Sports in Ohio
Ohio is home to many professional and college sports teams. The metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus are home to major league professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer.
Major league sports teams
Ohio is home to major professional sports teams in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. The state's major professional sporting teams include: Cincinnati Reds (Major League Baseball), Cleveland Indians (Major League Baseball), Cincinnati Bengals (National Football League), Cleveland Browns (National Football League), Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association), Columbus Blue Jackets (National Hockey League), and the Columbus Crew (Major League Soccer).
Ohio played a central role in the development of both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. Baseball's first fully professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869, were organized in Ohio. An informal early 20th century American football association, the Ohio League, was the direct predecessor of the NFL, although neither of Ohio's modern NFL franchises trace their roots to an Ohio League club. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.
Minor league teams
On a smaller scale, Ohio hosts minor league baseball, arena football, indoor football, mid-level hockey, and lower division soccer. The minor league baseball teams include: Akron Aeros (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians), Chillicothe Paints (independent), Columbus Clippers (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians), Dayton Dragons (affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds), Lake County Captains (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians), Mahoning Valley Scrappers (affiliated with the Cleveland Indians), and Toledo Mud Hens (affiliated with the Detroit Tigers).
Ohio's minor professional football teams include: Canton Legends (American Indoor Football Association), Cincinnati Marshals (National Indoor Football League), Cincinnati Sizzle (National Women's Football Association), Cleveland Fusion (National Women's Football Association), Cleveland Gladiators (Arena Football League), Columbus Comets (National Women's Football Association), Columbus Destroyers (Arena Football League), Mahoning Valley Thunder (af2), Marion Mayhem (Continental Indoor Football League), and Miami Valley Silverbacks (Continental Indoor Football League).
Ohio's alternative professional hockey teams include: Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL), Lake Erie Monsters (American Hockey League), Dayton Demonz (Federal Hockey League), Mahoning Valley Phantoms (North American Hockey League), Toledo Walleye (ECHL), and Youngstown Steelhounds (Central Hockey League).
In lower division professional soccer, Ohio accommodates the Cincinnati Kings and Cleveland City Stars, both of the United Soccer League and the Dayton Dutch Lions of the USL Premier Development League.
Notable drivers from Ohio include Ted Horn, Bobby Rahal, Sam Hornish Jr. and Tim Richmond. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has hosted several auto racing championships, including CART World Series, IndyCar Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Can-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA GT Championship, American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series.
The Grand Prix of Cleveland also hosted CART races from 1982 to 2007. The Eldora Speedway is a major dirt oval that hosts NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and USAC Silver Crown Series races.
Former professional teams
Former major league teams:
- Akron Pros (NFL) (1920–1925)
- Canton Bulldogs (NFL) (1920–1923 and 1925–1926)
- Portsmouth Spartans (NFL) (1930–1933)
- Cincinnati Red Stockings (NL) (1876–1880)
- Cleveland Blues (NL) (1879–1884)
- Cleveland Spiders (AA-NL) (1887–1899)
- Cleveland Rams (NFL) (1936–1945)
- Cleveland Rebels (BAA) (1946–1947)
- Cincinnati Royals (NBA) (1957–1972)
- Cleveland Barons (NHL) (1976–1978)
- Cleveland Crusaders (WHA)(1972–1976)
- Cincinnati Stingers (WHA) (1975–1979).
- Dayton Triangles (NFL) (1920–1929)
- Cleveland Rockers (WNBA) (1997–2003)
Ohio has eight NCAA Division I-A college football teams, divided among three different conferences. It has also experienced considerable success in the secondary and tertiary tiers of college football divisions.
In Division I-A, representing the Big Ten, the Ohio State Buckeyes football team ranks 5th among all-time winningest programs, with seven national championships and seven Heisman Trophy winners. Their biggest rivals are the Michigan Wolverines, whom they traditionally play each year as the last game of their regular season schedule.
Ohio has six teams represented in the Mid-American Conference: the University of Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Miami University, Ohio University and the University of Toledo. The MAC headquarters are based in Cleveland.
Division III Mount Union College boasts a record-setting ten National Championships and also hold the record for 110 consecutive game winning streak from 1994 until 2005. They have won two of the last[when?] three D-III National Championship games.
- "The Official Site of the Cincinnati Reds". Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "The Official Site of the Cleveland Indians". Major League Baseball. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "NFL Teams". National Football League. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "NBA.com Team Index". National Basketball Association. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "NHL Teams". National Hockey League. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "Major League Soccer Teams". Major League Soccer. Retrieved March 28, 2009.[dead link]
- Griffith, Grant (2007). "Legend of the Cincinnati Red Stockings". Cincinnati Vintage Base Ball Club. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "Lake County Captains". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "Mahoning Valley Scrappers". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
- "The Toledo Mud Hens". Toledo Mud Hens. Retrieved March 28, 2009.