Sadly, since the failure of the National Hockey League Cleveland Barons in 1978, Pro Hockey has been very much a minor sport in the Cleveland area, with several teams coming and going..
In saying all that, I want to look back to a time where Minor League Hockey was major sports news in Northeast Ohio..The Original Cleveland Barons of The American Hockey League were the classiest organization in the AHL..Players would spend years in Cleveland, preferring the Barons to life in the NHL..
WJW-AM 850 FM 104.1 Cleveland
Sponsor was Pilsener Brewing Company, whose "P.O.C." (Pride Of Cleveland) Beers were big at the time..
Ad from the Lorain Journal..From a Historical Lorain County Website
TV Highlight listing for the Providence Reds At Cleveland Barons,
November 19, 1949..
The way games were broadcast in this era was much different than today..On both Radio and TV, Only the third period was broadcast, meaning that most often the broadcast/telecast would not start until 9:30 or 10:00 or later for night games..I guess it wasnt worth it for sponsors to buy a 2-3 hour window for games..
It would seem that WJW Radio had a pregame show at 9:45 with the action starting at 10. WEWS would join in progress at 10 for the Saturday games..
There was also many Saturday Nights that a wrapup show. "With The Barons" would air late at night on Channel 5.. As for the Barons themselves, they finished first in the AHL Western Division with a 45-15-10 record for 100 points, 19 points ahead of the second place Indianapolis Capitals, though the Capitals beat the Barons 4 games to 0 in the Calder Cup Finals in 1950..This is the only Cleveland Pro Hockey Team ever to hit 100 points during a regular season..
Goalie Johnny Bower, after many years in Cleveland, would go on to a Hall Of Fame Career for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Below is the Barons' Record for the televised games only. As indicated above, all telecasts were at home, though WJW Radio and its Barons Network broadcast all games, Home and Away..A couple of notes:The team was 18-1-1 in these games, and average attendance was 8,684 fans for the televised games..Listing includes W-L, final score and attendance for each game.
Harry Jones, (Later Sports anchor-Indians announcer for WJW-TV 8) Browns Writer Harold Sauerbrei and John Dietrich filed stories on these games for the Plain Dealer..
WEWS Cleveland Barons/1949-50
October 22 Cincinnati-Won 4-3 7325
October 29 Buffalo-Won 9-3 8214
November 5 Indianapolis-Won 4-3 8338
November 12 Buffalo-Won 5-0 9076
November 19 Providence-Won 7-6 9114
November 26 Cincinnati-Won 9-3 9354
December 3 Pittsburgh-Tied 2-2 9571
December 10 New Haven-Won 8-2 9021
December 17 Hershey-Won 7-1 8114
December 31 Cincinnati-Won 5-1 6894
January 7 New Haven-Won 4-0 8084
January 14 Indianapolis-Won 10-0 10,318
January 15 Pittsburgh (Sunday Afternoon)-Lost 3-5 8256
February 4 Indianapolis-Won 7-3 10,087
February 11 New Haven-Won 7-0 7857
February 18 Buffalo-Won 6-2 10,411
February 25 Providence-Won 6-2 8214
March 4 Cincinnati-Won 4-3 8879
March 11 Providence-Won 8-5 7856
March 18 Indianapolis-Won 5-3 8692
I realize people here are'nt big hockey fans for the most part, but I wanted to show in some way, just how big the sport was in The Cleveland area, and try to dig out some history that may be lost otherwise..It would be great to find some old radio games from this era, or even the 60's-early 70's..