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Kiss 'em Goodbye: An ESPN Treasury of Failed, Forgotten, and Departed Teamsby Dennis Purdy
Synopses & Reviews
THEY’RE GOING, GOING, GONE. . . .
Their names roll off the tongue, a litany of the damned: the Providence Steam Roller, the Wilmington Quicksteps, the Cincinnati Porkers. They are the lost squads of professional sports history—teams forsaken by fans, fleeced by owners, or forgotten by time. Until now.
Kiss ’Em Goodbye unearths the real stories of dozens of vanished teams that once graced—and often disgraced—North America’s big leagues. Like the St. Paul Apostles, the only major league team never to have played a home game; Card-Pitt, the NFL’s World War II doormat; and the Philadelphia Quakers of the NHL, a team owned jointly by bootleggers and a retired boxer who climbed back into the ring to help meet payroll.
In obituaries for both big-city franchises that skipped town (the Baltimore Colts, the Brooklyn Dodgers) and small-town teams that had their brief moment of glory (the Tonawanda Kardex, the Pottsville Maroons), Kiss ’Em Goodbye commemorates mysterious fires, waterlogged basketball courts, fields tended by goats (“cheaper than mowers!”), and uniforms that broke team budgets. It’s all here in a fascinating, hilarious, page-turning celebration of teams that prove it’s not whether you win or lose, but that you once played the game.
"Noted baseball historian Purdy (Baseball on the Brain) is a storehouse of esoteric knowledge about very short-lived teams, whose histories are, otherwise, virtually unknown. Tackling 86 of them, this volume lends itself best to bedside, toilet or coffee-table reading, but the fact-dense writing doesn't stir much of a spark; chapter titles are cleverer than content ('Chump Ball,' 'Hell in Troy,' 'Athletically Incorrect'). Still, the material proves intriguing, especially for its regional flavors: the Hollywood Stars once featured Elizabeth Taylor as a bat girl; the Duluth Eskimos, who reigned in Minnesota before the Vikings, 'spent less time at home than any other team in professional sports history' due to weather and stadium conditions. Purdy also covers the famous Brooklyn Dodgers, and how they came to be known as 'Dem Bums,' as well as the forerunners to the Chicago White Sox, the White Stockings of St. Paul. Other sports are also represented by teams like basketball's Virginia Squires, 'geniuses of disorganization and controversy.' With dozens of essays on the teams of yesteryear, this volume could serve as a cogent treasury of two centuries in sport, but its too-brief pieces fail to engage." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Dennis Purdy is the author of Super Football Challenge, Baseball on the Brain, and The Team-By-Team Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball.
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