Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1972-1977 Tacoma Twins

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Tacoma TwinsPacific Coast League (1972-1977)

Born: 1972 – Affiliation change from Tacoma Cubs
Affiliation Change: 1978 (Tacoma Yankees)

Stadium: Cheney Stadium

Major League Affiliation: Minnesota Twins

Owners: Tacoma Baseball, Inc.

Pacific Coast League Championships: None

 

The Tacoma Twins were the top farm club of the Minnesota Twins for six seasons in the mid-1970’s.

The Tacoma teams of the Twins era produced many future Major Leaguers, but few of much renown. The best of the bunch were catcher Rick Dempsey (Twins ’72) and outfield Lyman Bostock (Twins ’74’-75).  Dempsey played 24 seasons in the majors and earned Most Valuable Player honors for the 1983 World Series as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. Bostock seemed destined for stardom until his shocking and senseless murder in September 1978.

Perhaps the Tacoma Twins best player, by Class AAA standards, was hard-hitting first baseman Randy Bass (Twins ’75-’77). Over the course of three summers in Tacoma, Bass slugged 64 home runs. Bass’ Major League career never really took off. But he became the most feared hitter in Japan after signing with the Hanshin Tigers of Central League in 1983. Bass won back-to-back Japanese Triple Crowns in 1985 and 1986.

During the summer of 1976, the Twins local ownership group flirted with professional soccer. Tacoma Baseball, Inc. partnered with future Washington governor Booth Gardner to form the Tacoma Tides of the American Soccer League. The Tides shared Cheney Stadium with the Twins during the bicentennial summer, but folded after only one season of play.

The Twins era in Tacoma came to an end in 1978 with a parent club shift to the New York Yankees.

 

Tacoma Twins Memorabilia

 

In Memoriam

Outfielder Lyman Bostock (Twins ’74-’75) was shot to death in a case of mistaken identity in his hometown of Gary, Indiana on September 23, 1978 at the age of 27.

 

Links

Pacific Coast League Media Guides

Pacific Coast League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

August 14th, 2017 at 7:51 pm

1976 Tacoma Tides

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Tacoma TidesAmerican Soccer League (1976)

Born: 1976 – ASL expansion franchise
Folded: November 1976

Stadium: Cheney Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Booth Gardner & Tacoma Baseball, Inc.

ASL Championships: None

 

The Tacoma Tides were a One-Year Wonder that competed in the American Soccer League in the summer of 1976.  The lower-division soccer club was jointly owned by Booth Gardner, a future Governor of the state of Washington, and the operators of the Tacoma Twins minor league baseball team.  The Tides shared Cheney Stadium, the city’s baseball field, with the Twins.

The Tides were a good side in their only year of action.  The team finished 10-6-5 and earned a playoff spot, losing to the eventual champion Los Angeles Skyhawks in the semi-final match.  English import David Chadwick was the Tides’ leading scorer with 9 goals and 8 assists.  Future U.S. National Team coach Bruce Arena was the Tides’ second string goalkeeper, but the bulk of the net duties were handled by lower division warhorse Jamil Canal.

The Tides lost a reported $100,000. This  lub shuttered in November 1976.

 

Tacoma Tides Memorabilia

 

In Memoriam

Tides founder/owner Booth Gardner passed away on March 15, 2013 from complications of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 76. Seattle Times obituary.

 

Links

American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs

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Written by AC

April 9th, 2015 at 12:36 am

1979 Tacoma Tugs

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Pacific Coast League (1979)

Born:
Died:
November 16, 1979 – Tugs re-branded as the Tacoma Tigers.

Stadium: Cheney Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner:

 

The Tacoma Tugs were a one-season only Class AAA farm club of the Cleveland Indians in the Pacific Coast League during the summer of 1979.  The Tugs appeared (briefly) during an unsettled period in Tacoma’s baseball history, when the city’s Pacific Coast League franchise cycled through four different parent clubs in four seasons between 1977 and 1980.  The Tugs replaced the Tacoma Yankees (1978) and gave way to the Tacoma Tigers (1980-1994).

The Tugs were 74-73 in Tacoma’s only season as an Indians affiliate.

25 Tugs players saw service time in the Major Leagues at some point in their pro careers.  Among the more accomplished of these players were relief pitcher Larry Andersen, who played parts of 17 seasons in the Majors, pitcher Juan Berenguer (15 seasons), catcher Ron Hassey (14 seasons), and the late Bo Diaz, a two-time Major League All-Star.

 

 ==In Memoriam==

Tugs catcher Bo Diaz died in an accident on November 23, 1990 while trying to fix a satellite dish on his roof in his native Venezuela.  He was 37.

Tugs infielder Taylor Duncan passed away from a stroke on January 3, 2004 at age 50.

 

==Links==

Pacific Coast League Media Guides

Pacific Coast League Programs

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Written by AC

June 2nd, 2013 at 1:14 am

1983-1992 Tacoma Stars

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Steve Zungul Tacoma StarsMajor Indoor Soccer League (1983-1990)
Major Soccer League (1990-1992)

Born: June 29, 1983 – Dormant Denver Avalanche franchise shifts to Tacoma
Folded: June 5, 1992

Arena: The Tacoma Dome (20,284)

Team Colors: Blue, Orange & Gold

Owners:

MISL Championships: None

 

Indoor soccer’s Tacoma Stars were the first tenants at the $44 million Tacoma Dome, which opened in April 1983. The Stars were pretty much the closest thing that the city of Tacoma, Washington has had to a major professional sports franchise, the occasional Seattle Supersonics game excluded.

Most seasons, the team was an also-ran.  The exception was the winter of 1986-87, when the Stars featured two of the all-time greats of the indoor game: Steve Zungul, the six-time MISL MVP known as “The Lord of All Indoors” and the young Serbian midfielder Preki.  The Stars raced out to the best regular season record in the league (35-17) and attendance surged 35% to over 10,000 fans per match.

Tacoma StarsThe Stars reached the 1987 MISL Championship Series against the Dallas Sidekicks.  The best-of-seven series drew large crowds in both cities and the Stars raced out to a 3 games to 2 lead.  In a thrilling finale, Games 6 and 7 both went to sudden death overtime.  16,824 turned out for Game 6 at Reunion Arena in Dallas and saw Mark Karpun keep the Sidekicks alive with his overtime goal.  The series moved back to Tacoma on June 20, 1987.  21,728 fans turned out at the sold out Dome for Game 7 – to this day, still the largest crowd ever to watch an indoor soccer game in the United States.  The Stars blew a late lead to send the series into sudden death.  And it was Karpun who struck again for the second time in three nights, with the series winner.   Check out the footage in the Youtube section below.

The big crowds in Tacoma lasted for one more season, but the club returned to also-ran status in the standings in 1987-88. On July 8, 1988, barely a year removed from their blockbuster run to the MISL Finals, the Stars went out of business, citing $8.9 million in losses over 5 years.

A few days later, a group of 28 local investors stepped forward to save the Stars.  The new group managed to keep the team going for another four seasons, but the buzz was gone.  In July 1991, Head Coach Keith Weller had to sit on a 30-foot platform in a shopping mall parking lot for five days and nights as part of a publicity stunt to sell season tickets and save the team.  By the early 90’s, crowds dwindled to less than 5,000 per match at the Dome.   The Stars finally ran out of gas on June 5, 1992, folding after nine seasons.  The rest of the league followed one month later.

 

Tacoma Stars Shop

Tacoma Stars Retro T-Shirt by Throwback Max

 

Tacoma Stars Memorabilia

 

In Memoriam

Former Stars Head Coach Keith Weller (1989-1992) died of cancer in November 2004 at age 58. The Independent obituary.

Stars forward Mark Peterson passed away at age 51 on July 7, 2011.

 

Stars Video

The Stars host the Dallas Sidekicks in a thrilling Game 7 of the 1987 MISL Championship Series at the Tacoma Dome.

Downloads

1987-88 Major Indoor Soccer League Rule Book & Schedule 

 

Links

Major Indoor Soccer League Media Guides

Major Indoor Soccer League Programs

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