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The Journal Gazette

  • File The roster for the 1952 Fort Wayne Komets as printed in The Journal Gazette the morning of their first game.

  • File The Komets lost their first game in 1952. This is the game story that ran in The Journal Gazette the next morning.

Thursday, October 12, 2017 1:00 am

Throwback Thursday

Hockey makes its debut

This story by Bob Reed ran in The Journal Gazette on Oct. 25, 1952, the morning of the first-ever Komets game. The Komets play the first game of their 66th season on Saturday.

Fort Wayne, the nation's “biggest little sport center,” adds hockey to its program tonight. That fast and rough sport moves in as only another result of the building of the new Memorial Coliseum.

Judging from the capacity turnout for Thursday night's clinic, there is considerable interest – or shall we say curiosity? – over the ice sport. It is to be remembered, of course, that the Thursday night session was strictly on the house – free gratis – but there was also the consideration that those customers had to take the trouble to write in for their ducats, enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Several thousands of such requests had to be turned down for a lack of seats, the hockey people informed us.

We think that Fort Wayne and vicinity will like hockey. Much of its success in making its debut will depend upon whether the Komets prove to be a winning team. It should be pointed out in this connection that in entering the International League, Fort Wayne had to start from scratch to build a team. There was no team, not even a nucleus from which to build. ...

For one thing, Fort Wayne has a young and hustling club. As may be seen by the roster, there are only three who might be referred to as old timers – Stan Fogg, George Harrison and Jack Timmins. The last-named, out at the start with a hand fracture, would have undoubtedly had a fine career in the National League but for the fact that he was taken into the Canadian Army for four or five years when he was just at the peak of his career.

Hockey, we believe more than the average sport, develops individual favorites and probably the Komets will be no exception. Pick them out for yourselves – blonde and youthful Eddie Long; swarthy and speedy Vic DeMarco; rough and rugged Jack Timmins, when he gets back into the lineup; the pudgy goalie, Stan Fogg; smiling Len Wharton – everyone on the squad probably will have his individual following.

The Toledo Mercury shut out the Fort Wayne Komets 4-0 in front of a crowd of nearly 5,000 that night.