Saturday, March 7, 2015

New York's Teams: How They Debuted

In honor of New York City FC's 1st game that counts, tomorrow, here is how every other New York major league sports team played theirs:

May 1, 1883: New York Gothams -- eventually known as the Giants. At the original Polo Grounds in Manhattan (111th Street and 5th Avenue), they beat the Boston Beaneaters (today's Atlanta Braves), 7-5.

May 1, 1884: Brooklyn Atlantics -- eventually known as the Dodgers. In Washington, they lost to Washington, 12-0. (They won their next 3, though.)

April 22, 1903: New York Highlanders -- eventually known as the Yankees. At National Park in Washington (predecessor to Griffith Stadium), they lost to the Washington Senators (today's Minnesota Twins), 3-1.

October 11, 1925: New York Giants (football). At the Providence Cycledrome in Rhode Island, they lost to the Providence Steam Roller, 14-0. (The Steam Roller went out of business in 1931.)

December 2, 1925: New York Americans. At Duquesne Gardens in Pittsburgh, beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-1. (The Pirates, named for the city's baseball team, became the Philadelphia Quakers in 1930, and went out of business a year later.)

November 16, 1926: New York Rangers. At "the old Madison Square Garden," they beat the Montreal Maroons, 1-0. (The Maroons went out of business in 1938.)

September 13, 1931: Brooklyn Dodgers (football). At Universal Stadium in Portsmouth, Ohio, lost to the Portsmouth Spartans, 14-0. (These Dodgers went out of business in 1944, while the Spartans became the Detroit Lions in 1934. The site, now named Spartan Municipal Stadium, was rebuilt after a fire in the 1990s, and now hosts high school games.)

November 1, 1946: New York Knickerbockers (Knicks for short). At Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, beat the Toronto Huskies, 68-66. (The Huskies may have played the first 1st game in NBA history, but only played the league's 1st season, and went out of business.)

September 11, 1960: New York Titans -- eventually known as the Jets. At the Polo Grounds, beat the Buffalo Bills, 27-3.

April 11, 1962: New York Mets. At Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-4.

October 23, 1967: New Jersey Americans -- known today as the Brooklyn Nets. At the Teaneck Armory in Teaneck, New Jersey, lost to the Pittsburgh Pipers, 110-107. (The Pipers would win the ABA title in that 1st season, but would go out of business in 1972. The Armory still stands, but no longer hosts sporting events.)

April 17, 1971: The Original New York Cosmos. At Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, lost to the St. Louis Stars, 2-1. (The Cosmos, and the North American Soccer League as a whole, went out of business in 1985. The reborn Cosmos are still in North American soccer's "second division," so I won't count these "CosFauxs" here.)

October 7, 1972: New York Islanders. At the Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, lost to the Atlanta Flames, 3-2. (This was also the Flames' first game. They moved to Calgary in 1980.)

October 5, 1982: New Jersey Devils. At the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford (now the Izod Center), tied the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-3.

April 13, 1996: New York/New Jersey MetroStars -- eventually known as the New York Red Bulls. At the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1.

June 21, 1997: New York Liberty. At the Forum in Inglewood, California, beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 67-57. (As with the Knicks, this was the 1st game in the history of their league.)

March 8, 2015: New York City Football Club. They play Orlando City F.C., also making their competitive debut, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

UPDATE: A 2nd-half goal by Mix Diskerud seemed to give NYCFC the win, but Brazilian legend Kaka scored for Orlando City in stoppage time, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

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