385 episodes

“Good Seats Still Available” is a curious little podcast devoted to the exploration of what used-to-be in professional sports. Each week, host Tim Hanlon interviews former players, owners, broadcasters, beat reporters, and surprisingly famous "super fans" of teams and leagues that have come and gone - in an attempt to unearth some of the most wild and woolly moments in (often forgotten) sports history.

Good Seats Still Available Tim Hanlon

    • Sports
    • 4.7 • 98 Ratings

“Good Seats Still Available” is a curious little podcast devoted to the exploration of what used-to-be in professional sports. Each week, host Tim Hanlon interviews former players, owners, broadcasters, beat reporters, and surprisingly famous "super fans" of teams and leagues that have come and gone - in an attempt to unearth some of the most wild and woolly moments in (often forgotten) sports history.

    The Senior Professional Baseball Association - With David Whitford [ARCHIVE RE-RELEASE]

    The Senior Professional Baseball Association - With David Whitford [ARCHIVE RE-RELEASE]

    [An archive re-release favorite from September 2017, featuring one of professional baseball's most enigmatic leagues!]
    Inc. Editor-at-Large David Whitford (Extra Innings: A Season in the Senior League) joins host Tim Hanlon to retrace his journalistic odyssey covering the inaugural season of the short-lived, Florida-based Senior Professional Baseball Association (SPBA) in the winter of 1989-90. 
    Whitford recalls the early-career events leading up to his plum writing assignment, and the process by which he went about chronicling this unique, but ultimately ill-fated eight-team circuit for former pro players over the age of 35 (32 for catchers). 
    Despite half the franchises folding after the first 72-game season (and the rest of the league mid-way through the second), the Senior League afforded dozens of former big-league players and managers what Whitford dubbed a "life-after-death fantasy" – one that attracted both stars and journeymen alike for a chance to either stay fresh for one last shot in the Show, recapture past on-field glories, or simply earn some needed money.  Whitford highlights a wide array of characters he met while covering the SBPA, including:
    Founder Jim Morley, the thirty-something hustler who erroneously believed a senior league could generate cash flow sufficient to sustain his debt-ridden real-estate empire; Commissioner Curt Flood, the indefatigable player’s union representative  who broke Major League Baseball’s reserve clause, but sacrificed his career in the process;  Pitcher Wayne Garland, the former Cleveland ace and early free-agent beneficiary who risked permanent shoulder damage by coming back to play pro ball after a five-year layoff; Ex-Padres/Astros fastballer (and pioneer descendant) Danny Boone, who reinvented himself into a knuckleball specialist, and improbably made it back to the bigs with Baltimore in 1990 following the SPBA season; AND  A veritable who’s who of former big-name major league stars – each with their own personal reasons for returning to the diamonds:  Bobby Bonds, Joaquin Andujar, Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, Ferguson Jenkins, Dave Kingman, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, Graig Nettles, Mickey Rivers, and even manager Earl Weaver – just to name a few. + + +
    SUPPORT THE SHOW:
    "Good Seats" Show & Defunct Team Merch:  http://tee.pub/lic/RdiDZzQeHSY Buy Us a Coffee: https://ko-fi.com/goodseatsstillavailable
     
    SPONSOR THANKS:
    Royal Retros (promo code: SEATS): https://www.503-sports.com?aff=2 Old School Shirts.com (promo code: GOODSEATS) https://oldschoolshirts.com/goodseats
     
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    Extra Innings: A Season in the Senior League (2024): https://amzn.to/4cfkRbs  

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    Website: https://goodseatsstillavailable.com/ X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoodSeatsStill Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodseatsstillavailable/ Threads: https://www.threads.net/@goodseatsstillavailable Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodSeatsStillAvailable/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@goodseatsstillavailable

    • 1 hr 9 min
    The NASL v. US Soccer/MLS Case - With Steven Bank

    The NASL v. US Soccer/MLS Case - With Steven Bank

    Most US and Canadian domestic soccer fans are certain that the second incarnation of the North American Soccer League (2011-17) officially met its untimely demise in early 2018, just a few months after the first-year San Francisco Deltas beat the New York Cosmos in the 2017 Soccer Bowl - and amidst a seemingly desperate/last-minute antitrust lawsuit alleging collusion between US Soccer and Major League Soccer to keep the league down.

     
    While the NASL hasn't played another game since, the lawsuit - largely ideated and funded by spurned billionaire/Cosmos owner Rocco Commisso - is still very much alive, and now officially headed to trial beginning January 6th of next year. 

     
    At issue: whether the governing body of soccer in the US and/or its officially designated top-tier professional league conspired to exclude the NASL from Division I-sanctioned play, and schemed to monopolize the market for men’s pro soccer.
     
    At stake: the future direction, competitive landscape and legal structure of American professional soccer.
     
    We get a full primer on the history, rationale and likely outcomes of this stealthily persistent case, with UCLA law school professor, sports/soccer legal expert (and 1970s-era ASL Cleveland Cobras fan) Steven Bank - whose influential Twitter/X feed is an essential follow on all things law + soccer. 

     




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    SUPPORT THE SHOW:
    "Good Seats" Show & Defunct Team Merch:  http://tee.pub/lic/RdiDZzQeHSY Buy Us a Coffee: https://ko-fi.com/goodseatsstillavailable
     
    SPONSOR THANKS:
    Royal Retros (promo code: SEATS): https://www.503-sports.com?aff=2 Old School Shirts.com (promo code: GOODSEATS) https://oldschoolshirts.com/goodseats
     

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    Website: https://goodseatsstillavailable.com/ X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoodSeatsStill Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodseatsstillavailable/ Threads: https://www.threads.net/@goodseatsstillavailable Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodSeatsStillAvailable/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@goodseatsstillavailable

    • 1 hr 33 min
    An Appreciation of Vin Scully - With Tom Hoffarth

    An Appreciation of Vin Scully - With Tom Hoffarth

    We celebrate the legendary career and outsized influence of one of baseball's most recognized voices, with veteran LA sportswriter Tom Hoffarth (Perfect Eloquence: An Appreciation of Vin Scully).

    From the "Early Days" dustjacket:
     
    "When Vin Scully passed away in 2022, the city of Los Angeles lost its soundtrack. If you were able to deliver a eulogy for him, what might it include? What impact did he have on you? What do you carry forward from his legacy? 
     
    "Sixty-seven essayists—one representing each season of his career calling games for the Los Angeles Dodgers, from 1950 through 2016—reflect on the ways his professional and private life influenced them. The contributions include a range of stories and remembrances from those who knew and followed him. The consensus of the contributions is that Scully’s actions spoke louder than his well-recognized words.

    "This collection includes fellow broadcasters as well as historians, players, journalists, celebrities, and others connected to the game of baseball, with each piece introduced by sports journalist Tom Hoffarth. Readers can consider Scully’s life through common themes: his sincerity, his humility, his professionalism, his passion for his faith, his devotion to his family, his insistence on remembering and giving context to important moments in the history of not just the game but the world in general, all wrapped up in a gift for weaving storytelling with accurate reporting, fellowship with performance art, humor, and connection."
     
    [P.S. - As mentioned in this week's episode, check out this amazing 2016 conversation between Scully and the late Willie Mays, who passed away last week at the age of 93.]





     
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    SUPPORT THE SHOW:
    "Good Seats" Show & Defunct Team Merch:  http://tee.pub/lic/RdiDZzQeHSY Buy Us a Coffee: https://ko-fi.com/goodseatsstillavailable
     
    SPONSOR THANKS:
    Royal Retros (promo code: SEATS): https://www.503-sports.com?aff=2 Old School Shirts.com (promo code: GOODSEATS) https://oldschoolshirts.com/goodseats
     
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    Perfect Eloquence: An Appreciation of Vin Scully (2024): https://amzn.to/4cfkRbs  

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    Website: https://goodseatsstillavailable.com/ X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoodSeatsStill Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodseatsstillavailable/ Threads: https://www.threads.net/@goodseatsstillavailable Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodSeatsStillAvailable/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@goodseatsstillavailable

    • 1 hr 18 min
    The Origin Story of ESPN - With Peter Fox

    The Origin Story of ESPN - With Peter Fox

    It's time to fire up the old Jerrold cable box for a trip back to the pre-launch and early first on-air days of cable TV's pioneering Entertainment and Sports Programming Network - better known as ESPN - with founding producer and channel memoirist Peter Fox ("The Early Days of ESPN: 300 Daydreams and Nightmares").

    From the "Early Days" dustjacket:
    "The tales of early ESPN people who gambled their careers while critics carped that “all-sports television will never work” are full of guile, luck, fear, fun, and unbridled optimism. As ESPN’s founding executive producer, Peter Fox was privy to some spectacular professional efforts by a cadre of Connecticut locals who made the dream real. 
    "The first 300 days of the fledgling network were filled with mayhem, on-air gaffes, and the slowest instant replay in television. What started as a humble idea in the late spring of 1978 to capitalize on the brand-new mania for UConn men’s basketball soon morphed into ESPN and a plan to begin airing a series of “test broadcasts” in the fall. 
    "This is the story of the early days at ESPN, told by one on the network's launching pad, and how a conversation over a couple of martinis in 1978 led to the creation of a broadcast juggernaut.





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    SUPPORT THE SHOW:
    "Good Seats" Show & Defunct Team Merch:  http://tee.pub/lic/RdiDZzQeHSY Buy Us a Coffee: https://ko-fi.com/goodseatsstillavailable
     
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    Website: https://goodseatsstillavailable.com/ X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoodSeatsStill Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodseatsstillavailable/ Threads: https://www.threads.net/@goodseatsstillavailable Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodSeatsStillAvailable/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@goodseatsstillavailable

    • 1 hr 16 min
    The "Father of Modern Baseball" - With Tom Delise & Jay Seaborg

    The "Father of Modern Baseball" - With Tom Delise & Jay Seaborg

    First-time sports historians Tom Delise and Jay Seaborg ("Foxy Ned Hanlon: The Baseball Life of a Hall of Fame Manager") join the podcast for a biographical look at one of baseball's most innovative managerial minds - and who just may be related to your humble host!
    "Foxy" Ned Hanlon was one of the major leagues' earliest tactical visionaries, who recognized the value of speed and strategy in generating runs long before the term “small ball” became popular.  Starting as a fine outfielder, Hanlon played 13 professional seasons with the Cleveland Blues, Detroit Wolverines, the Federal League's one-year Pittsburgh Burghers, Pittsburgh Pirates (neé Alleghenys), and (original American Association-then-National League) Baltimore Orioles - stealing 329 bases after stolen bases were first recorded in 1886.  Despite a modest .260 batting average, Hanlon was renowned for his speed and daring on the bases, as well as his defensive prowess, leading the National League in putouts in 1882 and 1884.
    Hanlon’s managerial career began after participating in A.G. Spalding’s “Around The World Baseball Tour” in the winter of 1888.  He became the player-manager of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in 1889 and supported the short-lived Players’ League in 1890, where he posted a .383 on-base percentage.  Returning to the Alleghenys, Hanlon inadvertently contributed to the team’s name change to Pirates due to his aggressive player acquisition tactics.
    In 1892, Hanlon took over the Baltimore Orioles and revolutionized the game with his “Inside Baseball” philosophy.  He emphasized teamwork, speed, and innovative plays like the hit-and-run, sacrifice bunt, and double steal. Hanlon also introduced the "Baltimore Chop" and was among the first to use a platoon system based on pitcher handedness.  Under his leadership, the Orioles transformed from cellar dwellers to dominant forces, capturing five NL pennants from 1894 to 1900.
    Hanlon’s strategic genius earned him accolades from peers and successors. Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack regarded Hanlon as the greatest leader in baseball history, and in 1937, The Sporting News dubbed him “The Father of Modern Baseball.”  Ned Hanlon passed away on April 14, 1937, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996, cementing his legacy as a pioneer of the sport.





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    SUPPORT THE SHOW:
    "Good Seats" Show & Defunct Team Merch:  http://tee.pub/lic/RdiDZzQeHSY Buy Us a Coffee: https://ko-fi.com/goodseatsstillavailable
     
     
    SPONSOR THANKS:
    Old School Shirts.com (promo code: GOODSEATS) https://oldschoolshirts.com/goodseats Royal Retros (promo code: SEATS): https://www.503-sports.com?aff=2
     
    BUY/READ EARLY & OFTEN:

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    Website: https://goodseatsstillavailable.com/ X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoodSeatsStill Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodseatsstillavailable/ Threads: https://www.threads.net/@goodseatsstillavailable Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodSeatsStillAvailable/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@goodseatsstillavailable

    • 1 hr 23 min
    The Peking-to-Paris Motor Challenge - With Kassia St. Clair

    The Peking-to-Paris Motor Challenge - With Kassia St. Clair

    Cultural historian and best-selling British author Kassia St. Clair ("The Secret Lives of Color"; "The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History")  joins the podcast for a look back at the fascinating, improbable and culturally paradigm-shifting 1907 Peking-to-Paris Motor Challenge - as featured in her new book "The Race to the Future: 8,000 Miles to Paris - The Adventure That Accelerated the Twentieth Century":

     
    From the "Race to the Future" dust jacket:
     
    "The rise of the automobile as told through its Rubicon moment―a sensational, high-risk race across two continents on the verge of revolution. "The racers―an Italian prince and his chauffeur, a French racing driver, a con man, and several rival journalists―battle over steep inclines, through narrow mountain passages, and across the arid Gobi Desert. Competitors endure torrential rain and choking dust. There are barely any roads, and petrol is almost impossible to find. A global audience of millions follows each twist and turn, devouring reports telegraphed from the course.
    "More than its many adventures, the Peking-to-Paris Motor Challenge took place on the precipice of a new world. As the twentieth century dawned, imperial regimes in China and Russia were crumbling, paving the way for the rise of communist ones. The electric telegraph was rapidly transforming modern communication, and with it, the news media, commerce, and politics. Suspended between the old and the new, the Peking-to-Paris, as best-selling historian Kassia St. Clair writes, became a critical tipping point.
    "A gripping, immersive narrative of the race, The Race to the Future sets the drivers’ derring-do (and occasional cheating) against the backdrop of a larger geopolitical and technological race to the future. Interweaving events from the fall of the Qing dynasty to the departure of the horse economy and the rise of gendered marketing, St. Clair shows how the Peking-to-Paris provided an impetus for profound social, cultural, and industrial change, while masterfully capturing the mounting tensions between nations and empires―all building up to the cataclysmic event that changed everything: the First World War."

     






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    SUPPORT THE SHOW:
    Show Merch:  http://tee.pub/lic/RdiDZzQeHSY Buy Us a Coffee: https://ko-fi.com/goodseatsstillavailable
     
    SPONSOR THANKS:
    Old School Shirts.com (promo code: GOODSEATS) https://oldschoolshirts.com/goodseats Royal Retros (promo code: SEATS): https://www.503-sports.com?aff=2
     
    BUY/READ EARLY & OFTEN:

    The Race to the Future: 8,000 Miles to Paris - The Adventure That Accelerated the Twentieth Century (2024): https://amzn.to/3VoxYB7  

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    Website: https://goodseatsstillavailable.com/ X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoodSeatsStill Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/goodseatsstillavailable/ Threads: https://www.threads.net/@goodseatsstillavailable Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoodSeatsStillAvailable/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@goodseatsstillavailable

    • 1 hr 15 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
98 Ratings

98 Ratings

Chef RCH ,

A Must Listen for Sports Fans

Tim does such a great job brining us some amazing stories from the sports leagues of the past. Have been listening for years and each show brings me back to the glory days of the MISL, NHL, USFL and so many other leagues that have come and gone. As a sports fan who truly enjoys the stories from the front office, sales, advertising and the business side of sports Good Seats Still Available is a must listen on a weekly basis!

Magastrid99 ,

Must listen for older fans!!

Tim does an outstanding job with this show, talking about the all that is defunct or forgotten in professional sports. If you loved the WFL, ABA, WHA, USFL, NASL etc this is the show for you. Never miss an episode😊

matthewhedrick ,

Tim, trim the fat!!

Great concept poisoned by a seemingly narcissistic host, taking the longest path to a question for the mere satisfaction of hearing his own voice. Tim’s surreal roundabout way of speaking is almost impressively infuriating.

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