Sports in New York's Capital District
Sports in New York's Capital District are not well known but the area does have a rich history of professional teams and college athletics. The Troy Trojans were a Major League Baseball team in the National League for four seasons from 1879 to 1882. In 1883 the New York Gothams, later the New York and San Francisco Giants, took the Trojans place in the National League. Nearly half of the original Gotham players had been members of the Trojans. Many other Major League ballplayers have had their start at various levels in the Capital District, including Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees who once played for the Albany-Colonie Yankees.
NBA head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson won his first championship ring when he guided the Albany Patroons to the 1984 CBA championship. Three years later, the Patroons completed a 50–6 regular season, including winning all 28 of their home games; at that time, Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl was the Patroons' head coach. Future NBA stars Mario Elie and Vincent Askew were part of that season's squad. A third NBA head coach has roots in the Capital District as well, Pat Riley, most famous as the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, but also of the New York Knicks and Miami Heat. Riley played for Linton High School in Schenectady, where he was also a football star. He also played on the Schenectady Little League Baseball team when in 1954 it won the Little League Baseball World Series.
Mike Tyson received his early training in the Capital District and his first professional fight was in Albany in 1985 and Tyson's first televised fight was in Troy in 1986. He fought professionally four times in Albany and twice each in Troy and Glens Falls between 1985 and 1986.
Professional teams 
- Albany Devils (AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils).
- Adirondack Phantoms (AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers).
- Albany Firebirds (af2 arena football)
- Albany Legends (International Basketball League)
- Tri-City Valley Cats (New York-Penn League "short A" baseball, affiliate of the Houston Astros)
- New York Buzz (World Team Tennis)
- Chance of a Lifetime Basketball Academy (National Pro-Am basketball franchise)
NCAA college athletic programs 
- University at Albany: Currently plays at the Division I level in all of its sports, though for most of its history it was a Division III school, with a brief stay at the Division II level in the late 1990s. The football team is a member of the Division I-AA Northeast Conference, while all other sports teams play as members of the America East Conference. In 2006, UAlbany became the first SUNY affiliated school to send a team to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. The men's lacrosse team has also made multiple appearances in its sport's NCAA Division I Championship Tournament, the first University at Albany team to do so. The Men's Track & Field team has produced All-American athletes such as Gered Burns, Joe Greene, Marc Pallozzi, and Luke Schoen. UAlbany has hosted the New York Giants summer training camp since 1996.
- The College of Saint Rose: The St. Rose Golden Knights play at the Division II level. St. Rose plays in the Northeast Ten Conference.
- Nearby Siena College's basketball team plays in the Times Union Center in downtown even though it is located in the Albany suburb of Loudonville. The college teams play at the Division I level in all sports, although it discontinued its Division I-AA football program in 2003. It is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for most sports, with field hockey playing as a member of the Northeast Conference.
- Albany Dutchmen: Formerly the Bennington Bombers of Bennington, Vermont team of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League formerly the New York Collegiate Baseball League, it is an amateur league of collegiate players who are unpaid to retain NCAA eligibility, whereas college baseball uses aluminum bats this league uses wooden. They played at Bleecker Stadium until 2010 wen they moved to the new Bellizzi Stadium.
Minor league professional teams 
- Albany Devils (AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils).
- Albany Firebirds (AF2 arena football)
- Tri-City ValleyCats (New York – Penn League "short A" baseball, affiliate of the Houston Astros, based in nearby Troy).
Defunct professional teams 
- Albany Alleycats were a professional soccer team that competed in the United Soccer Leagues from 1995 to 1999
- Albany Firebirds were a team in the Albany area that won the ArenaBowl in 1999, but moved to Indianapolis, Indiana after the 2000 season. The Firebirds folded in late 2004. In 2008, the af2's Albany Conquest were rebranded into the Albany Firebirds.
- Albany Attack entered the National Lacrosse League as an expansion team prior to the 1999–2000 season. The Attack played four years in Albany, which by far the most successful being the 2001–2002 season, when they made the league championship game. However, due to attendance problems, after the following season, the Attack moved to San Jose, California and became the San Jose Stealth.
- Albany Senators (Eastern League baseball, was a minor-league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox for a time in the 1950s.)
- Albany-Colonie Yankees (Eastern League baseball, AA affiliate of the New York Yankees from 1985 to 1994, playing host to several key players of the parent club's eventual late-1990s dominance.)
- Capital District Islanders (American Hockey League, forerunner to Albany River Rats when affiliated with the New York Islanders.)
- Albany Choppers (International Hockey League, 1990–1991 season, folded February 1991)
- Albany Patroons/Capital Region Pontiacs (original version from 1982 to 1993 was a dominant team in the league and a starting point for notable NBA coaches Phil Jackson and George Karl moved to Hartford, Connecticut, then folded before being revived in 2005, then folding again in 2009.)
- Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs, played at Heritage Park in nearby Colonie beginning in 1995. In 1999, they captured the Northern League title but folded after the 2002 season due to financial difficulties and competition from the newly formed Tri-City Valley Cats.
- New York Kick (American Indoor Soccer Association) the team split time between Albany and Glens Falls, New York so the team choose to be named after the state.
- Albany River Rats (American Hockey League) (1990–2010) Sold to Charlotte businessman. Moved to Charlotte, NC, started play in 2010-11 season as the Charlotte Checkers.
- Adirondack Red Wings] (American Hockey League) (1979-1999) planned a move for 2000 to Ohio, never materialized and franchise folded.
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