Who, dear reader, are the most intriguing defunct sports teams to have graced Seattle and the Puget Sound, say, since the turn of the 20th century? Can you name one or even two that captured the spotlight for a brief moment in time?
Well, thanks to the “Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” we have compiled our top ten. Let the drum roll begin:
10. Seattle Smashers, 1978-79. Professional volleyball. Enough said.
9. Seattle Smashers, 1977-78. A world Team Tennis franchise captained by former Seattle University star Tom Gorman. But team tennis? It sounds like an oxymoron.
8. Seattle Steelheads, 1946. A Negro League baseball team that made its debut on June 1, 1946 and split and double-header with the San Diego Tigers at Sicks’ Stadium in front of 2,500 fans. But the league went out of business a month later due to lack of interest.
7. Seattle Reign, 1996-98. Seattle’s first women’s pro basketball team.
6. Tacoma Stars, 1983-92. The Stars played in the Major Indoor Soccer League and were home to former Sounders from the North American Soccer League and some new stars — the swiveling, scintillating Serbians Steve Zungul and Preki.
5. Seattle Pilots, 1969. The franchise was actually relocated to Milwaukee but the Pilots will always live on thanks to Jim Bouton’s Ball Four.
4. Seattle Metropolitans, 1915-24. The Metropolitans were the first pro hockey in Seattle — playing in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. In 1917, The Metros became the first American team to win the Stanley Cup, defeating the Montreal Canadians, three games to one.
3. Seattle Totems, 1957-75. The Totems drew from three teams — Seattle Bombers, Seattle Americans and Seattle Ironmen. Led by diminutive forward Guyle Fielder, the Totems played for the Western Hockey League championship five times, winning three titles. But the team only finished first once in their 10 seasons.
2. Seattle Sounders NASL, 1974-83. The original Sounders captured the hearts of a city, attracting numerous sellouts and featuring former English First Division stars. But the league was poorly managed and the bright lights of soccer went out in less than a decade.
1. Seattle Rainiers/Angels, 1903-06, 1919-68. Named after team owner Emil Sick’s Rainier Brewery, the Triple A Pacific Coast League won five pennants and for three decades served as Seattle’s best summertime entertainment.