Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Ottawa’ tag

1952-1954 Ottawa Athletics

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1954 Ottawa Athletics ProgramInternational League (1952-1954)

Born: 1952 – Affiliation change from Ottawa Giatnts
Moved: January 1955 (Columbus Jets)

Stadium: Lansdowne Park

Major League Affiliation: Philadelphia Athletics

Owner:

Governors Cup Championships: None

 

The Ottawa Athletics were the Class AAA farm club of the Philadelphia Athletics for three summers in the early 1950’s. The A’s played three losing seasons at Lansdowne Park before departing for Columbus, Ohio.

Following the A’s departure in January 1955, Ottawa went without pro baseball for 39 years until the formation of the Ottawa Lynx in 1993.

 

In Memoriam

Hal Bevan (Athletics ’54) died of a kidney infection at the age of 37 on October 5th, 1968.

Luke Easter (Athletics ’54) was shot and killed in armed robbery on March 29, 1979. Easter was 63.

 

Links

International League Media Guides

International League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

March 11th, 2017 at 4:24 am

1988-1989 Ottawa Intrepid

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John Vidovich Ottawa IntrepidCanadian Soccer League (1988-1989)

Born: 1988 – Re-branded from Ottawa Pioneers.
Folded: Postseason 1989

Stadium: Terry Fox Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Ottawa Professional Soccer Society (Robert Wilson, President)

 

Ottawa Intrepid was a community-owned pro soccer club that competed for two seasons in the Canadian Soccer League in the late 1980’s.  Intrepid played in tiny Terry Fox Stadium, with a seating capacity of around 2,000.  The franchise was previously known as the Ottawa Pioneers during the Canadian Soccer League’s debut season in 1987.

Intrepid disbanded following the 1989 season. The CSL closed down after six seasons of play in 1992.

 

==Ottawa Intrepid Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

1989

1989 5/28/1989 vs. Vancouver 86ers ?? Program
1989 6/7/1989 @ Winnipeg Fury ?? Program

 

==Links==

Canadian Soccer League Media Guides

Canadian Soccer League Programs

 

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Written by AC

August 29th, 2015 at 2:54 pm

1972-1973 Ottawa Nationals

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1972-73 Ottawa NationalsWorld Hockey Association (1972-1973)

Born: 1972 – WHA founding franchise.
Moved: Spring 1973 (Toronto Toros)

Arenas:

Team Colors:

Owners: Nick Trbovich & Doug Michel

 

The Ottawa Nationals were a short-lived original franchise in the defunct World Hockey Association (1972-1979).  Originally the WHA and team founder Doug Michel hoped to place the club in either Toronto or Hamilton, but the Nationals struggled to line up an arena in those cities and ultimately ended up at the Ottawa Civic Centre.

Wayne Carleton Ottawa NationalsWhile upstart franchises in Winnipeg, Philadelphia and elsewhere made headlines luring big-name players away from the NHL, the cash-poor Nationals were unable to lure big names to Ottawa.  Nevertheless, the club was competitive under Head Coach Billy Harris, finishing with a 35-39-4 record and a 1973 playoff date with the New England Whalers.  Ex-NHL journeyman Wayne Carleton was the Nats’ leading scorer with 42 goals and 49 assists.

The team was poorly supported in Ottawa and chose to move its home playoff games to Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.  The Whalers eliminated the Nationals 4 games to 1.

In May 1973 John Bassett Jr., the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs owner John Bassett, Sr., purchased the Nationals.  Bassett was considerably wealthier than the club’s previous owners.  He moved the franchise to Varsity Arena in Toronto and re-named the team the Toronto Toros prior to the 1973-74 season.

 

==Ottawa Nationals Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other

1972-73

1972-73 10/25/1972 @ Los Angeles Sharks W 8-5 Program
1972-73 11/2/1972  vs. Los Angeles Sharks T 1-1 Program
1972-73 11/20/1972 @ New England Whalers L 7-5 Program
1972-73 12/4/1972 @ New England Whalers L 7-2 Program
1972-73 1/9/1973 vs. Quebec Nordiques W 7-5 Program
1972-73 1/28/1973 vs. Winnipeg Jets L 5-4 Program
1972-73 2/2/1973 @ Chicago Cougars L 4-1 Program
1972-73 3/29/1973 vs. New England Whalers W 5-2 Program

 

==Links==

World Hockey Association Media Guides

World Hockey Association Programs

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2008 Ottawa Rapidz

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Can-Am League (2008)

Born: November 2007 – Can-Am League expansion franchise
Folded: September 2008

Stadium: Ottawa Rapidz Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Rob Hall

 

In the summer of 2007, the worst kept secret in Ottawa was the impending loss of minor league baseball.  The Ottawa Lynx, triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, were lame ducks set to move to a new stadium already under construction in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The Lynx’ departure was contentious – the team had two years to run on its lease at Lynx Stadium.  Lynx owner Ray Pecor and the City of Ottawa traded multi-million dollar lawsuits  while the Lynx played out their 15th and final season.

Enter Miles Wolff and his independent Can-Am League.  The former Baseball America publisher is best known as the man who purchased the Durham (NC) Bulls for $2,417 in 1979 and helped turn the team – and with it, minor league baseball itself – into a cultural phenomenom thanks to the 1988 Kevin Costner-Susan Sarandon film Bull Durham.  In the 1990’s Wolff  sold the Bulls and played a pivotal role in reviving the long-dormant industry of independent baseball – modestly budgeted leagues and teams which operate without subsidy or oversight from Major League parent clubs.

Wolff secured permission from the Ottawa City Council to take over the two remaining years on the Lynx’ lease in November 2007.  The move marked the second time in recent years that the Can-Am League had entered a market immediately following the departure of a long-time affiliated baseball club.  The league swooped into New Haven, Connecticut in early 2004, immediately after the city lost its Toronto Blue Jays farm club.  The Can-Am’s New Haven County Cutters failed in 2007 after four seasons of red ink and community apathy.  By contrast, the Can-Am League established strong followings in virgin markets like Brockton, Massachusetts or in places like Quebec City (owned by Wolff himself) where fans had waited decades for the return of professional baseball.

Original Rapids branding by Mike Eby

Wayne Scanlan of The Ottawa Citizen provided an apt description of the adjustment that Ottawa baseball fans were in for with the arrival  of independent ball:

If the International League, to which the Lynx belonged from 1993 to 2007, was one level below the major leagues, the new Can-Am League is one level above oblivion, which is not to say that the baseball is awful.

In a nod to the area’s bilingual heritage, Wolff gave the club a dual English/French identity: the Ottawa Rapids/Rapides.  Local designer Mike Eby designed a sharp set of primary and alternate logos in a blue/black/grey/white scheme.  But these designs were mothballed when new ownership materialized just weeks before opening day.

In late April of 2008, Rob Hall and Rick Anderson and of Canadian online DVD rental house Zip.Ca purchased the Rapids.  In an nod to Zip.ca’s corporate identity, Hall and Anderson changed the club’s name to the “Ottawa Rapidz” complete with a new logo that incorporated the Canadian maple leaf.

The Rapidz  debuted in Ottawa on May 22nd, 2008.  The club struggled mightily to compete on the field, finishing the first half of the season with a last-place record of 13-34.  In late July, 68-year old Manager Ed Nottle returned briefly to Evansville, Indiana to be with his wife Patty, who was awaiting cancer test results.  While Nottle was gone, the Rapidz reeled off a five-game winning streak.  When Nottle returned to Ottawa a few days later, Hall dismissed him, attracting negative attention from fans and media due to the circumstances.  Despite the shake-up, the Rapidz finished with a league worst 31-63 record.

Opening Day 2008 – photo courtesy Nicolas Rouleau

Off the field, the Rapidz finished fifth in the eight-team Can-Am League with announced average attendance of 2,197 per game.  Rob Hall later told The Ottawa Sun that actual turnstile figures for the Rapidz in 2008 were 1,256 fans per game, with attendance boosted by aggressive distribution of comp tickets.

Shortly after the conclusion of the Rapidz first season in September 2008, Hall announced he was shutting the team down.  Hall claimed an eye-popping $1.4 million in operating losses for just over four months of ownership.  The figure was stunning given the extremely lean (less than $100K) player payrolls in the Can-Am League and the team’s moderate $108,000 annual rental fee for Ottawa Baseball Stadium.  Hall cited those lease terms as the straw the broke the camel’s back.  With the original Lynx lease set to expire after the 2009 season, Rapidz ownership met with city leaders in September to negotiate a long-term extension.  Hall chose to interpret the city’s negotiating position – later characterized by Ottawa officials as offhand remarks – as a demand to increase the team’s annual rent burden from $108,000 to $1 million dollars per year starting in 2010.  He subsequently cited this “demand” on the Rapidz website and in press interviews as the primary justification for shuttering the franchise.  The Ottawa Citizen accused Hall of using the City as a “scapegoat” and both Wolff and City officials denied that the City imposed such terms.

At the end of September 2008, Can-Am League owners voted to revoke Hall’s membership and draw down his $200,000 letter of credit as a result of his failure to enter a team for the 2009 season.  Just like the Lynx a year earlier, the Rapidz would now leave Ottawa under a cloud of lawsuits.  See our downloads section below for .PDFs of several court records from these cases.

In November 2008, Wolff announced that the remaining Can-Am League members would provide $50,000 each to operate a team in Ottawa for the 2009 season, tentatively to be named the “Rapids” with the original pre-Zip.ca artwork.  Wolff later scrapped that idea and held a name the team contest, with “Ottawa Voyageurs” announced as the winning entry in February 2009.  In late March 2009, less than two months before opening day, the Can-Am League’s Atlantic City Surf folded.  Without the Surf – and with no new local ownership for Ottawa on the horizon – the rationale for operating Ottawa as a ward of the league evaporated.  Ottawa was no longer needed to ensure an even number of teams for scheduling purposes and the Voyageurs operating expenses would now have to be split among a smaller pool of owners.  Can-Am League officials therefore announced that the Voyageurs would fold along with the Surf, thus ending the brief and chaotic existence of the Rapids/Rapidz/Voyageurs..

 

 

==Downloads==

Can-Am League vs. Ottawa Rapidz (6/11/2009)
Can-Am League vs. Ottawa Rapidz (2/18/10)
Ottawa Rapidz Sources

 

==Links==

Can-Am League Media Guides

Can-Am League Programs

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