the NASL’s distressed Baltimore Comets club and relocate it to the Aztec Bowl on the campus of San Diego State University for the 1976 season.

The Jaws finished last place (5th) in their division in 1976 with a 9-15 mark under player-coach Derek Trevis.  The team had one of the most anemic offenses in the NASL, scoring just 29 goals in 24 matches.  Only the St. Louis Stars (28 goals) scored less in the 20-team NASL in 1976.  The Jaws averaged just over 6,000 fans per match (announced) at the Aztec Bowl.

In late 1976, owner Ken Keegan moved the team to Nevada where they became the Las Vegas Quicksilvers for the 1977.  After one year in Vegas, the franchise returned to San Diego in 1978 under new ownership and this time it stuck.  The re-named San Diego Sockers began play in 1978 and lasted nearly 20 years, surviving the death of the NASL in 1984 and becoming a dominant indoor soccer dynasty during the 1980′s.  The original Sockers finally went out of business in 1996.


==In Memoriam==

English midfielder Trevor Hockey died of a heart attack on April 2, 1987 at age 43.

Jaws player-coach Derek Trevis passed away on December 21, 2000 at age 58.



View San Diego Jaws game jerseys on

North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs


Written by andycrossley

March 24th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

1978-79 San Diego Hawks

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Pacific Hockey League (1978-1979)

Born: 1978 – Re-branded from San Diego Mariners.
Died: 1979 – The Hawks cease operations.

Arena: San Diego Sports Arena

Team Colors:

Owner: Elmer Jonnet


The San Diego Hawks were a minor league ice hockey team that lasted just one winter in the Pacific Hockey League.

The PHL debuted the year before as a sort of minor league offshoot of the World Hockey Association, a 1970′s rival to the National Hockey League.   The WHA had flamed out in several Western cities, including San Diego and Phoenix.  The PHL’s first season in 1977-78 featured only four teams, including the San Diego Mariners and the Phoenix Roadrunners, both of whom revived their WHA-era team names and logos.  The Mariners were owned by San Diego Sports Arena owner Peter Graham.

In the summer of 1978 Graham sold the Mariners to Pittsburgh real estate developer Elmer Jonnet.  Jonnet changed the team’s name to the San Diego Hawks and opened up his wallet to sign a roster full of World Hockey Association veterans.  The Hawks also featured 42-year old San Diego hockey icon Willie O’Ree, who was a mainstay for the San Diego Gulls of the Western League from 1967 to 1974.  Way back in 1958, O’Ree was the first black player to play in the NHL when he played in two games for the Boston Bruins, but he spent most of the next two decades in the minors.  This was his final season and he played well, scoring 21 goals and adding 25 assists for the Hawks.

The Pacific Hockey League entered the 1978-79 season with six franchises but quickly lost two when the Los Angeles Blades and San Francisco Shamrocks dropped out of the league in January.  The surviving teams weren’t in much better shape and the league cancelled the playoffs due to financial problems and declared first place Phoenix to be the league champion.  The Hawks finished second with a 34-22-2 record.

26-year old center Joe Noris, a former NHL journeyman who also played for the WHA’s San Diego Mariners, led the Pacific League in scoring with 27 and 77 assists and was named Most Valuable Player.  He never played another professional season.  Noris would wage a protracted legal battle against former Hawks owner Elmer Jonnet for much of the 1980′s attempting to collect on the balance of the three-year playing contract and personal services agreement he signed with the developer in 1978.  The litigation became as much of a circus as the Pacific League was itself, with Noris scoring a judgement against Jonnet’s Pittsburgh home and the beleaguered owner attempting to forestall payment by pleading that his attorney was a hopeless drunk and that the court discriminated against him on account of his Native American heritage.

The Pacific Hockey League folded in the spring of 1979, taking the Hawks with it.



Pacific Hockey League Programs

1978-79 San Diego Hawks Roster & Statistics on


Written by andycrossley

March 18th, 2014 at 1:56 am