Saturday, May 23, 2009

What is a Dixie Flyer?

I used to roll my eyes at the name Nashville Dixie Flyers. Like "Solar Bears", "Sound Tigers", "Ice Bats" (or Ice Anything), or River Blades (or Anything Blades), Dixie Flyers always sounded like a forced pairing of two words that don't go together. I had assumed it was just a southernization of the name "Flyers". The fact that the Dixie Flyers were named in 1962, five years before the Philadelphia Flyers came into existence never quite dawned on me.

Even the Hockey News was confused on this point. If one looks back they'll find in some papers "-10" after the Nashville in the EHL standings, meaning that the Hockey News thought they were affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers. To my knowledge the two teams never had a working agreement.

 As it turns out, the Dixie Flyer was a passenger train that originally went from Nashville to Jacksonville (very EHL) in 1890. It's route was later extended from Chicago to Miami. Its last run was in September of 1965, in the middle of the Nashville Dixie Flyers' existence.

The only place I know of that Nashville used the Dixie Flyer train as part of the logo was on the original 1962-63 program covers.


  1. I started going to Dixie Flyers games in 1964. The Gold and Purple uniforms were all I ever saw them play in. Then in the 66-67 season they played in the solid Purple jersey the the Horse Head(Pegasus) on them. I only saw them use that jersey that one season and never understood why they never used it again. Nice pic of Flo Pilote there.

  2. Ted Mc Caskill was a good veteran player I enjoyed watching when the Flyers came to New Haven. His son was a major league pitcher.