Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1997-2016 Idaho Stampede

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Idaho StampedeContinental Basketball Association (1997-2006)
NBA Development League (2006-2016)

Born: 1997 – CBA expansion franchise
Moved: April 4, 2016 (Salt Lake City Stars)

Arenas:

Team Colors: Red & Black

Owners: 

  • 1997-2015: William Ilett, et al.
  • 2015-2016: Utah Jazz (Miller Sports Properties)

CBA Championships: None
NBA D-League Champions: 2008

 

The Idaho Stampede were a long-running minor league basketball franchise that played in both Boise and nearby Nampa during an 18-year lifespan. The Stampede survived a turbulent decade as one of the most stable franchises in the Continental Basketball Association before latching on the with NBA-backed D-League in 2006.

The Stampede won their lone league championship in 2008, defeating the Austin Toros in the D-League championship series.

Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker, who infamously burned through a $108 million fortune during his playing career, played out his final two seasons of pro ball with the Stampede from 2010 to 2012.

A local ownership group headed by William Ilett backed the Stampede for nearly their entire existence. In March 2015, Ilett’s group sold the team to their NBA parent club, the Utah Jazz. The Jazz made positive noises about keeping the team in Boise and Ilett publicly vowed to fight “long and hard” if the NBA tried to move the franchise. All of which was a polite way of saying that the writing was on the wall. After one final season in the Treasure Valley during the winter of 2015-16, the Jazz moved the Stampede to Salt Lake City in April 2016 and re-branded the team as the Salt Lake City Stars.

 

Links

Continental Basketball Association Media Guides

Continental Basketball Association Programs

NBA D-League Media Guides

NBA D-League Programs

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1968-1969 Sacramento Capitols

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1969 Sacramento Capitols ProgramContinental Football League (1968-1969)

Born: 1968 –  CoFL expansion franchise
Folded: July 2, 1970

Stadium: Hughes Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Lee Balderelli

Continental Football League Championships: None

 

The Sacramento Capitols were a minor league football outfit that played two season in the California state capital at the end of the 1960’s. The Caps played at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College.

The Capitols played in the Pacific Division of the Continental Football League (1965-1969). The CoFL was considered to be a step below both the AFL and the NFL during the late 1960’s. Although CoFL membership stretched from coast to coast, teams tended to play exclusively within their regional division to save on travel costs. The Caps played teams from Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Orange County and Spokane, with few contests against Texas-based teams thrown in.

The Capitols posted a 5-7 record during their expansion season of 1968. In 1969 the Caps improved to 8-4 and made the playoffs. The Las Vegas Cowboys came into to Hughes Stadium on November 29th, 1969 and knocked the Caps out of the playoffs 31-0. This turned out to be the Capitols final game.

The Continental Football League folded following the 1969 season. The Capitols tried to organize for a 1970 season. It is not clear from press reports  in what circuit they hoped to play. On July 2nd, 1970 team owner Lee Balderelli announced the closure of the team citing disappointing season ticket subscriptions.

 

Links

Continental Football League Media Guides

Continental Football League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

November 13th, 2016 at 9:43 pm

1947-1950 West Frankfort Cardinals

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1950 West Frankfort Cardinals ProgramIllinois State League (1947-1948)
Mississippi-Ohio Valley League (1949-1950)

Born: 1947
Died: December 1950

Stadium: Memorial Stadium

Team Colors:

Owners: Pete Mondino, Charlie Jacobs and Tony Finazzo

Illinois State League Champions: 1948
Mississippi-Ohio Valley League Champions: None

 

The West Frankfort Cardinals were a short-lived Class D farm club of the St. Louis Cardinals in the immediate post-WWII years. The team played in the tiny coal mining city of West Frankfort, Illinois. Team founder Pete Mondino was a former catcher who played nine minor league seasons in the 20’s and 30’s without making the Majors. He was retired from baseball and operating a pool hall in West Frankfort when he founded the Cardinals in 1947.

Two notable players played for West Frankfort during the Cardinals’ short run. Rip Repulski patrolled the Memorial Stadium outfield as an 18-year old Cardinals prospect in 1947. Repulski later earned a trip to the National League All-Star Game with St. Louis in 1956. A 17-year old Earl Weaver spent his entire first pro season in West Frankfort in 1948.

With Weaver at second base, West Frankfort won the Illinois State League championship in 1948 via a three-game sweep of the Mattoon (IL) Indians. Following the 1948 campaign, the Illinois State League changed its name to the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League.

The West Frankfort Cardinals folded during the winter of 1950. The following year, the New Orient Coal Mine disaster killed 119 men and devastated the small community. The city leveled Memorial Stadium in 1956. Pro baseball never returned to West Frankfort.

Toby Brooks has an outstanding book called Season of Change and accompanying website about the history of the West Frankfort Cardinals.

 

Links

Mississippi-Ohio Valley League Programs

Toby Brooks’ WestFrankfortCardinals.com site

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2001-2005 Asheville Altitude

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Asheville AltitudeNational Basketball Development  League (2001-2005)

Born: June 21, 2001 – NBDL founding franchise
Moved: 2005 (Tulsa 66ers)

Arena: Asheville Civic Center (5,564)

Team Colors:

Owner:

NBDL Champions: 2004 & 2005

 

The Asheville Altitude were one of eight founding franchises of the National Basketball Developmental League in 2001. The NBDL, more commonly known today as the “D-League” is an NBA-sponsored minor league system. The original eight franchises were all in the Southeastern United States. Today the D-League stretches from Maine to California.

The Altitude lasted four seasons in North Carolina. The team won the NBDL title during each of its final two seasons, but poor attendance doomed the team in Asheville. After averaging 1,037 fans per game at the Asheville Civic Center in 2001-02, crowds declined every year even as the team’s performance improved. During the Altitude’s final season in the winter of 2004-05, the team drew just 499 per game.

The franchise moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma prior to the 2005-06 season.

 

Links

National Basketball Development League Media Guides

National Basketball Development League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

November 12th, 2016 at 1:39 pm

1989-1991 Atlanta Attack

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1989-90 Atlanta Attack ProgramAmerican Indoor Soccer Association (1989-1990)
National Professional Soccer League (1990-1991)

Born: August 1989 – AISA expansion franchise
Moved: September 4, 1991 (Kansas City Attack)

Arena: The Omni

Team Colors:

Owner: Ron Terwilliger

AISA Championships: None
NPSL Championships: None

 

Short-lived effort to establish the sport of indoor soccer at Atlanta’s Omni coliseum. The Atlanta Attack followed the earlier efforts of the Atlanta Chiefs of the North American Soccer League, who played two indoor campaigns at the Omni between 1979 and 1981.

The Attack formed as an expansion franchise in the five-year old American Indoor Soccer Association. Bt 1989, the AISA was starting to stretch its ambitions beyond 5,000-seater civic centers in the Upper Midwest. Attack founder Ron Terwilliger, one of the league’s wealthiest owners, was also offered a franchise in the larger budget Major Indoor Soccer League. And the Omni was more typical of the MISL, whose clubs often played in NBA and NHL arenas. But the housing developer was reportedly put off by the MISL’s much higher salary cap.

Croatian forward Drago Dumbovic was expected to be the Attack’s top scoring threat in 1989-90. But after a hot start, Atlanta traded Drago to the Hershey Impact two months into the season in January 1990. Drago went on to lead the AISA in scoring with 100 goals and 67 assists, most coming with Hershey. Despite trading away the league’s most explosive player, the Attack finished their expansion campaign with a respectable 2nd place finish in their division at 23-17. The Dayton Dynamo eliminated the Attack in the playoff semi-finals.

Heading into the 1990-91 season, the AISA re-branded itself as the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). The Attack fielded another strong side, finishing 25-15. Journeyman Yugoslav forward Zoran Savic led the Attack with 56 goals and 33 assists. Once again, the Dayton Dynamo bounced Atlanta out of the playoffs.

The Attack’s top-dollar lease at the Omni proved to be the club’s undoing. New owners moved the team to Kansas City just prior to the 1991-92 NPSL season.

Former Attack owner Ron Terwilliger flirted with purchasing the Atlanta Braves in the mid-2000’s. He later purchased the Atlanta Dream of the Women’s National Basketball Association and operated that team from 2007 until 2009.

 

Atlanta Attack Video

This grainy 3-minute clip of the Attack hosting the Milwaukee Wave at the Omni in 1990 is the only video footage of the club available online.

 

Links

National Professional Soccer League Media Guides

National Professional Soccer League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

November 6th, 2016 at 7:35 pm