1951 – Around the World and Close to Home
As the Korean War rages on, passage of the 22nd Amendment limits Presidents to two terms and the Rosenbergs are sentenced to death for treason. Washington launches its state ferry system and Seattle’s KING broadcasts the first live television news program in the Pacific Northwest.
While the Washington top tier’s geographical footprint would shrink, the state senior league would add two sponsored clubs’ whose names would grow synonymous with championship contenders for many years to come.
Throughout the Twenties and Thirties the Vikings moniker was activated and associated with squads primarily of Scandinavian heritage. The pirates of the Norse are brought back once more, following a 13-year hiatus, for the 1950-51 season. It’s not truly a new team, as the Vikings are a rebrand of Acme Tyee, the defending champions. Different name, same outcome the Vikings claim a total of five prizes, including the league, knockout cup and finally the Northwest champions with a resounding 7-0 rout of Oregon’s Clan McCleay.
The other new club is just growing into its skin. The Buchan Baking Co. sponsors the youngest entry in the top division, a cast created predominantly from the Fremont Boys Club. Eddie Craggs brings his Bakers into the senior circuit. They debut versus eventual league finalist Seattle SC and only fall, 1-0. They would take their share of lumps but also stayed out of the league cellar by winning a few matches.
By the second half of the campaign all six teams are from Seattle, a city celebrating its centennial year. Black Diamond, once a force in the region, leaves the league after a humbling first half when the Miners were humiliated by the Vikings, 11-nil, and only managed to field a respectable side by picking-up players from the disbanded E&E Meats.
The Vikings found themselves on the other end of such lopsided loss, albeit in a friendly, a few months later. Stockholm’s AIK, just the second touring professional club to visit Seattle, delivers a 12-2 beating. Still, it’s an occasion to bring together the game’s extended family, with an outstanding turnout of 5,000 at West Seattle Stadium.