July 12, 2012
(Editor's Note: Longtime baseball uniform expert and author Morris Levin writes weekly for Authentically Speaking.)
By Morris Levin
Yesterday, this blog posted an image of the WHA's Cleveland Crusaders cap now for sale here on the online shop. The World Hockey Association was a rival professional hockey league to the NHL from 1972 to 1979. The NHL's Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, Hartford Whalers, and Winnipeg Jets have their roots in the WHA.
During the height of the Great Depression in 1937, local businessman Albert C. Sutphin built the Cleveland Arena on Euclid Avenue as a playing site for his AHL team, the Cleveland Barons. The Barons played at the 9,500-seat arena until 1973. Nick Mileti had purchased the arena and Barons in the late 1960s and was the founding owners o the NBA's Cavaliers.
The WHA opened play in 1972 which depleted the talent of the American Hockey League and purchased the rights to start a new WHA team to compete at the "major league" level. He named the team the Cleveland Crusaders and moved the Barons to Jacksonville. The Crusaders played at the Arena for two seasons and then moved with the Cavs to the brand new suburban Richfield Coliseum in 1974.
In 1976, the NHL transferred the San Francisco-Oakland franchise to Cleveland, renamed the club the Cleveland Barons, and displaced the Crusaders. Barons beats Crusaders.
More Throwbacks Coming Up: It will be 1989 all over again when the Mets play at San Diego on Aug 3. Both teams will be wearing jerseys from that season.
The Mets part of a three year period with a pull over jersey and block lettering spelling out “NEW YORK,” while the Padres were in the second-to-last season of wearing the brown pinstripes with orange trim at home.
Authentic Store Buzz: Please join us a week from today, July 19, as we welcome former Philadelphia Atoms soccer goalkeeper, and current Philadelphia Union broadcaster Bob Rigby to our Center City Philly store meeting with fans and signing autographs from 11:30-12:30.
Rigby, a Philadelphia-area native, helped lead the Atoms to the 1973 North American Soccer league Championship in his and the team’s rookie season, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, as the Atoms were the first U.S. team in any sports to win a professional championship in its first season.
We’ll have a reprint of the SI cover for Bob to sign. Hope to see you at out store as the soccer community in the Philly region will be alive with the MLS All Star Game the following week.
Authentically Speaking Trivia Time: Who was the last position player (non kicker/punter) to play without a facemask in the NFL ? Answer on Friday.
Wednesday’s answer: The Atlantic Coast Conference in 1963-64.
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