BY Stanley Holmes 07:37AM 02/16/2011

Nobody asks but us

Many sports franchises have come and gone from the Puget Sound region. Question is, which are the most intriguing Top 10 teams in Seattle pro sports history?

Ron Santo worked for the now defunct Rainiers before going to play for the Chicago Cubs / David Eskenazi Collection

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.


  • RadioGuy

    I’m with Tyrell.  What’s considered a “bad” year from Ichiro was still enough to lead the team in hits, runs, steals, batting average and on-base percentage.  It’s relative.

    I fail to see how a guy who batted all of .188 last year is an improvement over Ichiro leading off, so hopefully it’s all a means of showcasing Figgins for a trade.  One plus with Ichiro moving to third is the possibility that he’ll alter his swing just enough to bring in more doubles and homers, since he’s supposed to be such a batting practice power threat (it’s a lot easier to reach the fences when the pitcher is grooving them in for you).  Let’s see if Ichiro will do it in a real game off a real pitcher.  Still, he wasn’t the problem last year.

    The pre-2011 Figgins would’ve really helped in 2011, but he spent the entire season sulking over not leading off and it showed at the plate and in the field, although I’m sure he managed to cash his paycheck a lot quicker than he left the batter’s box whenever the rare occasion to make contact came up.  Trade him, cut him and eat his salary, do whatever, but keeping (and caving in to) Chone Figgins after he undercut the team last year sends the wrong message to young players in camp who are trying to become reliable MLBers.  I’d rather take my chances with Seager or Liddi.

  • jafabian

    Ichiro’s “down year” is so overrated.  If the entire batting lineup had his 2011 stats the team would have at least had a winning record. I don’t like Figgins being named the leadoff hitter and an every day player when he hasn’t lived up to expectations at all.  There’s players in the minors who could care less where they are in the lineup and don’t have the attitude of “I’m a leadoff hitter and nothing else”.  Have to admit though if Figgins turns it around it wouldn’t surprise me.  IMO, he simply isn’t comfortable batting anywhere else but in the leadoff slot.  I say let him work it out and then trade him.

    Ackley had a better OBP than Ichiro but played in only 90 games and isn’t the basestealing threat Ichiro is.  I still think Ichiro is the best person to be leading off but it wouldn’t surprise me if this move is more for Figgins benefit than it is for Ichiro’s.  If he ends up hitting .290 and steals 40 bases (which is what the M’s had been predicting when they signed him) then the move will be a success.