North American Markball League; A Fictional Sport & A Fictional History: 1958 Season

Recommended Posts

1957 NAML Offseason


The NAML offseason began with the devastating news that Len Garey had finally succumbed to his battle with Polio at the age of 45. "It is with a heavy heart that I announce that our very own Leonard Garey has passed away this morning. Len played his heart out every single game, and has been recognized as one of the game's first elite players. I extend my deepest condolences to Leonard's family, and the Michigan Bandits. Len may be gone, but we will certainly never forget him." Commisioner Urquhart said hours after being informed of the tragedy. Garey is currently the NAML's all-time leading goalscorer, with 346 career goals. The league announced almost immediately that the leading goalscorer award would be renamed the Len Garey Memorial Trophy.


In terms of team moves, two players announced their retirement from the league. Cecil Bonnom announced he was done after 13 seasons in both the EML and NAML, and Chicago's John Peters announced he was hanging up his cleats after 15 seasons of work. Philadelphia will now need a pure goal-scorer up top, and Chicago's will need a new heart-and-soul player.


Once again, there were no major trades announced, but St. Louis announced that both Arnold Lejoscasa and Howard Tremble had been re-signed for 8 years each. Lejoscasa and Tremble are one of the league's elite attacking duos, but are still looking to find the Gatekeepers a pathway to success.


There was one jersey change, with Montreal shockingly changing their popular Away jersey to have a new look. The stripes on the sleeves now go vertically down the centre of the shirt, with the team's full logo adorning the centre. While fans were unhappy at the change, over the next few weeks, it proved to be popular in Montreal, with several fans knitting their own personal jerseys.



I've already simulated the 1958 season, I should hopefully have it up this week or next. 


Once again, thanks for reading!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

1958 NAML Season

The NAML kicked off its 12th season in Michigan, with an emotional game between Michigan and Boston. the NAML announced prior to the game that all proceeds from the game would be donated to Len Garey's family. The Bandits put up an inspired performance, thrashing Boston 60-35. The other Week 1 matches included a 2-point victory for Montreal over Chicago, a tight 41-39 win for New York over Milwaukee, a surprising 17-point St. Louis win over Philadelphia, and a 60-46 barnburner between Toronto and Washington, with Toronto the victors.


The Bandits were hoping that this would be their year, so that they could win in memory of Garey. They got off to a great start, winning 5 of their first six games. After falling to 6-6 through twelve weeks, they seemed to become a different team. Andrew McCaig was almost impossible to solve, Harry Keener was a monster in the backfield, and the rest of the defense was almost effortlessly stopping rushes, helping the Bandits win 7 of the remaining 8 games. They finished 4th, with a 13-7-0 record. In St. Louis, the 'Keepers finally looked like a playoff team, with the newly resigned Arnold Lejoscasa and Howard Tremble being amazing up front, and even though their defense wasn't great, the "Daunting Duo" as they were called, would always get St. Louis back in the game. Unfortunately, late in the year, Tremble got a dislocated shoulder, ending their bid for a first-round bye. However, St. Louis would clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 1954, finishing 5th with a 12-8-0 record. In Philly, the P's were looking to finish first for the 5th straight year, but after losing their first three games, albeit by small margins, things weren't looking good. However, they would go on fire for the next 10 weeks, winning all their games. Through that streak, unknown forward Jerry Markson scored an astonishing 34 goals and were in second place through 13 weeks. They would lose their swagger near the end of the year, but still finished with a respectable 13-7-0 record. Patrick MacKenzie was dominant in the midfield as usual, and Markson won the first Len Garey Memorial Trophy with 58 goals. In New York, it looked like this would be the year where the Knights broke out. Owner/Coach George Small had grown in his knowledge of the game over the summer, and it showed with his players, as they roared to a 5-1 start. During these weeks, Leonard James was magical at the back end, breaking up sure goals at the last second. Sid Belmont was also great in net, and everything appeared to be going right, until week 7 James suffered a gruesome lacerated ankle injury that made several players and fans visibly sick. He was obviously out for the year, and the Knights couldn't keep up with the other teams without their heart and soul. New York ended up winning two more games, but that was it, as they finished 7-13-0, 8th in the league. Sadly, this was the Knights' second-best regular season record in their history, behind their only playoff appearance in 1951. In Boston, the Hounds just never got going, only winning consecutive games once. Despite great years from Ridley Robinson, Vinnie McClelland, the offense wasn't good enough, tied for last in the league. However, the Hounds showed promise in the last three games, beating and closely losing to three playoff teams. Boston finished 7th with a 7-13-0 record.


In Chicago, it was a year to forget. The team that had won the Urquhart Cup two years earlier and made the semifinals last year just fell apart and was never able to get it back together. After losing their first five games, it was clear that there was something wrong. They managed to defeat Boston in week 6, but couldn't keep up with the other teams, despite having a full, healthy roster. In an attempt to fix the situation, owner Avitus Rayne hired former player Ben Bones as coach. With Bones, the Crusaders won two of their next three games, and they looked to be getting back on track. They played better for the last few games, but only managed to win one more. Chicago finished bottom of the league with a 4-16-0 record, the worst in their history. In the capital, the Warriors were looking to build off of their Urquhart Cup appearance the year before. They played solid for the first half, but only had a 5-5 record to show for it. In the second half of the year, their play started to drop off, and despite having a record below .500, Washington managed to make the playoffs in the final spot, with a 9-11-0 record. Carmelo Dunn had his best year of his career, and he was given a starting position for the first time, making himself the first African-American player to start a game. In Montreal, the Paulies were hoping that Simon Girard could stay healthy and help them to their second playoff appearance. Fortunately for them, their prayers looked like they were answered, as Girard led Montreal to their best start ever, at 6-4-0. However, they did even better in the second half, with every player playing together and well. Richard Porchery was amazing at breaking up chances, and Denis De Félix was a consistent goalscorer. The Paulies had their best finish yet, finishing 2nd and getting their first ever bye with a 14-6-0 record. In Milwaukee, The Dragons appeared to be starting to crawl out of the basement, but weren't breathing any fire yet. They started off well at 3-4, but went through one of those slumps where everything that could go wrong went wrong, resulting in a 9-game losing streak. They were finally able to lift their wings with consecutive win over Chicago and Philadelphia. the Dragons would avoid finishing last for the fourth straight year, instead finishing 9th at 5-15-0. Finally, In Toronto, the Stallions were quick out of the gate, with offensive explosions in the first two games. After a disappointing loss to Boston, The Nats, led by Theo Krakowski, became the class of the league, winning nine straight games. Ambrose Gares was great in nets, letting the Toronto offense do their thing. After stumbling for a bit halfway through the year, Toronto would lose only one more game for the rest of the year, and finished in first for the first time in their history, at 16-4-0. Krakowski's effort both offensively and defensively earned him the Chester Harland Award.


The 1957 NAML Awards were given to:

Chester Harland Award (League MVP): Theo Krakowski, FF, TOR

Leading Goalkicker Award: Jerry Markson, FF, PHI

Benjamin Legrand Award (Best Goalkeeper): Charles Jamison, PHI


Rivalry Cup Winners:

Colonial Trophy: Philadelphia (won both games against Washington)

St. Laurent Cup: Montreal (won both games against Toronto)

I-94 Series: Milwaukee (Split series with Chicago, outscored them 72-44)



Notable Events:

  • Surprisingly, Chicago won the consolation series, defeating Milwaukee in the final.
  • After a spectacular effort during a Hounds win, the Boston Herald proclaimed Vinnie McClelland as "Mr. Markball." There was some backlash, but Most of the league didn't see it as much of a big deal.
  • A friendly match between Players from Ontario and New Jersey was played in Trenton to generate interest in the sport there. Unfortunately, only 5,000 fans showed up to watch Ontario win 40-31.
  • In a game between Milwaukee and New York There was some confusion over whether or not Dragons player Gerard Palmer had earned a free kick as he was fouled when second quarter time expired. New York had left the field to go back to the locker rooms thinking the half was over, but the referees allowed Palmer to take his kick without any opposition on the field. Palmer nailed his shot, and it counted.

Playoff Preview:

(3) Philadelphia Falcons vs (6) Washington Warriors

Previous Playoff Game: 1957 Urquhart Cup Final

Result: Philadelphia 51-23 Washington

It doesn't matter if it's the Urquhart Cup or a meaningless regular season game, if these two play, there will be bad blood. This one will most likely have more ugliness than usual, since Washington wants their revenge from last year's final. There should be a big brawl here, and definitely some suspensions. Al Sokker has been dormant for most of the year, he should break out in an emotional game like this. Expect lots of goals from Markson. This kid has been on fire, and has shown no signs of slowing down.

Prediction: The Warriors complete the upset and advance to Toronto with a  51-50 win.


(4) Michigan Bandits vs (5) St. Louis Gatekeepers

Previous Playoff Game: 1953 Semifinals

Result: Michigan 30-26 St. Louis

Even though the Bandits are hoping to win it this year for Garey, St. Louis will not take any chances this game, making the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. This one should also be emotional, and Michigan will have their hands full with the Daunting Duo. Expect to see some clashes, but nothing too major. Harry Keener is on track for a great game, and so is Andrew McCaig.

Prediction: Michigan will not get knocked out early and will win, 45-25.


Nothing much to say about this one. I'm really looking forward to simulating Philly and Washington, they always have good games.


Thanks for reading!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Goran The Man said:

Wow the Canadian teams had really good years! Could the Nationals or les Eveques bring the trophy back to Canada?

Even though they are they top two teams, there's an aura of uncertainty over Toronto, who are supposedly under "House's Curse" since 1952. The curse made by former coach David House after being fired, saying that Toronto will not win another Urquhart Cup until Him and both his sons has died. However, team owner Jack Joyner is confident that the Nats can win their second cup. In Montreal, even though it's their 5th year, their teamwork is outstanding, and to me, I feel like because of the curse, they have a better chance of winning than Toronto.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now