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074: Clive Toye

8/13/2018
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Soccer America columnist (and Episode #6 interviewee) Paul Gardner summed up this week's Hall of Fame guest in his May 2015 commentary: “The debt owed by American soccer to Clive Toye is a vast one. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say, flatly, that without Toye’s blind faith in the sport in the 1970s, pro soccer in the USA would have withered and died. Yes, Phil Woosnam and Lamar Hunt and Bob Hermann were there too. But in those unpromising years it was Toye’s voice -- it came in...

Duration:01:45:04

073: The Union Association’s Wilmington Quicksteps – with Jon Springer

8/6/2018
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Professional baseball was barely into its adolescence in 1884 when a hard-playing, hard-drinking minor league club out of tiny Wilmington, Delaware―the Quicksteps―got the opportunity of a lifetime. Led by prototypical early era stars like loud-voiced outfielder/team captain Tommy “Oyster” Burns (aka the “Wilmington Growler,” who sold shellfish in the off-season), and Canadian-born curveball pioneer Edward “The Only” Nolan (who was briefly blacklisted from the National League for lying...

Duration:01:35:03

072: Baseball’s “Miracle” Boston Braves with Historian Charlie Alexander

7/30/2018
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When you’re the oldest continuously operating franchise in baseball (or in all of American professional sports, for that matter), you’re bound to have some stories – and the proverbial dusty boxes of history sitting in the attic of the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park are certainly full of them. This week, we rope in noted baseball historian Charlie Alexander (The Miracle Braves, 1914-1916) to delve into one of the more interesting and oft-forgotten periods of Braves baseball history, when...

Duration:01:19:52

071: National Soccer Hall of Fame Coach Al Miller - Part Two

7/23/2018
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We conclude our conversation with National Soccer Hall of Fame coach Al Miller, who shares a wide array of additional recollections, anecdotes, musings, and insights from a legendary career across US outdoor and indoor soccer, including: Please check out our great sponsors Podfly, SportsHistoryCollectibles.com and Audible!

Duration:01:28:35

070: National Soccer Hall of Fame Coach Al Miller

7/16/2018
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In February 1973, the suddenly ascendant North American Soccer League hurriedly awarded a new franchise to Philadelphia construction magnate Thomas McCloskey, despite the league’s fast-approaching season start date of May 1st. The result of some Super Bowl VII arm-twisting by Kansas City Chiefs (and NASL Dallas Tornado) owner Lamar Hunt after helping McCloskey secure last-minute tickets, the team that would soon become the Philadelphia Atoms had only three months to move from birth to...

Duration:01:20:07

069: The “Rebel” World Hockey Association with Ed Willes

7/9/2018
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Fresh off of kicking pro basketball’s establishment in the teeth with the launch of the upstart American Basketball Association in 1967, inveterate sports entrepreneurs Dennis Murphy (see also: World Team Tennis, Roller Hockey International) and Gary Davidson (World Football League) turned their attention to an even riper target of opportunity in 1971 – the monopolistic and monochromatic 12-team National Hockey League. Their broadside against the NHL was the audaciously aspirational World...

Duration:01:34:25

068: The Birth of Major League Baseball’s World Series with SABR Historian Steve Steinberg

7/2/2018
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At the beginning of the 20th century, the professional game of baseball had already taken on much of its modern shape – where pitching and managerial strategy dominated, and “manufactured” offense meant taught and tense contests, albeit often with limited scoring. Stretching roughly from 1901-19, the period dubbed the “Deadball Era” by baseball historians saw teams play in expansive ball parks that limited hitting for power, while featuring baseballs that were, by modern-day comparison,...

Duration:01:20:31

067: Behind-the-Scenes Tales from the Front Office with Thom Meredith

6/25/2018
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Our World Cup fever has yet to break, and we spend this week reveling in some of the heretofore unexplored (at least on this podcast) nooks and crannies of modern-day American pro soccer history with one of its most unsung front office heroes. In a career spanning over four decades, sports PR and event management executive Thom Meredith has proverbially “seen it all” across some of US sports’ most remarkable leagues, franchises and governing bodies – including remarkable (and sometimes...

Duration:02:10:20

066: Sports Broadcaster JP Dellacamera

6/18/2018
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Fox Sports soccer play-by-play broadcaster extraordinaire JP Dellacamera joins the podcast this week to discuss a pioneering career in sports announcing spanning over 30 years – including calling this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia – his ninth consecutive men’s quadrennial assignment since Mexico ’86. Widely acknowledged as the original voice of US Soccer, Dellacamera’s calls have become synonymous with some of modern-day American soccer’s most indelible moments – including his...

Duration:01:30:37

065: The CFL’s American Expansion Experiment with Sportswriter Ed Willes

6/11/2018
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As Johnny Manziel’s pro football comeback journey wraps up a promising pre-season with the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, we take a moment this week to reminisce on the approaching 25th anniversary of the CFL’s bold, but ultimately ill-fated attempt to bring its exciting brand of pigskin south of the border in 1993. When the NFL put the brakes on its two-year World League of American Football experiment in the summer of 1992 (which included a franchise in Montreal, dubbed...

Duration:01:58:03

064 :American Soccer’s “Dark Ages” with Writer Michael Agovino

6/4/2018
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It wasn’t easy being a soccer fan in the United States in the 1980s. While the 24-team North American American Soccer League ushered in the decade with an air of stability and momentum (the NASL even sold a pennant labeling the game the “Sport of the 80’s”), it wasn’t long before big-time American pro soccer was dangerously on the ropes (the NASL shrank to just nine franchises by 1984) – and then seemingly gone for good when the league officially sank into oblivion in early 1985. For a...

Duration:01:27:24

063: Baseball's Federal League with Author Dan Levitt

5/28/2018
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In late 1913, the newly formed Federal League of Base Ball Clubs – more simply known as the “Federal League” – declared itself a third major professional baseball league in competition with the established circuits of organized baseball, the National and American Leagues. Led by inveterate baseball promoter John T. Powers, and backed by some of America’s wealthiest merchants and industrialists, the Federal League posed a real challenge to baseball’s prevailing structure at the time –...

Duration:01:35:09

062: The Whaler Guys

5/21/2018
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It’s been 21 years since the National Hockey League’s Hartford Whalers abruptly bolted for the (supposedly) greener pastures of North Carolina and a rechristened life as the Carolina Hurricanes, but don’t tell that to superfans Peter Hindle and Jerry Erwin – the self-professed “Whaler Guys” – who have made it their personal mission since 2011 to keep the memory of the franchise they love alive, and, with any luck, bring top-tier pro NHL hockey back to the Nutmeg State. As the hosts of...

Duration:01:29:17

061: Sports Promoter Doug Verb

5/14/2018
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If someone ever decides to build an American sports promotion Hall of Fame, the inaugural class will undoubtedly be led by this week’s special guest, Doug Verb. In a career spanning more than 40 years in professional sports management, Verb’s remarkable career has included spearheading marketing, promotion, publicity, and television for some of the most innovative and memorable leagues and franchises of the modern era. One of the founding executives of both the pioneering Major Indoor...

Duration:03:06:36

060: Baseball’s League That Never Was: The Continental League with Professor Russ Buhite

5/7/2018
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By the summer of 1959, the absence of two former National League franchises from what was once a vibrant New York City major league baseball scene was obvious – and even the remaining/dominant Yankees couldn’t fully make up for it. Nor could that season’s World Series championship run of the now-Los Angeles Dodgers – a bittersweet victory for jilted fans of the team’s Brooklyn era. Fiercely determined to return a National League team to the city, mayor Robert Wagner enlisted the help of a...

Duration:01:22:39

059: Pro Soccer’s Dean of Media Relations, Jim Trecker

4/30/2018
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With a career spanning more than four decades, the National Soccer Hall of Fame’s 2017 Colin Jose Media Award-winner Jim Trecker has been part of the American sports media relations landscape since the late 1960’s. After a chance part-time undergrad job in Columbia University’s modest sports information department, Trecker traded his initial career ambitions in French language education for what ultimately became an unmatched professional journey in public relations at the highest levels...

Duration:01:54:14

058: The Intersection of Sports & Art with Artist/Designer Wayland Moore

4/23/2018
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Internationally acclaimed multi-media artist/illustrator/designer Wayland Moore joins the podcast from his studio in suburban Atlanta to discuss his nearly six-decade career as one of America’s most recognizable commercial artists – including some of his most notable works in the realm of professional sports. Designer of such iconic team logos such as pro soccer’s Atlanta Chiefs (National Professional Soccer League, 1967; North American Soccer League, 1968-73 & 1979-81); and, most...

Duration:01:02:19

057: The Pro Football Life of Upton Bell

4/16/2018
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Upton Bell grew up at the knee of the National Football League’s second-ever commissioner – his father, the legendary Bert Bell – who not only saved professional football from financial ruin in the aftermath of World War II, but also became one of its greatest innovators. Originator of the iconic phrase “on any given Sunday,” the senior Bell created lasting contributions to the NFL, such as the first pro football draft, scheduling parity, television revenue-sharing, and sudden-death...

Duration:02:05:24

056: The Players’ League of 1890 with Professor Bob Ross

4/9/2018
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With Major League Baseball finally back in full swing, we dial the Wayback Machine all the way back to the year 1890, when the professional version of America’s Pastime was still nascent, its business model was largely unproven, and the players of the day seethed at their team owners’ increasingly restrictive operating practices – to the point of dramatic and open revolt that ultimately set the contentious tone of owner-player relations for baseball and all of US pro sports for generations...

Duration:01:33:42

055: Russ Cline and the Birth of Modern-Day Indoor Box Lacrosse

4/2/2018
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Our first-ever (and long-overdue) exploration of the sport of professional lacrosse begins with a conversation with one of the godfathers of the modern indoor game, Russ Cline – founder (along with partner and fellow Kansas City sports promoter Chris Fritz) of 1987’s seminal four-team Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League (soon renamed the Major Indoor Lacrosse League) – and the progenitor of today’s vibrant National Lacrosse League that spans 11 cities across the US and Canada. Cline walks...

Duration:01:23:15