What City and State Has Lost the Most Sports Teams?

When we talk about “cursed” sports towns, it’s almost always in the context of things like postseason or championship droughts, heartbreaking losses, or just general futility. In other words, Cleveland. I kid, I kid.

But to my way of thinking there’s something even worse than falling just short of ultimate glory over and over again, and that’s losing a pro franchise entirely. Whether it’s the result of a greedy owner or a lack of fan interest, the death of a sports team is always at least a little sad.

And so I set out to document just with cities and states have lost the most professional teams from the four major leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL). I could expand it to other leagues as well, but I’m not sure that cities mourn the loss of indoor soccer teams quite like they do baseball or football franchises.

A few caveats are necessary. In the early history of pro leagues team movement was fairly common and it can be hard to differentiate between teams folding altogether or simply taking on new identities. Also, I have taken the liberty of lumping some geographic areas together that may get me into hot water with locals. So all the boroughs of New York City are counted as the same, as are other cities located in the same metropolitan area.

If I’ve made any noticeable blunders please let me know in the comments. Publication images courtesy my companion site, SportsPaper.info.

Which State Has Lost the Most Pro Sports Teams?

This one was closer than I thought it would be but indeed, Ohio can rightly be considered the unluckiest state when it comes to pro franchises folding or moving. To date the Buckeye State has lost 20 teams from the four major leagues.

1976-77 Cleveland Barons Media GuideIt started with the Cincinnati Reds (or Red Stockings), one of the charter members of baseball’s National League, who were kicked out of the league in 1880 and subsequently dissolved. Since then two other baseball teams, the Cleveland Blues and Spiders (1884 and 1899 respectively) have vanished.

Ohio has also suffered the loss of two NBA franchises. The Cleveland Rebels were a charter BAA franchise in 1946-47 but went out of business after just one season. The Cincinnati Royals, themselves already relocated from Rochester in 1957, departed the Queen City for Kansas City/Omaha in 1972. The team now plays in Sacramento as the Kings.

But it’s the NFL where Ohio has lost the most, which makes sense given that the league was founded there and was heavily concentrated in the Midwest for its first few decades. A whopping total of 14 NFL franchises have either moved or gone belly up in Ohio, although to be fair most of that movement was done by the mid-1930s.

Of note, however, are some notable franchises that were lost. The Canton Bulldogs, one of the great teams from the NFL’s first decade, were kicked out after the 1926 season. In 1946 the Cleveland Rams moved west to Los Angeles. Of course I don’t think I need to get into what happened with the Cleveland Browns in 1996 — and if you think that doesn’t count because the city was awarded a new Browns franchise in 1999, ask local residents how they feel about that.

Coming in a surprisingly close second on this list is New York, which has seen 19 teams move or fold. Aside from the infamous moves of MLB’s New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, the Empire State has lost three NBA teams, one NHL team, and nine NFL teams. New York City’s five boroughs alone account for 10 teams on this list.

Here’s the full Top 10:

1. Ohio (20 teams)
2. New York (19)
3. Missouri (14)
4. Indiana (9)
5(t). California, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin (8)
8. Illinois (7)
9(t). Maryland, Michigan (6)

Which City Has Lost the Most Pro Sports Teams?

New York Bulldogs vs. Philadelphia Eagles (September 22, 1949)I guess I gave this one away already, but New York City has lost 10 pro sports teams in its history. Some people may take issue with lumping all five boroughs together, but this is my site so my rules.

The exodus began in 1876 when the New York Mutuals, a founding National League club, were expelled from the league as punishment for refusing to make a late-season road trip. Things remained calm for several decades, but the wild and woolly early NFL days brought a host of teams in and out of New York City.

Between 1921 and 1951 a total of six APFA/NFL teams vanished — the New York Brickley Giants (1921), Brooklyn Lions (1926), New York Yankees (1928), Staten Island Stapletons (1932), Brooklyn Dodgers/Tigers (1944), and finally the New York Bulldogs/Yanks (1951).

(See programs for more defunct NFL teams.)

Just behind New York City in the loss column are St. Louis and Cleveland, who have each seen nine teams go away. St. Louis most recently saw the NFL’s Cardinals move to Arizona in 1988 and the NBA’s Hawks fly to Atlanta in 1968. More recently, all signs point to the St. Louis Rams returning to their longtime home in Los Angeles soon, at which point the city will tie New York for this infamous honor.

In addition to the Browns’ move to Baltimore, Cleveland lost an entire league when the NHL’s Barons merged with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978.

Here’s the full top 10:

1. New York City (10 teams)
2(t). Cleveland, St. Louis (9)
4(t). Baltimore, Detroit, Washington D.C. (6)
7(t). Kansas City, Milwaukee, Philadelphia (5)
10(t). Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Louisville, Minneapolis (4)

What Team Name Has Been the Unluckiest?

Just for fun, I decided to look at what nickname has been associated with the most defunct/relocated franchises. For this exercise, I only counted the name of a team when it went away, even if was known by another name for a longer period. This part is more art than science, unfortunately.

1926 Montreal Maroons NHL programWith that said, history indicates that the nicknames that most often portend doom are Maroons, Senators, and Tigers. There have been five teams each that had this name and then were no more.

The most recent Maroons team is probably the most well known, the Montreal Maroons of the NHL (1924-38), winners of two Stanley Cups. Three NFL teams bore the moniker and were from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and Toledo, Ohio.

All but one of the Senators teams were based out of Washington D.C., the exception being the original Ottawa Senators of the NHL. Three separate MLB franchises used the name, folding or moving in 1899, 1961, and 1972. Only hardcore NFL history junkies would know about the Senators that played just one season in the APFA/NFL (1921).

As for the Tigers, the last of them to go extinct was the NFL squad known for most of its existence (1930-44) as the Brooklyn Dodgers. Three other NFL teams were known as the Tigers and were from Chicago, Detroit, and Columbus. The latter of these was also known as the Panhandles.

People found this post by searching for:

    "https://www grayflannelsuit net/blog/what-city-and-state-has-lost-the-most-sports-teams"
McDonald's ad, 1964

Let’s Look At Some Vintage 1960s McDonald’s Advertisements

McDonald's ad, 1961

So I’m cruising through eBay looking for more vintage ads to share, and I happened upon a group of excellent ones from the early-to-mid 1960s. They’re not flashy by any means, but they offer just a little slice of Mickey D’s life from the Kennedy era and beyond.

Most importantly, all of these black-and-white print ads feature vintage McDonald’s branding and building designs as seen in my post detailing the history of some fast food logos, so it should come as no surprise that I had to share these.

First up are four ads printed throughout 1961 in the Cincinnati Enquirer. All but one feature the classic mid-century arch building design, and we even get an appearance from Speedee! (Click on any ad to be taken to a full-size version on my Flickr page.)

McDonald's ad (Cincinnati Enquirier, 1961)

A free bagpipe band concert! How cool is that? I doubt you’d ever see something like that now.

McDonald's ad (Cincinnati Enquirier, 1961)

McDonald's ad (Cincinnati Enquirier, 1961)

McDonald's ad (Cincinnati Enquirier, 1961)

The “All American” was basically an early version of a combo meal. 45 cents in 1961 is worth about $3.51 these days, so the current price is actually comparable.

McDonald's ad, 1964


Here you can see the original Golden Arches logo, which debuted in 1962. The architecture of the restaurants had not changed much at all.

McDonald's ad, 1965


The Filet-O-Fish was invented in Cincinnati in 1962, and rolled out nationwide in 1965. I like the little nautical twist on the McDonald’s logo in this ad.

McDonald's ad, 1967


I wish I knew who “Lonesome” George was, but when I do a Google search all I get are hits on that Galapagos tortoise who died last year.

Tube talk: Harry’s Law

I started watching Harry’s Law on NBC for one reason: David E. Kelley. The man created Boston Legal, one of my favorite shows in recent memory, so I figured if he could start a new show with even half the magic of that show I’d be a happy man. After eight episodes, I’m… well I’m sort of happy.

It seems clear to me that Harry’s Law is Kelley’s attempt to continue in the same vein as Boston Legal, so much so that I’m surprised he didn’t just call it Cincinnati Legal. It’s a legal dramedy with some really eccentric characters and a generous heaping of speechifying about social justice. Regarding the latter aspect, I became used to the increasingly preachy tone Boston Legal struck in its last few seasons even though I wasn’t a huge fan. So I’m not surprised that I’ve already been treated to a cases involving the evil fast food industry, ageism in the workplace, judicial bias against African-Americans, and most recently a group of albino Tanzanians.

But about the characters — so far I’m not all that impressed. The star of the show is presumably Kathy Bates, who plays a former patent attorney named Harriet “Harry” Korn. Yikes, that’s an unfortunate name choice. Anyway, Bates is typically a lot of fun to watch but in this show she’s just this joyless gray lump. She lurches from one scene to the next with all the vigor of a med school cadaver. The only time you know her character feels any passion at all is when she raises her voice slightly. That’s a problem. A big problem.

Read More

People found this post by searching for:

    "who plays tommy on harry\s law", "who plays tommy on harrys law", "show to harry tube"

Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 4)

For those new to this series, the premise of this is simple.  I just use the Random Article link on Wikipedia (happy 10th anniversary!) and see if anything good comes up.  More often than not, nothing does.  Here we go!

  • American actress Louan Gideon, whose most notable work was on the Nickelodeon series The Secret World of Alex Mack, has had a host of other memorable roles such as Woman, Grieving Woman, Saleswoman, and Hostess.  But I remember her best from the Seinfeld episode “The Millennium”, when she played the speed-dial obsessed stepmother Mrs Hamilton.
  • The Stock Exchange Luncheon Club was a members-only dining club situated on the seventh floor of the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan.  It opened in 1898 and closed in 2006.  They admitted their first African-American member, Joseph L. Searles III, in 1970.  Searles sat alone at his own table.  I’m guessing they made him bus his own dishes.
  • Guests at Universal Studios Florida could see the set of the Swamp Thing television show until 1994, when the set was demolished a year after the show’s cancellation.  The set property became the home of Back to the Future III locomotive display until 1998, when that was replaced by the current occupant, Men in Black: Alien Attack.
  • In Hawaiian mythology, Kāne is considered the highest of the four major deities, along with Kanaloa, Kū, and Lono. He represented the god of procreation and was worshipped as ancestor of chiefs and commoners.  No human sacrifice or laborious ritual was needed in the worship of Kāne, which is probably a good thing.  Seems odd to worship a procreation god by throwing all the good virgins into volcanoes.

  • PC-Write, a word processing program, was developed by former Microsoft employee Bob Wallace in 1983.  Wallace, who was Microsoft’s ninth-ever employee (middle of top row in picture), did not sell his software outright.  Rather, he requested donations for it.  He dubbed this distribution method, which had been tried only a few times previously, “shareware.”
  • The Tit Berrypecker (Oreocharis arfaki) is a species of bird in the Paramythiidae family.  It is also one of the most hilarious and fake-sounding bird names ever.
  • Corcovado is the name of the mountain in Brazil that sits underneath the famous Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue.  It’s also the name of a song by famed Bossa Nova composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, which appears on the excellent Jobim/Frank Sinatra album released in 1967.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio derives its name from the Society of the Cincinnati, itself named for the famed Roman politician and aristocrat Cincinnatus.  Cincinnatus was named dictator of Rome in the 5th century B.C. during a military crisis, and voluntarily relinquished his power.  For this and other deeds he is regarded as one of the heroes of early Rome.
  • John Henry Pruitt (1896 – 1918) is one of only 19 people to receive two Congressional Medals of Honor.  They were from the Army and the Marines, for the same action in World War I.  Pruitt was killed in action on his 22nd birthday.
Enhanced by Zemanta