Sports in New York's Capital District

The Times Union Center in Albany, the largest sporting and concert venue in the Capital District

Sports in New York's Capital District are not well known but the area has a rich history of professional teams and college athletics.

The "major league" sport of the region is thoroughbred horse racing at the Saratoga Race Course, which has been held annually since 1863 with only a few breaks. The Saratoga Race Course is the oldest racetrack in the US, and possibly the oldest sporting venue of any kind in the country.[1] The Saratoga meet runs for 40 racing days beginning in July and ending on Labor Day,[2] and includes fifteen grade I stakes races. The Travers Stakes, America's "Midsummer Derby" is the highlight of the meet; winners include Man o' War, Whirlaway, Native Dancer, Sword Dancer, Alydar, and Birdstone.

According to legend the game of baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday of Ballston Spa. The Troy Trojans were a Major League Baseball team in the National League for four seasons from 1879 to 1882. In 1883 the New York Gothams, later the New York and San Francisco Giants, took the Trojans place in the National League. Nearly half of the original Gotham players had been members of the Trojans. Many other Major League ballplayers have had their start at various levels in the Capital District, including Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees who once played for the Albany-Colonie Yankees.[3]

NBA head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson won his first championship ring when he guided the Albany Patroons to the 1984 CBA championship. Three years later, the Patroons completed a 50–6 regular season, including winning all 28 of their home games; at that time, Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl was the Patroons' head coach. Future NBA stars Mario Elie and Vincent Askew were part of that season's squad. A third NBA head coach has roots in the Capital District as well, Pat Riley, most famous as the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, but also of the New York Knicks and Miami Heat. Riley played for Linton High School in Schenectady,[4] where he was also a football star. He also played on the Schenectady Little League Baseball team when in 1954 it won the Little League Baseball World Series.

Mike Tyson received his early training in the Capital District and his first professional fight was in Albany in 1985 and Tyson's first televised fight was in Troy in 1986. He fought professionally four times in Albany and twice each in Troy and Glens Falls between 1985 and 1986.

Since 1988, the Siena College men's basketball team (the Siena Saints) have appeared in six NCAA Tournaments (1989, 1999, 2002, 2008, 2009, and 2010).

Since 2005, the University at Albany Great Danes men's basketball team has appeared in four NCAA Tournaments (2006, 2007, 2013, and 2014).

The University at Albany Great Danes women's basketball team has made three consecutive NCAA Tournaments (2012, 2013, and 2014).

Roller derby leagues in the area include Albany's Albany All-Stars Roller Derby,[5][6] Troy's Hellions of Troy Roller Derby.[7] and Capital District Men's Roller Derby.[8]

Professional teams

NCAA college athletic programs

The Dutchman's Shoes trophy is awarded to the winner of the annual college football game between the RPI Engineers and the Union College Dutchmen, the oldest football rivalry in New York.

Other sports

Defunct professional teams

Sports facilities

Sports figures

Many sports figures have connections to the Capital District:

See also


  1. Olmsted, Larry (29 May 2013). "Nation's Oldest Racetrack Turns 150 And Plans Summer Of Fun". Forbes. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  2. Silver, Dan (October 7, 2009). "NYRA Expands 2010 Saratoga Meet by Four Days". New York Racing Association. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
  3. Pietrusza, David. "Capital Region Baseball Time Line Part III: 1951-". Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  4. "Schenectady City School District Hall of Fame & Reunion Pat Riley Biography". Schenectady City School District. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
  5. "Roller Derby Worldwide  :: Find a Roller Derby League". Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  6. "Albany All Stars Roller Derby". Albany All Stars. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  7. Roller Derby Worldwide
  9. O'Brien, Tim. "Ball club to call Albany home". Times Union (Albany). Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved 2009-02-24.
  10. "Albany Dutchmen Unveil New Home Stadium". Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  11. "Head of the Fish". Regatta Central. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  12. Haqqie, Azra (June 4, 2011). "At the end of their finish line: Awareness". Albany Times-Union. Albany, New York. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
  13. "Saratoga Polo Association – home page". Retrieved Dec 18, 2013.
  14. 1 2 Miller, Chuck. "Remembering Albany's Professional Soccer Teams". Retrieved Dec 16, 2013.
  15. "Albany Capitals". NASLHistory. Retrieved Dec 16, 2013.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/28/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.