Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1978-1979 Indy Daredevils

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Indy DaredevilsAmerican Soccer League (1978-1979)

Born: 1978 – The New England Oceaneers relocate to Indianapolis, IN
Folded: Postseason 1979

Stadium: The Butler Bowl

Team Colors:

Owner: Bob Stoppenhagen

ASL Championships: None


The Indy Daredevils were a short-lived 2nd Division soccer club that played at the Butler Bowl in Indianapolis during the late 1970’s.

The 1978 Daredevils squad posted a 8-13-3 record, good for 3rd place in the American Soccer League’s Eastern Division. The Daredevils lost to the New Jersey Americans in the first round of the 1978 playoffs. Forward Steve Newman tied for second in the ASL with 14 goals despite missing five matches. The club selected goalkeeper Pete Mannos as it’s Most Valuable Player.

Off the field, the ‘Devils led the 10-team league in attendance in 1978, with a reported average of 4,376 fans per game.

Indy’s second campaign was a mess from the outset. The Daredevils ran out of money early in the season. Club owner Bob Stoppenhagen and head coach Sam Donnelly raged against one another in the pages of The Indianapolis Star. Stoppenhagen fired the second year coach. At one point, the ‘Devils went through five head coaches in the span of one month. The team finished the under the direction of Dr. Martin Funderberger, a local opthamologist who volunteered to coach the team for free for the final two months of the season.  The team finished 8-17-3 and out of the playoffs.

The Daredevils played their final game at the Butler Bowl on August 26, 1979, pulling out a 4-1 victory against the Columbus Magic. The club folded during the winter of 1979-80. The American Soccer League went out of business in early 1984.


Indianapolis Daredevils Shop

Daredevils Retro T-Shirt by Throwback Max

American Soccer League Logo T-Shirt by Ultras


Indianapolis Daredevils Memorabilia



1978 American Soccer League Attendance Summary



American Soccer League Media Guides

American Soccer League Programs



Written by Drew Crossley

December 1st, 2017 at 3:34 am

1979-1987 Indianapolis Checkers

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Indianapolis Checkers ProgramCentral Hockey League (1979-1984)
International Hockey League (1984-1987)

Born: 1979 – CHL expansion franchise.
Folded: Summer 1987


Team Colors: Blue, Orange & White



The Indianapolis Checkers were the top farm club of the NHL’s New York Islanders during the Isles’ NHL dynasty era of the early 1980’s.  During the Checkers’ five years in the Central Hockey League, New York owned the club directly.  The Islanders went to the Stanley Cup finals in all five of those seasons, winning four times.  Meanwhile, the Checkers won the Adams Cup championship of the CHL in back-to-back seasons in 1982 and 1983.

In May of 1984, the Central Hockey League collapsed, leaving only the Checkers and the Salt Lake Golden Eagles able to go on.  Both clubs were accepted into the International Hockey League that summer.  As part of the transition, the Islanders sold the Checkers to former Pittsburgh Penguins owner Al Savill.  Although the Islanders still sent a few prospects, they moved their primary farm club to Springfield, Massachusetts.  The Checkers also received players from the Boston Bruins and Minnesota North Stars.

In 1985, Savill sold the team to Larry Woods.  Woods moved the Checkers out of their long-time home at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum into the massive and more expensive Market Square Arena.  The Checkers played two seasons at Market Square before shutting down due to heavy financial losses in the summer of 1987.

After one winter without hockey in 1987-88, the IHL expanded back into the Indianapolis with the formation of the Indianapolis Ice (1988-1999) the following year.


Indianapolis Checkers Memorabilia



Central Hockey League Media Guides

Central Hockey League Programs

International Hockey League Media Guides

International Hockey League Programs


August 9, 1954 – Indianapolis Indians vs. American Association All-Stars

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Indianapolis Indians vs. American Association All-Stars
August 9, 1954
Victory Field
Attendance: 10,948

American Association Programs
20 pages


21-year old Herb Score pitched the first two innings of the 1954 American Association All-Star Game for the host Indianapolis Indians.  He blanked a team of All-Stars culled from the Association’s other seven clubs and it was no surprise – Score was the finest minor league ballplayer in the country that summer.  For the season, Score led the Association in wins (22), innings (251.0) E.R.A. (2.62) and strikeouts (an incredible 330!)

In fact, the entire 1954 Indianapolis club was a fearsome bunch.  They came into the game with a commanding 15.5 game lead in the American Association pennant race.  Score’s minor league roommate and lifelong friend, Rocky Colavito, mashed 38 home runs and drove in 116.  This was the first American Association All-Star Game in eight years, but before the annual exhibition went on hiatus in 1947, the All-Star squad defeated the host team six consecutive times.  That streak came to a halt at Indianapolis’ Victory Park (later known as Bush Stadium) as Indianapolis prevailed 3-2 before a near capacity crowd of 10,948.

Score was named the 1954 Sporting News Minor League Player-of-the-Year.  The following summer he was promoted to Cleveland and won American League Rookie-of-the-Year honors, with 16 wins and a league-leading 245 strikeouts.  In 1956 he was even better (20-9, 2.53 ERA) and Cleveland fans salivated over possessing one of the dominant hurlers of the American League through the 1960’s.  In early 1957, a few months before Score’s third Major League campaign, Boston Red Sox General Manager Joe Cronin reportedly offered the unprecedented sum of $1 million to buy the 23-year old’s contract from Cleveland.  Indians’ GM Hank Greenberg refused.

But Score’s life was marked by extraordinary propensity towards freak accidents and illness.  As a toddler, he was run over by a truck and later in childhood was bedridden for nearly a year with rheumatic fever.  As a high schooler, he had an appendectomy and fractured his ankle playing basketball.  On May 7, 1957 Score started a game against the New York Yankees at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.  In the first inning Gil McDougald of the Yankees smashed a line drive back up the middle that struck Score, breaking bones in his face and damaging his eye.  He would miss the rest of the season.   Making a comeback the following year, Score tore a tendon in his arm.  After the arm injury, he never regained his form as dominant pitcher.

The Indians traded Score to the White Sox in 1960.  Meanwhile back in the minors, the Indianapolis Indians had changed Major League parent clubs several times during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  By 1962, Indianapolis was a White Sox farm club, although it still used the “Indians” name.  Score found himself back in Indianapolis for most of the 1962 season, appearing in 26 games and winning 10.  But the Score’s time was over and after 20 more games in Indianapolis in 1963 he retired at age 30.

Score returned to Cleveland as the Indians’ television and (later) radio play-by-play man in 1964.  He stayed for 34 seasons, retiring in 1997.  Score passed away in 2008 at age 75.  The Indianapolis Indians continue to play to this day and are the second oldest minor league baseball team in America, trailing only the Rochester Red Wings in longevity.


Written by AC

February 7th, 2014 at 11:29 pm

1975-1978 & 1983 Indiana Loves

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World Team Tennis (1975-1978)
TeamTennis (1983)

Born: November 1974 – The Detroit Loves relocate to Indianapolis, IN
Folded: November 9, 1978
Re-Born: November 23, 1982 – Team Tennis expansion franchise.
Folded Again: 1983


Team Colors: Green, Burgundy & Gold


WTT Championships: None


The Indiana Loves were a four-year member of Billie Jean King’s kooky, colorful World Team Tennis experiment during the mid-1970’s.  The franchise started out as the Detroit Loves in WTT’s inaugural season of 1974, but was unsuccessful there.  At the end of the season, the original owners sold out to Indianapolis businessman and tennis aficionado William Bereman, who kept the Loves name and moved the club to Indianapolis’ Market Square Arena for the 1975 campaign.

The Loves’ main attraction was the young Lithuanian-American golden boy Vitas Gerulaitis, who came to Indiana for the 1977 season after the Pittsburgh Triangles, his original WTT employer, went out of business.  Gerulaitis was 23 years old at the time and coming into his own as a rising star in both the singles and doubles game.  He won the Australian Open in 1977 (in what would be his only Grand Slam singles title) and was a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 1977 and 1978.  Gerulaitis’ sister Ruta Gerulaitis also played for the Loves.

The Loves also featured a handful of top notch doubles players, including Aussies Allan Stone (also the Loves’ coach for all four seasons), Dianne Fromholtz and Geoff Masters.

The Loves had a losing record in all four seasons they played in Indianapolis, bottoming out in World Team Tennis’ final season of 1978 with a last place 13-31 record.  Shortly after the 1978 season concluded, eight of the ten World Team Tennis franchises folded causing the demise of the league.

A re-organized, lower-budget version of World Team Tennis came back in 1981.  In November 1982, former owner Bill Bereman announced that the Loves would return to the revived league in July 1983 after a four year absence. Bereman announced plans  to play at the 8,000-seat Indianapolis Sports Center.

I’m not sure what became of Bereman after that announcement. A team did play under the Indiana Loves name the following summer, but it never set foot in the state of Indiana. The Loves played the entire 1983 Team Tennis season as a travel team in other league cities and then quietly went out of business once and for all.


==Indiana Loves Programs on Fun While It Lasted==

Season Date Opponent Score Program Other


1978 6/16/1978 vs. Phoenix Racquets ?? Program


==In Memoriam==

Vitas Gerulaitis died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning at a friend’s home on September 17, 1994.  He was 40.

Loves Owner & President Bill Bereman passed away in April 1996 at age 54.

Former Loves Director of Publicity Jep Cadou died on October 21, 2003 at age 80.




World Team Tennis Media Guides

World Team Tennis Programs


November 29, 1969 – Indianapolis Capitols vs. Orlando Panthers


Indianapolis Capitols vs. Orlando Panthers
Continental Football League Division Playoffs
November 29, 1969
Bush Stadium

Continental Football League Programs
52 pages


I’m posting this rare but rather dull-looking Indianapolis Capitols (1968-1970) football program today because we’re shipping it out to a collector in Indiana tomorrow and I think we’re unlikely to see one of these again.  This program was from the dying days of the Continental Football League (1965-1969), a nationwide organization that could never quite make-up its mind whether it wanted to be a rival to the AFL & NFL or a subsidized farm system for the established leagues.

For minor league football cultists this semi-final playoff game featured a dream match-up at quarterback between the young African-American signal caller for the Caps, Johnnie Walton, and Don Jonas of the Orlando Panthers.  Walton was on loan to the Caps from the Los Angeles Rams’ taxi squad.  He was the Most Valuable Player in the Continental League in 1969 and went on to a fascinating journeyman career in the NFL, WFL and USFL right up through the mid-1980’s.  You can read more about Walton in this earlier Caps article.

If anything, Jonas was even better than Walton in the Continental League.  He won three consecutive MVP awards from 1966 to 1968 and led the Panthers to the league championship game in all three seasons, winning in 1967 and 1968.  Walton finally pried the MVP award loose in 1969 and he also beat Jonas and the Panthers on this night in Indianapolis, 27-7.  The Caps went on to win the final championship of the Continental League two weeks later on December 13th, 1969, also at Bush Stadium.

The Continental Football League folded in early 1970 and both the Caps and the Panthers were instrumental in its demise, as both jumped to the lower-budgeted Atlantic Coast Football League.  Both franchises played one final season in the ACFL in 1970 before folding for good.

Jonas moved on to the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts in 1970.  In 1971 he joined the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and had a spectacular season, passing for 4,036 yards and winning the league’s Most Outstanding Player Award.  Throughout his career, Jonas typically threw a pile of interceptions along with his gaudy yardage and touchdown stats.  1971 was no different and it’s kind of remarkable that he won Most Outstanding Player honors while throwing 31 interceptions.



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