Soccer Almanac

American soccer writing, history & data.

Inaugural BMSL 1948-49 season

Nov. 27, 2021 |  Categories:  Baltimore   BMSL  

A new Baltimore Major Soccer League emerged for the 1948-49 season. Eight teams formerly associated with Baltimore's city Department of Recreation branched out in hopes of making a higher-level semi-pro league. The league included three teams from Patterson Park (Serra's Cafe, Esso & Santa Maria), two from Clifton Park (Parkville Tavern & Davis Tavern), two from Latrobe Park (Antlitz Seafood & Locust Point), and Reisterstown.

Three weeks into the season the Baltimore Americans of the American Soccer League disbanded. The BMSL quickly ruled that each club could not sign more than two former members of the Americans. Almost the entire roster of the Baltimore Americans wanted to sign with Santa Maria and the league passed the rule fearing that mass roster substitution would hurt competition.

Santa Maria and Davis Tavern also took part in the National Challenge Cup. Santa Maria beat Davis to win the Maryland District Qualifying Round but lost in the First Round Proper 4-2 to the Trenton Americans.

The first half of the BMSL ended in a three-way tie between Esso, Locust Point, and Parkville Tavern. But playoff matches to determine the winner were delayed until the second half was almost over. In late February, Locust Point beat Esso 3-0 in the initial first-half playoff which knocked the latter team out. In mid-March, Parkville Tavern beat Locust Point to 1-0 to win the first-half title.

A week later, Serra's Cafe beat Santa Maria 4-0 to leap over Parkville Tavern and win the second-half title by one point. The BMSL title match took place on April 3 at Patterson Park's Ortmann Field between Serra's Cafe and Parkville Tavern. The latter team easily won 3-0.

All eight BMSL clubs also took part in the Rowland and Stewart Cups. While the former was the Maryland and D.C.'s open cup, the latter was the association's amateur cup. Davis Tavern had a mediocre league season but managed to win both cup competitions. They defeated Locust Point 1-0 to take home the Stewart Cup on April 3 and, two weeks later, beat the same club 5-2 to claim the Rowland Cup.

Most of the BMSL clubs also took part in the National Amateur Cup. Serra's Cafe made it the farthest beating Esso to win the Maryland State title but losing in the next round to Philadelphia's Viola A.C. 3-1 in the Sectional final.

©2021 by Daniel Creel. All rights reserved.