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Same Name, Different Game
Basketball, baseball or football. The team nickname, Hornets, has been used several times
- Photo: 4/18/57 - Article: 4/19/57. The Hornets nickname was used intermittently for baseball teams beginning in 1908. On opening night of the 1957 season, Charlotte’s players were easily identified by the large patch depicting the hornets’ nest over their hearts. The Charlotte Hornets baseball team was gone by 1972, replaced in 1976 by the Charlotte Orioles.
- Photo: 10/8/74 (Jim Wilson) - Article: 10/9/74. The hornet mascot was also claimed by the short-lived World Football League team. Fans cheered the team on for just over a year, from their opening game on October 9, 1974, until the WFL dissolved on October 22, 1975.
- Photo: 11/18/88 (Diedra Laird) - Article: 11/22/88. The NBA Hornets appeared on the scene in 1987 and played their opening game November 4, 1988, to the first of a record number of sell-out crowds. Mascot, Hugo the Hornet, was created by Jerrell Caskey.
The Checkers Franchise
- Photo c. 1957 - Article: 4/13/57. A fire at a Baltimore arena sent a minor-league hockey team, the Clippers, to Charlotte in 1956. At their opening game, instead of an expected crowd of 8,000 fans, 10,363 attended and 3,000 were turned away. In 1957, the Clippers moved permanently to Charlotte. The 1958 season inaugurated the new name, Charlotte Checkers.
- Photo: 4/13/72 - Article: 4/14/72. The Checkers, who were once the Clippers, played until January 30, 1977, ending their season with a game against the Baltimore Clippers and then returned in the 1993-94 season. This newest team won the Eastern Hockey League Championship in 1995 and captured the Jack Riley Cup.
- Photo: 12/22/96 - Article: 12/23/96. Playoff-bound Panthers have Chad Cota to thank for a game-saving interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Photographs from the Charlotte Observer, used with permission