Ripple Effect of a Revolution

The Space Age begins when the Soviets send Sputnik into orbit. Meanwhile, humankind’s first artificial satellite circles the planet every 96 minutes while within Earth’s atmosphere three Boeing B-52s, all built in Seattle, circumnavigate the globe nonstop in just over 45 hours.

Elvis Presley, the newly-crowned King of Rock and Roll, pays Washington a visit for the first time, staging three late-summer concerts in Spokane, Tacoma and Seattle, gyrating and performing hits singles such as "All Shook Up” and “Hound Dog.” Elvis pulls over 16,000 to Sicks’ Stadium, the overwhelming majority being teenage girls. Ten days earlier, a larger and much different crowd came to the ballpark to see Yakima’s Pete Rademacher, an Olympic gold medalist, fight (unsuccessfully) for the heavyweight title versus holder Floyd Patterson.

Soccer’s a world game and in the jet age the planet seems to always be shrinking. Just weeks after the Hungarian Uprising, refugees begin arriving on in America, many with uncanny skills shared with those of the world-renowned Magical Magyars and their initial introduction of total football. By springtime they are finding their way to fields in Seattle.

Some of the Hungarians were professionals or members of the military-sponsored clubs back home, and others were aspiring amateurs with occupations ranging from musician to electrician. They are eager to absorb American culture, attending pro hockey and college basketball games, but soccer is part of their fiber.

Franck Ebelle, 21, of Budapest is a typewriter repairman. Says Ebelle: “It felt really good to play again.”

Istvan Biro, 29, played for Budapest Lokomotiv of the second division. Biro rates local soccer as good but nothing close to the level he left, where crowds were 5,000-10,000.

Tibor Farkas, formerly of Debrecen Lokomotiv, is anxious to form a team of fellow countrymen, stating, “We hope to get in a league here next year.”

The refugees first congregate in 1957 as a state first division club under as United Milk, sponsored by Stephen Balough, the Hungarian-born president of United Milk Service.

In reality, it would be two years before a primarily Hungarian club forms. It will be worth the wait.

Northwest Champion
Buchan Bakers 3:2 Portland Vikings
State Men's Champion
Buchan Bakers

1957: Ripple Effect of a Revolution

Hungary's failed Uprising rapidly results in refugees with keen footballing abilities arriving in Washington.

Sponsor Helps Throw Party for Refugees
December 23, 1957

Stephen Balough, sponsor of United Milk, is among the hosts of a holiday party for some 200 Hungarian refugees marking their first Christmas in America. Balough invited every Hungarian he encountered at a recent United Milk match. Members of the Hungarian Resettlement Service and newly-founded Hungarian-American Society baked cake and pastries, Seattle businesses donated food and toys were distributed to the children attending the party at the Eagle s Temple.

Permission for Admission
September 18, 1957

The Washington State Soccer Football Association requests permission from the Seattle Park Board to charge 50 cents admission for reserved grandstand seats at Sunday state league games at Lower Woodland Park. WSSFA proposes that the City would receive 10 cents of each admission. General admission bleachers would still be available free of charge.

Hungarians Provide Glimpse of Abilities
March 24, 1957

Newly-arrived Hungarian refugees form a team to play an exhibition versus Norden, the state league's fourth-place club. They win, 2-1. All fled their homeland in the fall of 1956, during the uprising, and arrived in Seattle in January.

Rarity: Bakers Clip Canadians
November 3, 1957

Stan Czenis is involved on all three goals in Buchan's 3-0 win over North Vancouver Celtics. It's only the second time in six years a Washington team had beaten a Canadian side. Czenis scores the first and assists Gus Zotos and Tommy Grieve.

Testimonial Held for Kempton
September 29, 1957

Both a testimonial match and banquet are held for the ailing Barney Kempton. Proceeds go toward Kempton's medical expenses. Over 500 see Vancouver's Royal Oaks defeat a Seattle all-star selection, 2-0, at Catholic Memorial. Former mayor Bobby Harlin, sports promoter and newspaper editor Royal Brougham are among the banquet speakers who toast Kempton's years of service to the game over 40 years. Besides being an outstanding winger in his day and key administrator, he is credited with keeping the youth game alive, having helped organize the sport in Parochial schools under auspices of the CYO.

Bakers Win Five-a-Side
April 14, 1957

It took just under six hours to whittle the field from 22 teams to one victor at the 14th annual Five-a-Side. And the last team standing is Buchan Bakers, 2-0 winners over Vancouver's Taurus at West Seattle Stadium.

Bakers Start Fast, Win NW Title
April 28, 1957

First-half strikes from Pat Brown, George Goers and Mike Kligerman get Buchan Bakers on track for the Northwest championship. The Breadmen hang on for a 3-2 victory over Portland Vikings at Catholic Memorial Stadium.

Buchan Wins League Championship
April 21, 1957

In a decisive display of attacking soccer, Buchan Bakers win an unprecedented fifth straight league championship. Unbeaten during the second half of the campaign, Buchan erupts for six goals in pounding Norselander Vikings, 6-2, at Catholic Memorial Stadium.

Scotty's Sails Thru First Half
December 8, 1957

Scotty's Fish and Chips beats United Milk, 4-1, to clinch the first half at Maple Valley. Andy Phillips, out the previous few weeks, returns to score two first-half goals. Scotty's (7-2-1) stand three points above both Buchan and the Vikings.

VISA Becomes Huskies
November 17, 1957

A team of University of Washington students known as VISA (Visiting International Student Association) receives UW financial backing and renames itself Husky Soccer Club. VISA had joined the state's first division in October 1956.

We gather to acknowledge publicly the debt we owe Barney. He spent many laborious hours without compensation, toiling for the good of the sport. He has been an inspiration to all of us who worked with him.”
Frank Webb, longtime referee, celebrating Barney Kempton's many contributions to the game at his testimonial banquet
If our team gets in training and starts rolling, they’ll play the most beautiful soccer Seattle’s ever seen.
Andy Goodman, Hungarian immigrant
I’d like to earn my living from the game but living in this country is enough. We just hope to make soccer a little livelier here and get more people out for it.
Karloli (Charlie) Szilagyi, Hungarian refugee who opportunities to play professionally elsewhere but chose the U.S. and Seattle, specifically
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