January 27, 2017

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 6 comments

Jacksonville's getting minor league hockey again.

When I lived in Fort Worth in the 1990s I saw a few Fort Worth Fire games. That was some cheap entertainment.

posted by rcade at 12:27 PM on January 27

I remember when various levels of hockey league play came to south Florida in the early 1970's. It was fairly astonishing. I had no idea that there were so many transplanted upper North Americans in the region that could play capable hockey. They were stoked to be getting competitive ice time, so they went all out. The games didn't draw a ton of fans, so the sounds of the game plus the hollering of the faithful few in the seats echoed through the building with great clarity and detail.

Filling rosters was an all ages cattle call, so the teams were a mix and match culture clash. The older guys were beefy and played old school hockey. Not a helmet to be found among 'em. The younger guys were more slender, faster, and mostly helmeted. The games largely belonged to the older guys, but the younger ones had their moments of glory.

Bold colored sweaters with lots of auto parts and hardware store sponsorship.

A player would score three goals and a lonely individual golf visor or boating cap would waft out onto the ice.

posted by beaverboard at 01:38 PM on January 27

There was a minor league team here in Nashua many years ago. I can't remember the league or even the team name.They didn't last very long, but their legacy is a good one. The building they played in was turned into a State liquor store that has an extensive selection of wine.

posted by Howard_T at 07:16 PM on January 27

Huh, I didn't know you lived in Nashua, Howard! This isn't related to hockey but I felt like sharing with a fellow Granite Stater: I grew up nearby in Merrimack, and have fond memories as a child of going to Nashua's Coleman stadium in the 1980s when they had a couple of minor league affiliates (the Nashua Angels and Nashua Pirates, I believe). My dad used to do the radio broadcast for those teams when they had home games, before Clear Channel basically killed local radio. It's why I've been a lifelong fan of baseball; when I'd go to the games with him I got to sit in the press box and keep score while watching from one of the best seats in the house, get to meet the players. I even vaguely recall watching minor league legend Sam Horn (who became the mascot of the most rabid Red Sox site on the internet) take batting practice when he was on the AA Sox affiliate, and little me was in awe of those tape measure shots.

posted by hincandenza at 05:05 AM on January 28

Hey there, fellow denizen (or at least former) of Lower Quebec. I have umpired on the field at Holman Stadium many times. The AA team that was there in the 1940s was a Dodgers' farm team that had Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe on the roster. The manager was a guy named Alston. Later on the team was a Pirates' affiliate, with such as Bobby Bonilla playing here. An independent league team came in and the city hired the guy who took care of the KC Royals and Chiefs stadium to teach the Parks and Rec guys how to groom the field. He did well, because there's not a bad hop there. He used to bitch at us when we were doing high school and Babe Ruth games because he was afraid we would harm the turf. There's a wooden bat league team there during the season now. It used to be managed by the brother of the Boston Red Sox radio broadcaster, Neverett. Nashua has always been a really good baseball town.

posted by Howard_T at 04:47 PM on January 29

Thanks for sharing, man! I've been comfortable settled in Seattle for about 22 years, but still root for the Boston teams and have fond memories of small town minor league ball.

posted by hincandenza at 09:26 PM on January 29

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