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Headlines
 
Baseball Major League Baseball cancels minor league season due to COVID-19.
              June 30, 2020
Birmingham Barons logo   In an unprecedented decision, Major League Baseball has informed Minor League Baseball that it will not be providing its affiliated minor league teams with players for the 2020 season.

As a result, there will not be a minor league baseball season in the U.S. during 2020, which includes the Birmingham Barons.
     
     
Football The AF3 postpones inaugural season due to COVID-19.
              June 30, 2020
AF3 logo   The AF3 issues a press release saying its inaugural season has been postponed due to concerns and restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There has been a lot of time spent over the last 18 months, making sure that AF3 would launch on solid ground. It was a painful decision to have to delay the fruits of a lot of hard work by many people, but it was not a difficult decision when you look at the data and talk to the professionals. These tough decisions have been made with long term sustainability of the league in mind," said AF3 CEO and founder, Mike Zak, Sr.
     
     
Football Will Birmingham play in the new Major League Football?
              April 2020
Major League Football logo   A proposed football league planned for the fall of 2020 has indicated that Birmingham is a potential inaugural franchise location.

Major League Football hopes to field 32 teams across the nation.

Oddly, there is already an organization that has been using the name Major League Football since 2015. It also lists Birmingham as a possible team in their league as well.

This latest league also claims to own the trademark to "Major League Football".

While 2020 is their target, the league stresses that the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic could force a move to 2021.
     
     
COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic halts professional sports world-wide.
  March 2020
COVID-19 coronavirus image   Within the span of two weeks, the COVID-19 novel coronavirus has forced every professional sports league in the United States to cancel or suspend operations.

This has been done as an effort to stop the rapid spread of the deadly virus that originated in China back in November of 2019.

Countries all over the globe have resorted to various tactics; closing borders, instituting travel restrictions, and limiting the crowd size of any event.

COVID-19 is a particularly aggressive strain that produces flu-like symptoms but is considered more harmful to older adults or those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The hope is that limiting everyone's exposure for a couple of weeks will have a dramatic effect on the virus's spread.
     
     
Football The local AF3 team will be called the Birmingham Vulcans.
              November 7, 2019
Birmingham Vulcans logo   The city's entry in the proposed developmental indoor football league will be called the Birmingham Vulcans.

The Arena Football Developmental league team will play in the Bill Harris Arena.

The league also announced names for the other five teams; the East Ridge Reapers, Florida Firecats, Georgia Blaze, Rome Rage, and Tennessee Oilers.
     
     
The Birmingham Legion make the United Soccer League playoffs.
          October 20, 2019
Birmingham Legion logo   Despite losing their final regular season game, the Birmingham Legion make the United Soccer League - Championship playoffs in their first year of existence.
     
     
Football Will Birmingham play in the Arena Football Developmental league?
              October 13, 2019
Arena Football Developmental logo   A new indoor football league plans to start play in April 2021, and Birmingham is one of the cities named for possible franchise placement.

The Arena Football Developmental league, referred to as the AF3, will most likely begin with cities located in the Southeast.

Other cities in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee are also being considered.

The league's founder, Mike Zak, wants to make the AF3 the safest football league possible. This will be done by using soft-shell helmets instead of the traditional hard-shell helmets, and numerous blocking and tackling rules such as no tackles below mid-thigh.
     
     
Local sports legend Art Clarkson has died.
  October 7, 2019
      Art Clarkson
   
Art Clarkson, one of the all-time giants of professional sports in Birmingham, died today at the age of 78.

Clarkson has done more to bring professional sports to Birmingham than anyone else. His genius was in the area of promotions, and he did it well.

His first brush with Birmingham was when he worked for the World Football League's Southern California Sun in 1974. In 1975, he moved over to the WFL's Memphis Southmen to work for John Bassett. In 1976, Bassett would move his World Hockey Association's Toronto Toros here where they became the Birmingham Bulls.

In 1981, Clarkson brought the Southern League's failing Montgomery Rebels to town. In a nod to our prior baseball history, he renamed the team the Birmingham Barons. During his time with the Barons, he was an instrumental force in having a new baseball park built in Hoover.

After selling the Barons in 1990, Clarkson switched his focus from baseball to hockey. In 1992, the East Coast Hockey League's Birmingham Bulls took the ice, named in honor of Bassett's hockey team from the 70's. After six years, he sold his ownership stake in the Bulls.

Once again switching sports, Clarkson moved from hockey to football, more precisely, indoor football. In 1999, Clarkson helped create an indoor football league that became the Arena Football League's developmental league, the af2. The Birmingham Steeldogs were inaugural members of that league but, unfortunately, Clarkson was an owner of the Huntsville Vipers, not the Steeldogs.

After working with an indoor football team in Green Bay, Clarkson felt it was time to retire and moved back to Birmingham.

But a outstanding promoter like Clarkson can't stay retired for long, and in 2016 he decided to bring the Bulls back to Birmingham. In 2017 his idea became reality, when the Southern Professional Hockey League's Birmingham Bulls took the ice. Before that first faceoff occurred, he was a major driving force in a multi-million dollar renovation of the Pelham ice arena.

Sadly, in May of this year Clarkson stepped down as managing partner of the Birmingham Bulls due to health issues.

On October 7, just 11 days from a new season, Art passed away quietly at his home.

Since this website is a historical look at Birmingham's professional sports teams, I have always tried to keep my personal opinions off these pages. However, Art Clarkson was a rare individual who tried to better this city, and to encourage athletes at all levels.

He will be sorely missed and we may never see another like him.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Kathy, and their children.
     
     
Football Will the CoFL's Alabama Hawks move to Birmingham?
              September 7, 2019
NEW
ADDITION
FROM
1969
 
      Alabama Hawks logo
   
In desperate need of new opportunities, more fans, and more money, the Huntsville-based Alabama Hawks play their final two home games in Birmingham's Fair Park stadium.

The Hawks were successful in both games on the field, but suffered their lowest attendance of the season in the stands.

The Hawks had joined the Continental Football League in 1968, moving from the Professional Football League of America.

The Continental Football League started in 1965.

Sadly, both the Hawks and the league folded after the 1969 season.
     
     
What's in a name?
What's In A Name?   For the teams that suited up and played, you're probably well aware of their team names.

But what about the teams that were proposed but never played any games?

Do you think you know all their names?

You might remember some of them, but I'll bet there are a few you've never heard before.

Click here to check out my page dedicated to all the team names and find out just how good your memory really is!
     
     
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Last update: July 01, 2020