As a graduate of New Bedford High School's Class of '76 (1976, not 1876), I have been a Whalers fan for many years. Though I played no organized sports, I have been a sports fan my entire life.

A kid with flat feet, bad eyesight, and hearing loss benefited the team more by sitting in the stands than standing on the field.

My youngest son, the athlete in the family, played junior varsity and varsity baseball for New Bedford High School. Someone had to defend the family's honor.

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A liability on the field, I attended Whalers games and the Thanksgiving Eve bonfire and rally at Buttonwood Park. Go team!

It has been almost 50 years since I graduated from New Bedford High School during the Bicentennial year in my crimson cap and gown and a red, white and blue tassel with a gold "76" attached.

Given what may be a rekindling of the debate over the Dartmouth Indians logo, I wondered when New Bedford began using the "Whaler" name for its sports teams.

The short answer is, I don't know.

NBHS Whalers Not The Only Whalers To Play Sports In New Bedford
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I did learn that the name "Whalers" has been around for many years, used by New Bedford sports teams other than those affiliated with New Bedford High School.

The New Bedford Whalers were a minor league baseball team between 1895 and 1933 as part of the New England League, Colonial League and Northeastern League.

The Whalers played their home games at Olympic Field in New Bedford from 1893 to 1898 before moving to Sargent Field. Olympic Field was at Kempton Street and Jenny Lind Street.

The New Bedford Whalers won their league championships in 1910 and 1933.

Three New Bedford-based soccer teams used the name Whalers. The first was part of the Southern New England Soccer League between 1914 and 1918. The second Whalers soccer team was in the American Soccer League between 1924 and 1931.

The third New Bedford Whalers soccer team played in the ASL between 1931 and 1932.

With all those Whalers running around, one can see why New Bedford is known as the Whaling City.

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