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Good Seats Still Available

Sports & Recreation Podcasts

“Good Seats Still Available” is a curious little podcast devoted to the exploration of what used-to-be in professional sports. Each week, host Tim Hanlon interviews former players, owners, broadcasters, beat reporters, and surprisingly famous "super fans" of teams and leagues that have come and gone - in an attempt to unearth some of the most wild and woolly moments in (often forgotten) sports history.

“Good Seats Still Available” is a curious little podcast devoted to the exploration of what used-to-be in professional sports. Each week, host Tim Hanlon interviews former players, owners, broadcasters, beat reporters, and surprisingly famous "super fans" of teams and leagues that have come and gone - in an attempt to unearth some of the most wild and woolly moments in (often forgotten) sports history.


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“Good Seats Still Available” is a curious little podcast devoted to the exploration of what used-to-be in professional sports. Each week, host Tim Hanlon interviews former players, owners, broadcasters, beat reporters, and surprisingly famous "super fans" of teams and leagues that have come and gone - in an attempt to unearth some of the most wild and woolly moments in (often forgotten) sports history.




261: Baseball's Most Unlikely Hall of Famer? - With Tom Alesia

"Dave Bancroft should not be in the Hall of Fame." That's how this week's guest Tom Alesia's new book "Beauty at Short: Dave Bancroft, the Most Unlikely Hall of Famer and His Wild Times in Baseball's First Century" starts - a curious way to begin the first (and only) biography of one of Cooperstown's most underappreciated inductees. A competent, if not unremarkable major league shortstop (Philadelphia Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Braves, Brooklyn Robins), and manager (Braves;...


260: The World Football League - With Ryan Hockensmith

We revisit the endlessly fascinating World Football League - and its enigmatic founder/first commissioner Gary Davidson - with senior writer Ryan Hockensmith ("The Renegade Who Took On the NFL [And the NBA and the NHL]"). Drawing on recent interviews with Davidson, former NFL defectors Larry Csonka & Paul Warfield, and previous podcast guests Howard Baldwin & Upton Bell, Hockensmith delves into some of the more memorable (and a few of the truly unbelievable) historical moments...


259: Howard Baldwin Returns!

Hollywood film producer (Ray; The Game of Their Lives; Sudden Death) and original New England/Hartford Whalers founder/owner Howard Baldwin (Slim and None: My Wild Ride from the WHA to the NHL and All the Way to Hollywood) returns after a three-year absence to help fill in some of the gaps left over from Episode 100, and to dish on "new" territory from his hard-to-believe career, including:


258: The (Original) USFL's Washington Federals - With Jake Russell

With the rebooted (though still potentially trademark-infringing) USFL now in full swing, we take a look back at one of the clubs from the original version that didn't make the cut this time around - the Washington Federals. Washington Post sports reporter Jake Russell ("As the USFL Restarts, A Look Back at the Washington Federals") takes us inside his pursuit to decode the numerous curiosities of one of the first league's poorest-performing franchises - both on the field (a 7-22 record...


257: New York's Shea Stadium - With Matthew Silverman

It's the 60th year of New York Mets baseball, and we celebrate this week with a look back at the transformational multipurpose facility they called home for 45 seasons - including three of the club's four NL pennants and its only two World Series championships - Shea Stadium. Matthew Silverman (Shea Stadium Remembered: The Mets, The Jets, and Beatlemania) takes us back to the origin story behind the conceptually named "Flushing Meadow Park Municipal Stadium" - which began almost...


256: The Women's Professional Basketball League (WBL) Player Roundtable

We take it hard to the tin this week, with a lively roundtable reminiscence of the oft-overlooked, but undeniably influential Women's Professional Basketball League (WBL) of 1978-81 - with four of its pioneering players that helped pave the way for today's flourishing female pro hoops scene. Liz "Bandit" Galloway McQuitter (Chicago Hustle); Charlene McWhorter Jackson (Hustle, Washington Metros, Milwaukee Does, St. Louis Streak); Adrian Mitchell-Newell (Hustle, Streak; LPBA Southern...


255: Minnesota's Metropolitan Stadium - With Stew Thornley

Baseball historian, Minnesota Twins official scorer and Episode 114 guest Stew Thornley ("Metropolitan Stadium: Memorable Games at Minnesota's Diamond on the Prairie"), returns for a fond look back at the semi-iconic structure that helped secure "major league" status for the Twin Cities in the early 1960s. Known simply as "The Met" by area locals (or even the "Old Met" to distinguish from the downtown Minneapolis Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome that effectively replaced it in 1982),...


254: American League Baseball Expansion/Relocation History - With Andy McCue

Long-time Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) contributor and "Mover and Shaker: Walter O'Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball's Westward Expansion" author Andy McCue joins the podcast to discuss his provocative new book "Stumbling Around the Bases" - a persuasive account of the American League's consistently haphazard approach to expansion and franchise relocation during baseball's modern era: ​"​From the late 1950s to the 1980s, baseball’s American League mismanaged integration...


253: "Out of Their League" - With Dave Meggyesy

​A pro football​ player who protests against the actions of his government, is shunned by ​the league establishment, and eventually ​winds up out of the ​game, working for social justice. ​ No, it's not Colin Kaepernick​; it's the 1960s NFL saga of a former St. Louis Cardinals linebacker named Dave Meggyesy. A 17th-round draft pick in 1963 out of Syracuse, Meggyesy was a steady presence and reliable performer for seven mostly mediocre Cardinal seasons (save for a 1964 season-ending Bert...


252.5: The TVS Television Network - With Howard Zuckerman [Archive Re-Release]

[A September 2017 archive re-release favorite with the production wizard behind behind early network TV coverage of the World Football League & North American Soccer League of the 1970s!] On January 20, 1968, a frenzied crowd of 52,693 packed the Houston Astrodome to witness the #2-ranked University of Houston Cougars nip the #1 (and previously undefeated) UCLA Bruins in a college basketball spectacle that legendarily became the sport’s “Game of the Century.” In addition to the record-sized...


252: "A False Spring" - With Pat Jordan

Pat Jordan grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut where, in the mid-1950s, he became a highly pursued pro baseball prospect as a young pitching phenom in local Little League and as a high school ace at Fairfield Prep. On July 9, 1959, after being pursued by more than a dozen Major League Baseball organizations (MLB's first amateur draft didn't start until 1965), Jordan signed a then-record $36,000 "bonus baby" bounty to join the National League's Milwaukee Braves - where he reported to the...


251: The Indoor Soccer Travails of Keith Tozer

We traverse a fascinating litany of top-tier North American professional indoor soccer leagues with pioneering player, record-setting coach and now, current Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) commissioner Keith Tozer. In a pro career spanning more than 40 years, Tozer has literally done it all in the indoor game: Tozer is not only the winningest coach in indoor pro soccer history (amassing over 700 wins), but one of the most successful overall US soccer coaches of all time. Buckle up...


250: Arena Football's New York Dragons - With Gregg Sarra

We reminisce about the original Arena Football League and its curious dalliances with the New York metropolitan area, with veteran Newsday sports writer/columnist Gregg Sarra - who not only regularly covered franchises like the 1997-98 New York CityHawks and the Long Island-based New York Dragons (2001-08), but also even played an actual game with one of them - and lived to tell (and write) about it. After beat-reporting two woeful seasons' worth of CityHawks games at the "World's Most...


249: New York Cosmos Soccer - With Werner Roth

It's another bucket-list conversation with one of Tim's favorite players from the legendary New York Cosmos of the original North American Soccer League - defender extraordinaire​ (and de facto club keeper-of-the-flame) Werner Roth. A childhood émigré of his native Yugoslavia in the mid-1950s, Roth spent the bulk of his youth in New York City - cutting his semi-professional teeth in the heavily ethnic, regionally competitive and historically influential German American Soccer League with...


248.5: Baseball’s Continental League - With Professor Russ Buhite [Archive Re-Release]

[We dig out from last week's major winter storm with a fan-favorite Archive Re-Release from 2018!] 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...


248: 2004's Pro Cricket - With Steve Holroyd

Fresh off his appearance on last month's Year-End Holiday Roundtable Spectacular, fellow defunct sports enthusiast Steve Holroyd returns to the show for a dive into the deep end of the "forgotten sports" pool, with a look back at the little-remembered, but ahead-of-its-time Pro Cricket from 2004. An attempt to quickly capitalize on the venerable sport's faster-paced Twenty20 format launched in England a year earlier, Pro Cricket was essentially a rogue creation formed outside of...


247: The St. Louis Browns - With Ed Wheatley

After hiding in plain sight for the better part of five years, we finally take an initial swing at the deeply fascinating story of baseball's original "lovable losers" - the St. Louis Browns. St. Louis native and keeper of the flame Ed Wheatley ("St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team" & "Baseball in St. Louis: From Little Leagues to Major Leagues") knows a thing or two about this most forlorn, but curiously beloved American League franchise of yore (1902-53); as the President of...


246: The Pittsburgh Maulers - With Tom Rooney

As we continue to debate the general wisdom of resurrecting the intellectual property of the original short-lived 1980s version of the United States Football League - as well as question the viability of launching yet another spring pro football circuit - our attention this week turns to one of the eight chosen "franchises" for the new USFL launching this April. Of course, memorably well-supported originals like the Tampa Bay Bandits, New Jersey Generals, Birmingham Stallions, and the...


245: Integrating the Negro Leagues - With Sean Forman

We geek out this week with Sports Reference, LLC founder and president Sean Forman ("The Negro Leagues are Major Leagues: Essays and Research for Overdue Recognition") for an inside look into the complex and detailed process of integrating the statistics of the recently elevated Negro Leagues into the official records of Major League Baseball. Advocated for decades by countless baseball researchers and historians - and buoyed by MLB's long-overdue proclamation in December 2020 that seven...


244: "Dixieball" - With Thomas Aiello

Valdosta State University Professor of History and African American Studies Thomas Aiello ("Dixieball: Race and Professional Basketball in the Deep South") joins our first podcast of the New Year - with an intriguing look into the tortuous history of pro hoops in America's Deep South. While NBA fans take today's Hawks and Pelicans as historical "givens," their very existences belie the Sunbelt South's complicated economic and social relationship with professional sports during the modern...