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1974-1975 Baltimore Comets

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Baltimore CometsNorth American Soccer League (1974-1975)

Born: NASL expansion franchise
Moved: October 1975 (San Diego Jaws)

Stadiums: 

Team Colors: Maroon & Light Blue

Owners: 

NASL Championships: None

 

The Baltimore Comets were a short-lived North American Soccer League club that lasted just two seasons during the mid-1970’s. The Comets replaced two versions of the Baltimore Bays (1967-1969 and 1972-1973) on the local soccer scene.  Comets Head Coach Doug Millward also coached the 1960’s version of the Bays and six members of the Comets’ 1974 opening day roster were ex-Bays players.

Baltimore CometsThe Comets were competitive in 1974. The club posted a 10-8-2 record in its expansion season and qualified for the playoffs. Fullback Geoff Butler and striker Peter Silvester earned NASL First Team All-Star honors. Silvester earned league Most Valuable Player honors after scoring 14 goals in 18 appearances. The Boston Minutemen eliminated the Comets 1-0 in the playoff quarterfinal on August 15th, 1974.

The Comets struggled financially from the outset. The Comets team put puny crowds into 45,000-seat Memorial Stadium. An announced crowd of just 4,120 showed up for the club’s home opener in 1975. Less than a month later Memorial Stadium authorities evicted the Comets for missed rent payments. The Comets were forced to move the rest of their 1975 home schedule to Burdick Field at Towson State University.

The Comets finished in last place (5th) in the NASL’s Eastern Division in 1975 with a 9-13 mark. Baltimore’s attendance of 2,641 per game was worst in the 20-team NASL.  In October 1975, San Jose car dealer Ken Keegan purchased the Comets and moved the franchise to San Diego where they became the San Diego Jaws.

After several further moves and name changes, the franchise that started out as the Baltimore Comets became the San Diego Sockers in 1978. The Sockers became an indoor soccer dynasty as the American pro soccer scene shifted indoors during the 1980’s. The franchise played on for nearly two decades, finally closing its doors in 1996.

Baltimore Comets

 

Baltimore Comets Shop


Comets Retro T-Shirt by Throwback Max

Ian Plenderleith Definitive Account of the “Short Life & Fast Times of the North American Soccer League

 

Baltimore Comets Memorabilia

During the 1974 season, the Baltimore Comets published cheap-looking 8-page black-and-white pamphlets for match programs. In 1975 the Comets, along with the rest of the NASL, switched to an attractive magazine format called KICK which blended local and national league content.

The Comets produced a media guide in 1974. Presumably one exists for the 1975 season as well, but we’ve never come across one in more than a quarter century of collecting.

 

Links

North American Soccer League Media Guides

North American Soccer League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

September 4th, 2016 at 12:05 pm

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