Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1973-1974 Connecticut Wildcats

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Connecticut WildcatsAmerican Soccer League (1973-1974)

Born: November 1972 – ASL expansion franchise
Died: Postseason 1974

Stadium: Dillon Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Paul Ingram

ASL Championships: None


The Connecticut Wildcats were the first of several pro soccer clubs to set up shop at Hartford’s Dillon Stadium during the mid-1970’s. The club formed in November 1972 as an expansion franchise in the 2nd Division American Soccer League.

Paul Ingram, a former All-American soccer player at UConn, founded the Wildcats and served as General Manager. Fielding a team of mostly American players, the Wildcats put up an 8-3-3 record in their debut season. The club was solid at the box office too. The ‘Cats drew 4,200 fans for their inaugural game in the spring of 1973. 10,000 more showed up for the season finale at Dillon Stadium against the Boston Astros. The ASL named Paul Ingram its Executive-of-the-Year for the 1973 season.

Benny Brewster led the team in scoring in 1973 with 10 goals and 4 assists. The Wildcats best-known player, in retrospect, was the young goalkeeper Tony DiCicco. DiCicco went on to become one of the greatest coaches in the women’s game, leading the U.S. Women’s National Team to Olympic gold in 1996 and the World Cup in 1999.

As the Wildcats second season approached in the winter of 1974, Ingram asked for a renegotiation of the team’s rental agreement at Dillon Stadium. He stated the team’s rental rate and lack of revenue sharing on concessions were among the worst deals in the American Soccer League and that the team might need to relocate to Springfield, Massachusetts.  In the event, the Wildcats did end up returning to Dillon in 1974, but it proved to be the club’s final campaign.

The Wildcats were replaced on the ASL’s 1975 schedule by a new Hartford-based club, the Connecticut Yankees (1975-1978). Hartford also got a 1st division expansion club in 1975 with the formation of the Hartford Bicentennials (1975-1976) of the North American Soccer League.

Connecticut Wildcats founder Paul Ingram was inducted into the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in January 2004.



American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs


Written by Drew Crossley

October 24th, 2016 at 1:06 pm

1991-2016 Orlando Predators

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2005 Orlando Predators Media GuideArena Football League (1991-2016)

Born: February 7, 1991 – Arena Football League expansion franchise
Folded: October 12, 2016


Team Colors: Black & Red


Arena Bowl Champions: 1998 & 2000


Text coming soon…


Orlando Predators Memorabilia


Orlando Predators Video

The final season. The Preds host long-time rivals the Tampa Bay Storm at Amway Center


In Memoriam

Preds Assistant Coach (’98-’01) and Head Coach (’02-’03) Fran Papasedero died in a single-car accident on June 19, 2003 at the age of 34.

Head coach Perry Moss (Preds ’91-’97) passed away August 7th, 2014 at the age of 88.



2013 Orlando Predators Media Guide

2014 Orlando Predators Media Guide

2016 Orlando Predators Media Guide

2016 Orlando Predators Postseason Media Guide



Arena Football League Media Guides

Arena Football League Programs


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