The Kentucky Cornels: Kentucky’s Only Professional Franchise

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Adam Flanders

For decades there has been speculation and push for an NBA team here in Louisville. Studies done by the American City Business Journal in 2014 have pointed out that Louisville is an ideal city for a current NBA team looking to relocate. Louisville has had its fair share of awful  attempts of hosting semi-pro basketball since the city’s only professional basketball team folded in 1975. These teams included the CatBirds in the 1980s, the Louisville Shooters in the early 1990’s - playing only one season, and of course the very short-lived relaunch of the famed Kentucky Cornels in the early 2000’s. The consistent rise and fall of past teams leaves a shred of hope that one day professional basketball would have a home here once again. Here is the story of Kentucky’s only professional team, the Kentucky Cornels.


The Kentucky Cornels began play in the American Basketball Association in 1967. In the early years, the team was known more for it’s publicity stunts than it’s play on the court. Most notably, the Cornels signed Penny Ann Early, famously known for being the first woman to be a licensed jockey in 1968. Having never played basketball before, the owners expected that she play anyway. Reluctantly, coach Gene Rhodes put her in for an inbound play against the Los Angeles Stars, and then immediately took her out. Though she only played mere seconds, she stepped off the court to a standing ovation; signing hundreds of autographs after the game.

At the beginning of the 1971 ABA season, the team signed two local Kentucky stars. Louie Dampier, a UK grad, and Darel Carrier, a WKU grad. These two were some of the best long range shooters of their time. This signified the end to publicity era. These kids meant business. The team fell short in the 1971 championship series, losing to the Utah Stars in seven games. The next season the Cornels had a good run in the playoffs, but the same result unfolded, with a seven game losing streak to the Indiana Pacers.

Despite a wild offseason that almost caused the team to relocate to Cincinnati, 1975 would be the year that the Cornels would finally break through to win an ABA title. Thanks to new owner John Y.  Brown, who also owned Kentucky Friend Chicken and was a future Kentucky governor, plus new hired coach Hubie Brown, a former NBA assistant; the team would finally beat their arch rivals the Indiana Pacers four to one in a best of seven series.

The ABA eventually merged with the NBA in 1976, leaving the Cornels out in the cold as one of two teams who were not selected to join the NBA. The legacy of the Kentucky Cornels may be one that is a bit wacky and weird, but one thing is for sure. The franchise didn't disappoint in the entertainment category. Professional basketball has been absent from the state of Kentucky for forty one years now. Rumors of the city of Louisville being a perfect relocation spot for a current franchise has been big gossip. Is it time for the Kentucky Cornels professional team to be reborn once again or are they lost in state sports history?

The Mid-Summer Classic

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Adam Flanders

Every mid summer since 1933, Major League Baseball has held their annual All-Star game. The All-Star game is an exciting event because the winning league team receives the home field advantage in the World Series! Even though this makes the game more meaningful, it is not very popular due to the fact that many fans, players, and managers believe the home field advantage in the World Series should be given to the team with the best regular season record. Even though the All-Star game is up for debate, there is one thing that most look forward to - the Home Run Derby.

The Home Run Derby has been a well-known favorite since it’s start in 1985. What better way to showcase the best-of-the-best than to have a contest with the best sluggers in the business?

In the early years, the derby was constructed into two innings with 5 outs a piece. The player with the most home runs after two innings was the winner. The original format was used until 2000. At the beginning of the new millennium, a second round rule change was made so that it became a head to head competition where the two top home run hitters competed for the title.  Since then, the rules seem to change on a regular basis. One of the biggest rule changes was the addition of the golden ball. If a golden ball, now known as a flex ball, was hit out of the park sponsors would donate to a specific charity.


Since the derby was first televised in 1993, it has been known to be one of the most watched programs on TV. This drives some of the best home run hitters to strive to participate in the event. The likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr. and so many more greats have been crowned champions of baseball’s fan favorite event.


Here at Shively Sporting Goods, we take pride in being Louisville’s local sports store. We hope one day we can say we supplied a future Home Run Derby Champ with his lucky bat as a Little Leaguer. We can dream can’t we? We hope you all enjoyed this year’s Home Run Derby, and a big congratulations to this year’s champion, Giancarlo Stanton!

Shively Uniform Service

Posted on May 31, 2016 by Adam Flanders

Shively Sporting Goods has equipped Louisville athletics with uniforms for two decades in the 70’s and 80’s. As the uniform supplier, our team got to be a part of 7 regular season conference titles, 6 conference tournament championships, and  2 national titles in 1980 and 1986. We are extremely proud of our history with the Louisville Cardinals and other local sports organizations!

Today, we still make uniforms for all kinds of teams, whether that be a golf polo for your business or t-shirts for the little league baseball team you coach.  Let us help your team look great on and off the field. We have several services that will help you get exactly what you need from screen printed t-shirts, heat press t- shirts and to embroidery  to custom Rawlings and Adidas uniforms, and even trophy engravings.

For help with Adidas and Rawling custom uniforms, go to the services tab on our webpage and click on “Uniform Building” for the brand that you would like. If you would like information on our other services, that will also be located on the services tab. Do not hesitate to stop by and talk with at our store location or give us a call with any questions. We can help you decide what works best for your team around your budget!

Gloves in The Game

Posted on May 10, 2016 by Adam Flanders

Gloves in the game of football  haven't  always been in existence, if you ask the old school football coaches they would probably tell you that they prefer  not to have gloves, and they probably don't  help much if you have good hands you have good hands . Since this Trend started in the NFL in 2010, it has trickled  down to college football,  and then to the high school levels of the game, even down to the youth level. The fact of the matter is, the wide receiver  gloves are here to stay whether it gives players a better grip to catch balls, or maybe it is just a confidence that comes with wearing gloves that makes players think that they catch better , or maybe its the fashion  statement that “look good play good mentality” that has graced the new generations of players with the customized team graphics on the gloves that are a selling point in themselves .  Regardless, of the reason players wear gloves I'm sure we can speak for all coaches that if it makes their players play well they are all for it .

Though out May we are celebrating a month long sale on various football equipment to get you or your players ready for the season. We are ready to help you look good and play better with our products. Come stop by and get ready for the season

Breaking in A Glove

Posted on March 01, 2016 by Adam Flanders

There are two types of people in this country: People who love the game of baseball, and people who could care less. Regardless of which side of the fence you stand on, if you grew up a sports fan spring training was always something you were well aware of. Spring training meant summer was almost here, and that school was almost out. The opening of baseball parks meant that ice cream, popcorn, soda, and hot dogs all devoured in one session was acceptable.  If you were a player, watching the professionals play made summer nights at the park all the more significant.

With the season quickly approaching, whether you are a pro or a little leaguer, you are one of two types of people when it comes to the most important equipment on the field, your glove. Some love to get a new glove every so often, and some like to keep there glove for a life time as if they have a relationship with it… we wouldn't doubt that they in fact do have a relationship with that glove. If you ask these people who have an attachment to their glove they will say it’s sentimental memories keeping them attached.

It’s always great to hear those stories, but for those of you who like to have a new glove every few years there are always problems that you face. Breaking in the glove is a big task. That’s why so many like to stick with the same old glove year after year. If it isn't broke don’t fix it, right? Breaking in a glove is quite an art form. Here are a few ways that some of the greats break in their gloves:

 Felix Hernandez - Seattle Mariners Pitcher

Some people would not suggest this, but Felix Hernandez says that he puts his glove in the Microwave for 30 seconds, then lathers it up with shaving cream, and lastly playing catch with it several times before playing with it in a game.

 Ken Griffey Jr. - Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame Center Fielder

Griffey Jr. had a care-free method of breaking in his glove saying that he would just send his dad his gloves for him to break in.

Adrian Beltre - Texas Ranger Third Baseman

Beltre says, that he also puts his glove in the microwave but then will take a glove mallet and pound on the glove a few minutes before taking the field for practice; letting time and conditioning take its course.

Tim Lencecum - San Fransisco Giants Pitcher

Takes a more simple approach by just playing catch and lets time break in his glove.



80's Cards Revival

Posted on February 08, 2016 by Adam Flanders

Earlier this month Adidas rolled out two more sets of uniforms for the University of Louisville’s basketball program. Louisville have already worn the home whites, but tonight will wear the away black jerseys against Duke. These particular jerseys are from the 80’s era when Shively Sporting Goods used to manufacture the basketball program’s uniforms. So you could assume that these throwbacks are close to our hearts.

There was a time when uniform manufactures were local, and major sports brands did not make uniforms. To make sure a university’s sports brand partner was getting the publicity and uniform advertising agreed upon, local uniform makers would slap on the partners brand logo. This would happen even if the uniform was not made by that specific brand. Crazy to think about in a new era of multi million dollar manufacturing partnerships, between brands and universities. As a jersey manufacture during this era we saw 7 regular season conference titles, 6 conference  tourney titles, and 2 national titles in 1980 and 1986.

We are extremely proud that our company has gotten to be a part of such a prestigious piece of cards history. In honor of tonights game we decided to show off Lancaster Gordan’s original jersey from the 80's