June 30, 2023

Billsportsmaps’ 15th anniversary throwback: Major League Baseball, 1903 to 1952 [Hand-drawn map].

Filed under: 15th anniversary maps,Baseball,Hand Drawn Maps,Retro maps — admin @ 9:20 pm

Major League Baseball, 1903 to 1952 [Hand-drawn map]

By Bill Turianski on the 30th of June 2023; had its 15th year anniversary, on the 17th of August 2022. So I am posting a series of maps from the early days of this blog. This hand-drawn map was originally posted in November 2007.

Major League Baseball, 1903 to 1952 [Hand-drawn map]
Between 1903 and 1952, there was no franchise movement among the 8 National League and 8 American League baseball clubs. This map shows all the 16 MLB clubs from that time period, with emblems, cap crests and uniform details. Included is an inset map of the Greater New York City area. In the inset map, the locations of Yankee Stadium (NY Yankees), the Polo Grounds (NY Giants), and Ebbets Field (Brooklyn Dodgers) are marked. The evolution of these three NYC clubs’ crests and the evolution of the three ball clubs’ colors are also shown here.

This map would not have been possible without the incredible book “Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century” {at Amazon, here}. That book was researched, written, and illustrated by Marc Okkonen. His artwork for this book can now be found as the main uniform database (from 1900 to 1994) for the Baseball Hall of Fame site “Dressed to the Nines – A History of the Baseball Uniform”…{}

I made this map in early 1993, after my brothers had given me, for Christmas, the now-out-of-print “Baseball Uniforms of the 20th Century” by Marc Okkonen. I used Caran d’Ache watercolor pencils and graphite pencil, on Bienfang semi-transparent paper. In 2023, I added the banner at the top of the map.

May 1, 2023

Billsportsmaps’ 15th anniversary throwback: The American League, established in 1901 as a major league. [Hand-drawn map from 2005.]

Filed under: 15th anniversary maps,Baseball,Hand Drawn Maps,Retro maps — admin @ 4:39 pm

The American League, established 1901 as a major league [Hand-drawn map from 2005]

By Bill Turianski on the 1st of May 2023; had its 15th year anniversary, in August 2022. So I am posting a series of maps from the early days of this blog. This map was originally posted in October 2007.

The National League was established in 1876. It had competition from other pro baseball leagues, most notably the American Association (1882-91). Then for several years at the close of the Nineteenth Century, the National League was the sole major league. That changed in 1901: The Western League had renamed itself the American League for 1900, while it was still a minor league. But the next year – 1901 – the American League broke from the National Agreement, and declared itself a major league. So starting in 1901, there were once again two major leagues in pro baseball, and that has not changed since then. And since 1903, the winner of each league has gone on to play in the best-of-7-game World Series.

I hand-drew this map in 2005. The media I used were Caran d’Ache watercolor-pencils, graphite pencil, and Sharpie markers. Featured on this map are caps, logos, and cap crests from the past, with the ball clubs’ years of existence listed. I usually selected the oldest distinctive logos of each team. The text-box overlays, for each team’s formation-dates and for the logos’ time periods, were done on the computer in 2007. Franchise shifts are also noted. The map was updated and tightened up in 2023. And I added a banner at the top showing the 8 charter members of the 1901 American League, which includes any name-changes or franchise-shifts of those 8 ball clubs {info gleaned from this page at Wikipedia…American League: Charter franchises}.

The map lists every ball club that has played in the American League, since its inception as a major league in 1901. The main map is focused on the Northeast and the Midwest of the United States, which, of course, is the area where all of the original teams of both the National League and the American League were located. There are also 5 inset-maps. One inset-map is of Greater New York City (the New York Yankees), and the other four inset-maps are for areas where the American League expanded to, or moved into: California (the Los Angeles Angels and the Oakand Athletics), the state of Washington (the defunct Seattle Pilots, and then the Seattle Mariners), Texas (the Texas Rangers, and the Houston Astros [who switched over from the N.L. in 2013]), and Florida (the Tampa Bay Rays).

The logos and cap designs were primarily sourced from and from Marc Okkonen’s drawings found at the HoF site Dressed to the Nines.

In the 18-year interim between when I made this map [2005], and now [2023], there have been 5 changes. These following five things I have added to the information on the map…There have been two changes in the names of teams in the American League, there has been one league-status change, and there will be another change – a franchise-shift – after the 2024 season, plus there is one change in the way that the history of the A.L. is officially reported.

A). The two team name changes: 1) in 2008, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays changed their name to the Tampa Bay Rays; 2) in 2022, the Cleveland Indians changed their name to the Cleveland Guardians. B). The league-status change: in 2013, the Houston Astros switched from the National League to the American League. C). The change soon to happen: the Oakland A’s will leave Oakland, CA after 2024, and will move to Las Vegas, Nevada. D). The recent ‘change’ in the history of the American League: according to and official Baseball Hall of Fame baseball historian John Thorn, the New York Highlanders [the present-day New York Yankees] were actually an expansion team, and the franchise has no links to the defunct Baltimore Orioles of 1901-02.

The Baltimore Orioles (II, A.L., 1901-02) went bankrupt in the mid-summer of 1902, following ex-Orioles’ manager John McGraw defection to the New York Giants of the National League. And so the American League took over the operations of the 1902 Orioles for the remainder of the season. Following the 1902 season, the American League, under the directive of commissioner Ban Johnson, placed a franchise, under new ownership, in New York City. The team would turn out to be called the New York Highlanders, and they would play at Hilltop Park, about a mile south of the old Polo Grounds in northern Manhattan Island. (That team would change its name to the New York Yankees in 1913, move into Yankee Stadium in The Bronx in 1923, and then go on to become the most successful ball club in the history of Major League Baseball.) Five players from the 1902 Baltimore Orioles joined the roster of the new 1903 New York Highlanders. There are several reports in the news media, during the August-1902-to-March-1903 time frame, that the defunct 1902 Orioles’ franchise was transferred to new ownership in New York City {see 2 paragraphs below}.

And it is even more complicated than that, as described in this July 2014 article from the NY Yankees fan-site called The Captains’ Blog, Yankees Lose Their Oriole Way: Removes Baltimore Years From Franchise History. Here are some excerpts from that article…“American League President Ban Johnson endeavored to place a team in New York, which, not surprisingly, the incumbent Giants of the National League did everything possible to thwart. Although Johnson wasn’t able to establish a franchise in New York when the A.L. ramped up in 1901, his ultimate plan was to eventually move an existing team into the Big Apple. By many accounts, the Baltimore Orioles were that team.”…“John McGraw was selected to manage the Orioles in 1901, and, he believed, eventually shepherd the team to New York. However, when he learned that Johnson’s plan to reach Gotham didn’t include him, McGraw decided to write his own ticket. Not only did the fiery manager jump ship to the New York Giants in the middle of the 1902 season, but he helped his new bosses gain a majority ownership stake in the Orioles, which he then used to sabotage the franchise. This subterfuge eventually put the Orioles on the brink of collapse, and only by Johnson seizing the reigns was the team able to complete the 1902 season. Then, after negotiating a peace settlement with the National League during the offseason and securing a site for a new ballpark, Johnson folded the tents in the Baltimore and brought his show to the big top in New York.”…“…it could be argued that Johnson was the de facto owner of both the 1902 Orioles and 1903 Highlanders because the A.L. president was largely responsible for constructing their rosters and determining where they played. Who knows, if not for the inhospitable political climate in New York, which forced Johnson to award the franchise to owners backed by the powerful Tammany Hall, the A.L. might have retained control of the team in its early goings. In Yankees Century, baseball historians Glenn Stout and Richard A. Johnson go so far as to say Johnson was basically extorted out of the franchise by Tammany big wig Joseph Gordon, who forced the sale to a syndicate led by cronies Frank Farrell and Bill Devery in exchange for being able to build a ballpark within the city. “To make it happen,” Stout and Johnson wrote, “all Johnson had to do was say yes – and hand the franchise over to Tammany.” [New paragraph]…“Stout and Gordon’s research also showed that the American League footed some of the bill for the construction of the new ballpark, giving further credence to the notion that the league was a “part owner” of the new franchise in New York. Finally, the commissioner’s lawyers directly advanced a legal argument asserting Johnson’s status as owner. In response to a lawsuit filed by the remnants of the Baltimore American League Baseball Club, which asked for a judge to place the team’s assets in receivership, the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Johnson’s attorney…claims that Mr. Johnson, as President of the American League, is continually acting not only as owner of the Baltimore club, but all other clubs of the American League.”…“…[Ban Johnson]‘s mission was to land a franchise in New York, with or without nominal ownership, meaning only one asset had real value: the right to operate as a franchise. This asset was retained by Johnson and eventually conferred to new owners. Had McGraw not instigated a coup, it’s likely that the transition would have preceded more smoothly and with legal blessing. That it did not shouldn’t erase the clear ties that bind the Baltimore Orioles of 1901 to 1902 to the Yankees of the present day.” [Excerpts written by William Juliano /]

Via the Wayback Machine, here is a fascinating thread from…1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History [76 Responses to “1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History”.] In this thread, you can see that John Thorn never addresses the issue, raised by irate commenters, that there is media evidence of a franchise transfer. Here are two, plus a screen-shot of the newspaper article quoted in the second comment. Comment #54…[via the Cleveland Leader from Aug. 27 1902]: “The players, it is said, were given to understand that the franchise of the Baltimore club would be transferred to New York and all hands signed by the Baltimore management switched over there.” Comment #63…[via the Philadelphia Inquirer from March 10, 1903]: “Baltimore franchise will be formally transferred to Gotham and all details announced”. Comment #74: {screenshot of Philadelphia Inquirer from March 10 1903}.

Here’s one more link, from the page, posted by u[deleted] on the 22nd of July 2014, On the nonsense that is BBRef trying to strip the 1901/1902 Orioles from the Yankees history.

February 25, 2023

Billsportsmaps’ 15th anniversary throwback: Negro League Baseball, 1920-1950 (hand-drawn map) [first posted 26 November 2007].

By Bill Turianski on the 25th of February 2023; had its 15th year anniversary, on the 17th of August 2022. So I am posting a series of maps from the early days of this blog. This hand-drawn map was originally posted in November 2007. I have re-posted now, for Black History Month [February].

Negro Leagues map

Denied entrance into Major League Baseball by the color barrier, black ballplayers organized leagues of their own. These were the Negro Leagues, which existed between 1920 and 1957. The primary leagues were the Negro National League (1920-31; and 1933-48); the Negro Southern League, a minor-league (1920-40);  the Eastern Colored League (1923-28); and the Negro American League (1937-57). [For purposes of this map, records will only go to 1950, after which the Negro American League, the last negro league, essentially played exhibition games.] 

There were many standouts in the Negro Leagues, and 37 Negro League players (as of 2022) have been elected to the Baseball Hall Of Fame. The first five elected were Satchel Paige (the legendary right-handed pitcher);  Josh Gibson (catcher, and home run king); James ”Cool Papa” Bell (center fielder, and base-stealer extroardinaire);  Buck Leonard (first baseman, slugger); William “Judy” Johnson (third baseman, with a .349 lifetime batting average); and Oscar Charleston (outfielder, and slugger, with a blend of power and speed; and a .376 lifetime batting average). More information about the Negro Leagues can be found at, and at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at, among other good sites.

Negro League baseball was characterized by fleet-footed action, and hi-jinks, ranging from tomfoolery to deadly serious one-upsmanship. There was more base-stealing than in Major League Baseball, and there was a sense of “playing to the crowd.” The teams knew the fans (particularly the significant portion of white customers) were there to see a show, and the players didn’t disappoint. An example of this was the barnstorming (traveling) club called the Indianapolis Clowns, an outfit similar to the Harlem Globetrotters. But that did not mean that Negro League baseball was an inferior product. During this era, negro baseball squads often defeated white MLB squads in exhibition games. Seasons were generally around 60 to 70 games long. There were no real standardized schedules, and teams operated on a shoe-string budget. 

The Golden Age of the Negro Leagues can be seen as the period from 1933 to 1947. The Washington-Homestead Grays regularly outdrew the Major League Baseball team the Washington Senators in Griffith Park in Washington DC, as they racked up 9 straight Negro National League titles. The Chicago American Giants played in old Comiskey Park, home of the MLB team the Chicago White Sox. The Pittsburgh Crawfords played in the first entirely black-owned ball park, Greenlee Field, and traveled the country in style, in their custom-made bus. The Newark Eagles won the 1946 NNL title, under Effa Manley (the first woman owner-operator to win a championship; she became the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, in 2006). And the Kansas City Monarchs toured the continent with their state-of-the-art portable lighting system. The Kansas City Monarchs would set up shop most anywhere, playing to thousands on a nightly basis. The Monarchs began using lighting for night games in 1930, five years before MLB teams first did. The KC Monarchs ranged throughout the midwest, the upper midwest and Canada. The Monarchs ended up sending more players to Major League Baseball than any other Negro League team. Their star pitcher, Satchel Paige, made more money than most major leaguers. It was an amazing phenomenon, that only ended when blacks were finally able to play in the Major Leagues. In 1947, Jackie Robinson, of the Brooklyn Dodgers, broke the color barrier, and the Negro Leagues days were numbered. Owners saw their star talent go to the white ball clubs, with no financial compensation. By the mid 1950s, the few surviving Negro League clubs were basically playing exhibition games, and the whole era faded away under the public radar. But the legacy of the Negro Leagues cannot be overstated.

I drew the main map in 2001, using Swiss-made Caran d’Ache watercolor pencils and Rapidograph pens. In 2007, after scanning it, I added the flanking segments. I have included the 17 most prominent Negro Leagues ball clubs.


December 2, 2022

Billsportsmaps’ 15th anniversary throwback: The North American Soccer League – 1979 attendance map with logos [first posted 24 October 2007].

By Bill Turianski on the 2nd of December 2022;

NASL 1979 Map with Attendance Figures

1979 NASL (

[Originally posted on 24 October 2007.]
This map shows the 1979 North American Soccer League, whose heyday was in the late 1970s. The NASL averaged 13,084 per game in 1979, and hit its high of 14,201 per game in the following year of 1980. The NASL is most famous for the New York Cosmos and their star-studded roster, but the Vancouver Whitecaps were champions in 1979. The Cosmos had won it in 1977 and 1978, and won it again in 1980. The Cosmos rise (and subsequent fall) was meteoric, to say the least. Before they signed Pele, in 1977, they were playing in a rundown stadium on Randalls Island, drawing 5,000 at best. In the short span of four years, 1974 to 1978, the Cosmos’ average gate went from 3,578 to 47,856.

In 1979 the Cosmos averaged 46,690. That same season, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Vancouver all drew very well, between 22,000 and 27,000. Seattle, and somewhat surprisingly, Tulsa, were drawing respectable crowds in the 16,000-18,000 range. San Jose drew 15,000; Los Angeles, though fielding Johann Cruyff, only drew 14,000. Also, Chicago averaged only 8,000, a poor showing considering the size of the city and the fact that the team was competitive. In retrospect, that last attendance figure could be seen as the writing on the wall. For if a decent team, in a huge city, in middle America, couldn’t pull 10,000 through the turnstiles, then the viability of the whole project was in doubt. Especially with the high salaries of the overseas players.

Growing up in Rochester, New York, I was a devout follower of the Rochester Lancers. Opposing players dreaded the barracks-like atmosphere of their crumbling concrete stadium and its potato patch field. This gave the scrappy, Slavic-heavy Lancers squad a solid home advantage. Before game time, me and my brothers would go up to the top of the stadium and watch the traffic pulling in, trying to will more fans through the turnstiles. In 1979, Rochester had its best gate, 8,600. But it wasn’t enough to keep them alive, and after the 1980 season, the Rochester Lancers of the NASL dissolved. The NASL was dead to me at that point. It died for real, 4 years later. It had existed from 1968 to 1984. Its most vibrant period was from around 1976 to 1981. Pele, Eusebio, Rodney Marsh, George Best, Franz Beckenbauer, Bobby Moore, Giorgio Chinaglia, Trevor Francis, Carlos Alberto, and many more world football legends graced the rosters of NASL teams. The stodgy rules of the game were relaxed, with a striker-friendly 35-yard offside line, and shootouts instead of penalty kicks. The shootouts were awesome. It was a 5-second-Chinese-fire-drill, with the goal keeper usually rushing towards the shooter. The shooter then had to decide whether to elude the keeper, rifle the ball low, or chip it. Offense was further encouraged by awarding points in the standings for goals scored. So even if you lost, you could gets points in the standings.

But the league over-expanded, diluting on-field quality. The league expanded from 16 to 24 teams in 1977, and many franchises shifted to other cities. The clueless new ownership of many franchises aped the Cosmos, overspending on aging internationals and letting domestic talent languish on the bench. When the crowds fell off, the owners bolted. Some also believe that when FIFA awarded the 1986 World Cup to Mexico, instead of the US, it hastened the league’s demise. Still, the NASL ultimately contributed to the overall improvement of the quality of American (and Canadian) players, and their national teams. The US national team has been transformed from also-rans to a competitive force. And no American ever played in the English 1st Division before the NASL. John Harkes was the first, with Sheffield Wednesday, in 1990. Today, the USA is represented in England by the likes of Brian McBride, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, and Kasey Keller on Fulham; Marcus Hanhnemann and Bobby Convey on Reading; Brad Friedel on Blackburn; Tim Howard on Everton; Jonathon Spector on West Ham United, and Jay Demerit on Watford.

November 13, 2022

Billsportsmaps’ 15th anniversary throwback: Hockey of the North Atlantic, circa 1994 [hand-drawn map].

Filed under: 15th anniversary maps,Hand Drawn Maps,Hockey — admin @ 10:12 pm

By Bill Turianski ; had its 15th year anniversary, on the 17th of August 2022. So I am posting a series of maps from the early days of this blog. This map was originally posted in October 2007.


This is a map from my early days of sports maps, back in 1994. I was using a semi-transparent Bienfang watercolor-weight paper. First, I traced, onto that paper, the outlines from an enlarged photo-copied map (from an atlas). Then I used Swiss-made Caran d’Ache watercolor pencils, and plain graphite pencil. As you can see, back then, I was way more into the unbridled use of color and form, and less into accuracy. I can remember, halfway into the map, deciding to put in minor-league hockey clubs, only to realize (pre-Internet) that I had little chance of finding the logos for most of these small clubs. So I improvised: 1993 Ontario Hockey League trading cards I had helped (for logos of teams like the Sudbury Wolves, the Owen Sound Platers, and the Belleville Bulls); and for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams, I just used their names alone. This map has teams from the National Hockey League; the American Hockey League; the aforementioned OHL and QMJHL; and the East Coast Hockey League. Minor league affiliations of all 16 of the 1993-94 AHL clubs are noted by small logos of their parent NHL clubs. (1993-94 AHL/NHL affiliations: Adirondack Red Wings/Detroit Red Wings; Albany River Rats/New Jersey Devils; Binghamton Rangers/New York Rangers; Cape Breton Oilers/Edmonton Oilers; Cornwall Aces/Quebec Nordiques; Fredericton Canadiens/Montreal Canadiens; Hamilton Canucks/Vancouver Canucks; Hershey Bears/Philadelphia Flyers; Moncton Hawks/Winnipeg Jets (I); Portland Pirates/Washington Capitals; Prince Edward Island Senators/Ottawa Senators; Providence Bruins/Boston Bruins; Rochester Amerks/Buffalo Sabres; Springfield Indians/Hartford Whalers; Saint John Flames/Calgary Flames; St. John’s Maple Leafs/Toronto Maple Leafs). After I scanned the drawing in 2007, I cleaned it up slightly, added team names in Arial font, and tightened some of the circles on the map. The player in the map’s legend is New York Ranger goalie Mike Richter, with his Statue of Liberty mask, and in his 1994 NHL All-Star Game uniform. {1994-97 NHL All-Star uniforms (}

Hockey of the North Atlantic, circa 1994 [hand-drawn map]


May 31, 2022

Billsportsmaps’ 15th anniversary throwback: NFL 1920 to 1960 [hand-drawn map].

Filed under: 15th anniversary maps,NFL/ Gridiron Football,Retro maps — admin @ 7:40 pm

By Bill Turianski on the 31st of May 2022;
-National Football League (
-Gridiron Uniforms Database:[NFL]. will have its 15th year anniversary, on the 17th of August 2022.

So to mark the 15th anniversary of my site, I am posting a series of maps from the early days of this blog. Here, I am re-posting my first-ever post {originally, here}. It is a hand-drawn map of the early days of the NFL. This map shows the prominent NFL teams of the period from 1920 to 1960.

    NFL 1920 to 1960 [hand-drawn map]


    There are 35 teams shown on the map. The criteria I used to determine which teams to include on the map, and which teams to leave out, was this: a team (franchise) had to have played at least 4 NFL seasons. So the map shows every NFL team which was established between 1920 and 1960, and which existed for at least 4 seasons.

    Franchise shifts are shown as well, with arrows indicating the franchise relocations. Those franchise relocations I showed on the map are:
    1) 1921: Decatur Staleys move from central Illinois, up to Chicago, to eventually become the Chicago Bears in 1922; 2) 1934: Portsmouth Spartans move from southern Ohio, up to Detroit, to become the Detroit Lions; 3) 1937: Boston Redskins move from Massachusetts, down to the nation’s capital, to become the Washington Redskins; 4) 1946: the reigning 1945 NFL champions the Cleveland Rams move all the way out to the West Coast, to become the Los Angeles Rams; 5) 1960: the Chicago Cardinals move down to Missouri to become the St. Louis football Cardinals.

    The evolution of the football helmet is depicted at the top of the map. The 6 helmets shown at the top of the map are, from left to right:
    1) a generic plain leather football helmet from the late 1910s/early 1920s; 2) Green Bay Packers yellow/gold-painted leather helmet (with multiple round air vents) circa late 1930s; Chicago Bears navy-blue-painted padded leather helmet from the 1940s; 4) Detroit Lions silver-painted plastic-shell helmet from the early 1950s; 5) Cleveland Browns orange plastic helmet with white center-stripe from the early 1950s; 6) Philadelphia Eagles green plastic helmet with silver eagle-wing decal and facemask circa late 1950s.

    Other images of note on the map:
    Helmets shown on the map:
    A) New York Giants dark-blue leather helmet with red-painted sunburst design from 1929; B) Philadelphia Eagles green leather helmet with wavy silver/white painted top section [aka the feather helmet], from 1942 to ’48; C) Los Angeles Rams dark-blue leather helmet with yellow/gold hand-painted rams’ horns design (made and painted by Rams’ Halfback Fred Gehrke) [which was the first helmet-logo in gridiron football history], from 1948; D) Washington Redskins burgundy plastic helmet with white-&-pale-red feather decal on the back-center of helmet, from 1958 to ’64; E) Dallas Cowboys first helmet, a white plastic helmet with a plain dark-blue star decal and two thin dark-blue center-stripes, from 1960 to ’63.

    Players shown on map:
    Inset-map of northeastern Ohio at the top of the map: Jim Thorpe in his Canton Bulldogs gear circa 1920, based on a famous photo, seen at his Wikipedia page, here. Central Illinois: George Halas in Chicago Staleys gear in 1921. This is an anachronism I was not aware of when I drew this map: a few years ago the Gridiron Uniforms Database unearthed the fact that the early Staleys/Bears teams wore red, and not navy-blue-and-orange until 1922. The uniform I have on the map wasn’t in use until 1928, and you can see that by scrolling through the first decade of the Bears’ uniform history, here. And finally, the player tossing the ball in the Packers’ logo on the map is not a particular player, but a generic player, and that is based on the team’s primary logo from the late 1950s, here.

    The list of the 35 teams shown on the map can be found at the foot of this post.

    The American Professional Football Association was formed in 1920, in Canton, Ohio. The APFA changed its name to the National Football League in 1922. Today, only two of the original 1920 franchises, the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) and the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals), remain as NFL franchises.

    The early days of the NFL were marked by franchise instability and public indifference. College football was far more popular, and club finances were further eroded by the onset of the Depression in the early 1930s. Many teams came and went. In fact, there wasn’t a balanced schedule until 1936. In other words, for the first 16 seasons of the NFL, some teams played more games than other teams, and scheduling games was left to the teams themselves (and not the league). The roster of defunct NFL teams would startle the average NFL fan of today. Very few fans who cozy up to their TV each autumn Sunday to watch pro football know that in the early 1930′s, New York City boasted three NFL teams: the New York football Giants, the Brooklyn football Dodgers, and the Staten Island Stapletons (NFL, 1929-32). Or that the list of teams that have won an NFL title include the Frankford Yellow Jackets, of Philadelphia, in (1926), and the Providence Steam Roller in (1928). Or that the Detroit Lions, est. 1934, began as the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans (1930-33). The league soldiered on through the Depression in the 1930s, and by the end of World War II, the NFL was poised for its future success. The post-War era saw the end of leather helmets in the late 1940s. And the post-Wa era also saw a more emphasized passing game, which helped gain more fan interest. By the late 1950′s, television coverage began turning the NFL into the sports entertainment juggernaut it is today.

    To see a list of defunct NFL teams that played for at least 4 seasons, click on the following:
    Chart by billsportsmaps 2022; Canton, Columbus, Dayton, Duluth, Frankford logos drawn by[Defunct Teams]; Milwaukee logo by Darth_Brooks at Defunct NFL Teams

    To see a list of all NFL teams (past and present) shown on the map, scroll down to the foot of this post, under the enlarged map below.

      NFL 1920 to 1960 [hand-drawn map]


      The 35 NFL Teams on the map (which includes every NFL franchise established between 1920 and 1960 which existed for at least 4 seasons)…

    [Teams below listed by: years played, alphabetically, with {NFL titles up to 1960 listed} (and with franchise-shifts noted).]
    1920 APFA (NFL): 10 franchises est. 1920 on the map…
    •Akron Pros, of Akron, OH (1920-26; 1926 as Akron Indians {1920 APFA title}.)/ Defunct.
    •Buffalo All-Americans, of Buffalo, NY (1920-29; 1924 & ’25 as Buffalo Bisons; 1926 as Buffalo Rangers; 1928 team suspended operations {1921 disputed APFA title}./ Defunct.
    •Canton Bulldogs, of Canton, OH (1920-26; in 1924: played in Cleveland, OH as Cleveland football Indians {1922, 1923 NFL titles}.)/ Defunct.
    •Chicago Cardinals (1920-59; 1960: franchise moved to St. Louis, MO as the St. Louis football Cardinals (NFL, 1960-87) {1925, 1947 NFL titles}.)/ Present-day Arizona Cardinals (NFL, 1988- ).
    •Columbus Panhandles, of Columbus, OH (1920-26; 1923-26 as Columbus Tigers.)/ Defunct.
    •Dayton Triangles, of Dayton, OH (1920-29; 1930: franchise moved to Brooklyn NY, as Brooklyn football Dodgers (NFL, 1930-43; 1944 as Brooklyn Tigers.)/ Defunct.
    •Decatur Staleys, of Decatur, IL (1920; 1921: franchise moved to Chicago, IL as Chicago Staleys)./ Present-day Chicago Bears (NFL, 1921- ).
    •Hammond Pros, of Hammond, IN [Greater Chicago, IL]/ traveling team (1920-26.)/ Defunct.
    •Rochester Jeffersons, of Rochester, NY (1920-25.)/ Defunct.
    •Rock Island Independents, of Rock Island, IL (1920-25.)/ Defunct.
    1921 APFA (NFL): 2 new franchises and 1 relocated franchise est. 1921 on the map…
    •Chicago Staleys, of Chicago, IL (orig. est. 1920 as the Decatur Staleys (1920)/ 1921: franchise moved to Chicago, IL as the Chicago Staleys (1921); 1922: changed name to the Chicago Bears {1921, 1932, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946 NFL titles}.)/ Present-day Chicago Bears (NFL, 1921- ).
    •Green Bay Packers, of Green Bay, WI (1921- {1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944 NFL titles}.)/ Present-day Green Bay Packers (NFL, 1921- ).
    •Minneapolis Marines, of Minneapolis, MN (1921-24.)/ Defunct.
    1922 NFL: 1 franchise est. 1922 on the map…
    •Milwaukee Badgers, of Milwaukee, WI (1922-25.)/ Defunct.
    1923 NFL: 1 franchise est. 1923 on the map…
    •Duluth Kelleys, of Duluth, MN/ primarily a traveling team (1923-27; 1926: changed name to Duluth Eskimos.)/ Defunct.
    1924 NFL: 1 franchise est. 1924 on the map…
    •Frankford Yellow Jackets, of Frankford, a section of NE Philadelphia, PA (1924-31 {1926 NFL title}.)/ Defunct.
    1925 NFL: 3 franchises est. 1925 on the map…
    •New York football Giants, of Manhattan, NYC, NY (1925- {1927, 1934, 1938, 1956 NFL titles}.)/ Present-day New York Giants (1925- ).
    •Pottsville Maroons, of Pottsville, PA (1925-28 {1926 disputed NFL title}.)/ 1929: franchise moved to Boston, MA as Boston Bulldogs (1929)/ Defunct.
    •Providence Steam Roller, of Providence, RI (1925-31 {1928 NFL title}.)/ Defunct.
    1929 NFL: 1 franchise est. 1929 on the map…
    •Staten Island Stapletons, of Stapleton, NE Staten Island, NYC, NY (1929-32.)/ Defunct.
    1930 NFL: 1 new franchise & 1 relocated franchise est. 1930 on the map…
    •Portsmouth Spartans, of Portsmouth, OH (1930-33 {1932: lost 1st-ever NFL playoff game to Chicago Bears}.)/ 1934: franchise moved to Detroit, MI as the Detroit Lions (NFL, 1934- )./ Present-day Detroit Lions (NFL, 1934- ).
    •Brooklyn football Dodgers, of Brooklyn, NYC, NY (orig. est. 1920-29 as the Dayton Triangles of Dayton, OH/ 1930: moved to Brooklyn, NYC, NY as the Brooklyn football Dodgers; 1944 as Brooklyn Tigers.)/ Defunct.
    1932 NFL: 1 franchise est. 1932 on the map…
    •Boston football Braves (1932-36; 1934: changed name to Boston Redskins. )/ 1937: franchise moved to Washington, DC as the Washington Redskins (1937-2019; 2020-21:Washington Football Team)/Present-day Washington Commanders (1932- ).
    1933 NFL: 2 franchises est. 1933 on the map…
    •Philadelphia Eagles, of Philadelphia, PA (1933- {1948, 1949, 1960 NFL titles}./ Present-day Philadelphia Eagles (NFL, 1933- ).
    •Pittsburgh football Pirates, of Pittsburgh, PA (1933- ; 1940: changed name to Pittsburgh Steelers)./ Present-day Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL, 1933- ).
    1934 NFL: 1 relocated franchise on the map…
    •Detroit Lions, of Detroit, MI (orig. est. as the Portsmouth (OH) Spartans (1930-33)/ franchise moved to Detroit, MI in 1934 as the Detroit Lions (1934- {1935, 1952, 1953, 1957 NFL titles} .)/ Present-day Detroit Lions (NFL, 1934- ).
    1937 NFL: 1 new franchise & 1 relocated franchise est. 1937 on the map…
    •Cleveland Rams, of Cleveland, OH (1937-42; ’44-45) {1945 NFL title}/ 1946: franchise moved to Los Angeles, CA as the Los Angeles Rams (1946-94; 2016- ) {1951 NFL title}/ 1995: franchise moved to St. Louis, MO as the St. Louis Rams (1995-2015)/ 2016: franchise moved back to LA as the Los Angeles Rams)/ Present-day Los Angeles Rams (NFL, 1937- ).
    •Washington Redskins, of Washington, DC (orig. est. 1934-37 as the Boston Braves/Redskins/ 1937: franchise moved to Washington, DC (1937-2019; 2020: changed name to Washington Football Team; 2022: changed name to Washington Commanders {1937, 1942 NFL titles}.)/ Present-day Washington Commanders (NFL, 1934- ).
    1944 NFL: 1 franchises est. 1944 on the map…
    •Boston Yanks, of Boston, MA (1944; ’46-48)/ 1949: franchise moved to New York City, NY as the New York Bulldogs (1949; 1950: changed name to New York Yanks (1951-51)/ 1952: franchise moved to Dallas Texas as the Dallas Texans (1952/ Defunct).
    1946 NFL: 1 franchises est. 1946 on the map…
    •Los Angeles Rams, of Los Angeles, CA (orig. est. 1937 as the Cleveland Rams (1937-42; ’44-45) {1945 NFL title}/ 1946: franchise moved to Los Angeles, CA as the Los Angeles Rams (1946-94; 2016- ) {1951 NFL title}/ 1995: franchise moved to St. Louis, MO as the St. Louis Rams (1995-2015)/ 2016: franchise moved back to LA as the Los Angeles Rams)/ Present-day Los Angeles Rams (NFL, 1937- ).
    1950 NFL: 2 franchises est. 1950 on the map [AAFC/NFL merger of 1950]…
    •[AAFC-merger team] Cleveland Browns (1950-1995; 1999- {1950, 1954, 1955, 1964 NFL titles}.)/ Present-day Cleveland Browns (NFL, 1950-1995; 1999- ).
    -[AAFC-merger team] Baltimore Colts (I) (1950./ Defunct.) [Not shown on the map.]
    •[AAFC-merger team] San Francisco 49ers (1950- )/ Present-day San Francisco 49ers (NFL, 1950- ).
    1953 NFL: 1 franchises est. 1953 on the map…
    •Baltimore Colts (II) (1953–1983 {1958, 1959 NFL titles}./ 1984: franchise moved to Indianapolis, IN as the Indianapolis Colts (1984- ).)/ Present-day Indianapolis Colts (NFL, 1952- ).
    1960 NFL: 1 new franchise & 1 relocated franchise est. 1960 on the map…
    •Dallas Cowboys, of Greater Dallas-Fort Worth, TX (1960- .)/ Present-day Dallas Cowboys (NFL, 1960- ).
    •St. Louis football Cardinals (est. 1920 as the Chicago Cardinals (1920-59 {1925, 1947 NFL titles}/ 1960: franchise moved to St. Louis, MO as the St. Louis Cardinals (1960-87)/ 1988: franchise moved to Greater Phoenix, AZ (1988- ), as the Phoenix Cardinals; 1994: changed name to Arizona Cardinals.) / Present-day Arizona Cardinals (NFL, 1920- ).


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