Friday Flashback:  American Professional Slo-Pitch Softball League


In 1977, the Amercian Professional Slo-Pitch Softball League (APSPL) began the first professional softball league.  The league opened with teams in Balitmore, New York, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Kentucky, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minnesota and Chicago.  They also had some strange nicknames whether from sponsors or just plain “goofy” such as the Minnesota Goofys.  

Sports promoter Bill Byrne created the APSPL after his experience with the World Football League and the Women’s Professional Basketball League.    The league began in May of 1977 and featured several top amateur teams who were willing to spend more money to compete on a professional level.  

The league lasted from 1977-1980 when it merged with another league but by the late 1980s professional softball died.

The most dominate teams in the league were the Detroit Caesars and Milwaukee Schlitz.  Detroit captured two “world series” titles while Milwaukee claimed three.

The Caesars (sponsored by Little Caesars Pizza played home games at Memorial Field near Detroit.  A crowd of 9,000 turned out for their first game in June 1977.  The Caesars were led by Ronnie Ford who hit 88 home runs and drove in 196 in only 267 at bats.  The Caesars were the best team in the league in 1977 with a record of 42-14 and swept the Baltimore Monuments in four games to win the APSPL World Series.


For more information on the APSPL and yearly standings, visit http://www.angelfire.com/sad/slopitch/pro.html

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Friday Flashback:  American Professional Slo-Pitch Softball League


In 1977, the Amercian Professional Slo-Pitch Softball League (APSPL) began the first professional softball league.  The league opened with teams in Balitmore, New York, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Kentucky, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Milwaukee, Minnesota and Chicago.  They also had some strange nicknames whether from sponsors or just plain “goofy” such as the Minnesota Goofys.  

Sports promoter Bill Byrne created the APSPL after his experience with the World Football League and the Women’s Professional Basketball League.    The league began in May of 1977 and featured several top amateur teams who were willing to spend more money to compete on a professional level.  

The league lasted from 1977-1980 when it merged with another league but by the late 1980s professional softball died.

The most dominate teams in the league were the Detroit Caesars and Milwaukee Schlitz.  Detroit captured two “world series” titles while Milwaukee claimed three.

The Caesars (sponsored by Little Caesars Pizza played home games at Memorial Field near Detroit.  A crowd of 9,000 turned out for their first game in June 1977.  The Caesars were led by Ronnie Ford who hit 88 home runs and drove in 196 in only 267 at bats.  The Caesars were the best team in the league in 1977 with a record of 42-14 and swept the Baltimore Monuments in four games to win the APSPL World Series.


For more information on the APSPL and yearly standings, visit http://www.angelfire.com/sad/slopitch/pro.html

American Ultimate Disc League Standings

West Division

  1. San Francisco FlameThrowers (8-0)
  2. Seattle Cascades (6-3)
  3. Vancouver Riptide (3-4)
  4. LA Aviators (2-3)
  5. San Jose Spiders (2-5)
  6. San Diego Growlers (1-7)

East Division

  1. Toronto Rush (8-1)
  2. DC Breeze (6-4)
  3. New York Empire (4-3)
  4. Montreal Royal (4-6)
  5. Ottawa Outlaws (2-5)
  6. Philadelphia Phoenix (0-5)

Midwest Division

  1. Madison Radicals (7-0)
  2. Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (6-3)
  3. Minnesota Wind Chill (6-3)
  4. Indianapolis AlleyCats (5-4)
  5. Chicago Wildfire (3-5)
  6. Detroit Mechanix (3-5)
  7. Cincinnati Revolution (0-11)

South Division

  1. Dallas Roughnecks (9-0)
  2. Raleigh Flyers (6-3)
  3. Atlanta Hustle (4-5)
  4. Austin Sol (4-5)
  5. Jacksonville Cannons (4-5)
  6. Charlotte Express (3-5)
  7. Nashville Nightwatch (1-8)

ESPN3 Game of the Week:  Saturday, June 4 – Pittsburgh at Madison

Nightwatch Report:

Nashville lost in Dallas 34-23 for their sixth straight loss.  For a brief moment on Sunday, the Nightwatch held a lead on the Roughnecks when Jake Wright connected with Blake Waldron for the first score of the game.  It was the first time all season that Dallas had trailed in a game.   The Nightwatch will be off this weekend but return to action next Saturday when they host the Atlanta Hustle.

Team Of The Week:  El Paso Chihuahuas


The Chihuahuas are one of the more unique nicknames in sports today.  Every time I think about this time I can envision a bunch of chihuahuas running out onto the field to take their positions.  I also wonder what the players think when they are assigned to this Triple A club for the San Diego Padres.   Well, it could be worse.  We might feature some of those teams later.

The Chiuahuas came into existence during the midst of several franchise changes in minor league baseball.  The Tucson Padres moved to El Paso in 2014.  A name-the-team contest was held which also consisted of Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Desert Gators and Sun Dogs.  Not sure what a “desert gator” is.

The Chiuahuas won a division title last season but fell short in the Pacific League playoffs to the Fresno Grizzlies.

El Paso is currently 29-22 and first place in the Pacific Coast League Southern Division.  They are led by Right Fielder Alex Dickerson with a .411 batting average.  Daniel McCutchen leads the pitching staff with a record of 5-3 and an ERA of 6.79.   

Friday Flashback:  Atlanta Fire Ants


In the 1990s roller hockey was a fad on the rise and a professional league called Roller Hockey International (RHI) was created.  In 1994, the Fire Ants took the floor of the Omni Coliseum as one of 12 expansion teams in the summer of 1994.  The Fire Ants played only one season in Atlanta and finished with a record of 10-10-2.  Finishing in fourth place in their division, they managed to qualify for the playoffs but were swept by the Minnesota Arctic Blast in two games.

The leading scorer for the Fire Ants was Tony Szabo with 31 goals in 22 games.  

The Fire Ants averaged 3,388 fans at home and ranked 16 out of 24 teams in attendance.  The franchise was moved to Oklahoma City following the season.

The RHI was in operation from 1993-1999.  

Is the NHL season over yet?


No it isn’t.  Last night the San Jose Sharks eliminated the St. Louis Blues to advance to the Stanley Cup final which they will await the winner of Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay.  Yep, the Stanley Cup Finals will begin around Memorial Day weekend.  There was a story yesterday that TV ratings for the NHL playoffs are very low.  One reason given is that there are no major markets like Chicago, New York, LA or Canadian teams in the the playoffs.  Honestly, no one wants to watch the playoffs now unless their team is in it.  One reason people might not be watching is because it is almost summer and people want to be outside or watching sports of the season.  It’s hard to watch hockey on TV when you associate it with a winter sport.

My proposal would be to shorten the NHL playoffs from best-of-7 series to best-of-5 games.  Also ending the regular season the first weekend of April would help keep the playoffs mostly in the month of April where the seasons are changing.   

Or you could just put all the major market/Canadian teams in their own conference so you could guarantee that they would be in the Stanley Cup Final.

Personally I think the ice hockey should end when the ice melts.  

American Ultimate Disc League Standings


Western Division

  1. San Francisco FlameThrowers (7-0)
  2. Seattle Cascades (6-3)
  3. Vancouver Riptide (3-2)
  4. Los Angeles Aviators (2-3)
  5. San Jose Spiders (1-5)
  6. San Diego Growlers (1-7)

Eastern Division

  1. Toronto Rush (6-1)
  2. DC Breeze (6-2)
  3. New York Empire (4-3)
  4. Montreal Royal (3-5)
  5. Ottawa Outlaws (1-4)
  6. Philadelphia Phoenix (0-5)

Midwest Division

  1. Madison Radicals (6-0)
  2. Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (6-2)
  3. Minnesota Wind Chill (6-2)
  4. Indianapolis AlleyCats (4-3)
  5. Chicago Wildfire (2-5)
  6. Detroit Mechanix (2-5)
  7. Cincinnati Revolution (0-9)

Southern Division

  1. Dallas Roughnecks (7-0)
  2. Raleigh Flyers (5-3)
  3. Jacksonville Cannons (4-3)
  4. Atlanta Hustle (4-4)
  5. Austin Sol (4-5)
  6. Charlotte Express (2-5)
  7. Nashville Nightwatch (1-7)

ESPN 3 AUDL Game of the week:   Jacksonville at Raleigh (Saturday, May 28)