5-7-18 Mikio
5-7-18 - Andy
Mikio Matsubayashi brought Diamond Vision to America
Translated into Japanese by Yoko Matsubayashi
Andy Dolich was the article's author

Earlier this year recognized sports authority Andy Dolich contributed an article on the passing of Mikio Matsubayashi, a dynamic and beloved pioneer who introduced Diamond Vision to the American sports world. Andy's article was warmly received by Mikio's family and Yoko Matsubayashi, Mikio's first wife, oversaw its translation into Japanese for circulation to his business friends, colleagues, schoolmates and relatives at a farewell party on May 8 in Japan. (The Japanese version, produced by Ms. Matsubayashi, is seen above. To see Andy's original article as it appeared in this publication, click here.)

Andy Dolich, President, Dolich Consulting -- Dolich has held executive positions in the NFL (San Francisco 49ers), NBA (Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers), MLB (Oakland A's), NHL (Washington Capitals) Pro Soccer and Lacrosse. Dolich is the Entrepreneur in Residence at Menlo College and co-author of

5-7-18 - Oakland Clippers
1967 Oakland Clippers road team
5-7-18 - Oakland Clippers
Oakland Clippers logo
Dave Newhouse

Bay Area's First Professional National Championship

By  Dave Newhouse
All right, local historians, let's play Jeopardy, the popular television quiz show. I'm Alex Trebek, and your final Jeopardy question is: Name the first Bay Area professional sports team to win a national championship? You have 20 seconds.

Tick, tock, tick, tock....time's up. The 49ers? Nope. The Warriors? Sorry. The A's? Close, but wrong. The Raiders? Same thing. The Giants? Waaay too early.

We have no winners, though it's understandable, for hardly anyone remembers the Oakland Clippers.

The Oakland what? The Oakland Clippers won the National Professional Soccer League championship in 1967, two years before the Oakland Oaks became the second Bay Area team to win a national title, in the American Basketball Association. The A's first struck gold in 1972, the Warriors in 1975, the Raiders in 1976, and the 49ers in 1981. The Giants had to wait until the next century.

"I did know that, and it's a sense of pride," Mirko Stojanovic, the Clippers goalie in '67, said of the team's unique, but largely forgotten place in local history. "Soccer was not that popular in this country at that point, but we started something new. It's nice to know that boys and girls 6 years old are playing soccer every weekend."

And it's equally nice to know that professional soccer still is around nationally, and also locally with the San Jose Earthquakes, who play before much larger crowds than did the Clippers, whose franchise lasted three years before folding.

"We were a great team," recalled Derek Liecty, the Clippers general manager, "even though it turned out to be a fantasy."

But what a fantasy and what a ride, albeit a short ride. After the 1966 World Cup, a group of American businessmen decided this country was ready for pro soccer on a national scale. William D. Cox was the ringleader, and he phoned Liecty, a former Stanford soccer player who was selling real estate in Berkeley, to meet with two Texas oilmen, Toby Hilliard and Joe O'Neill, about forming a Bay Are franchise. Liecty did so, and agreed to become their general manager, "even though they didn't know anything about soccer or the Bay Area."

Three months later, the Clippers were formed, mostly with Yugoslav players through the recruiting efforts of Dr. Alexandar Obradovic, a soccer legend in Yugoslavia who became the Clippers team manager, while also bringing along coach Ivan Toplak and trainer Boro Babic. Players from England, Norway, Costa Rica and other parts of the globe joined in, and the Clippers rolled to a 19-8-5 record, qualifying for the NPSL championship series against the Baltimore Bays.

Their two-game series would be decided by total goals. The Bays won the opener at home, 1-0, but the Clippers won the closer, 4-1, thanks to late addition Dragan Djukic's three-goal hat trick. Still more Yugoslav fire power, thanks to Dr. O's keen eye for talent as well as a sense of nationalism.

The Clippers were not only soccer champions, but soccer pioneers here and across the country.

"It was very gratifying to me, this rebirth of soccer in the United States," said Liecty. "There had been soccer in the U.S. in the early part of the last century, but it wasn't nationally. They were factory teams back then. I do consider myself a pioneer, one of many. But what was equally important to me was that we were accepted wholeheartedly by the local media as a first-class operation. And our owners, Toby and Joe, were classy people, unlike Al Davis."

By 1968, the Clippers were part of a merged league known as the North American Soccer League. Their record that season was 18-8-6, but they finished second in their division and didn't make the league championship series. By that time, seven of the 15 NPSL teams had bailed, leaving Dallas as the Clippers' "rival." Figuring in the cost factor of travel, Hilliard and O'Neill chose, instead, a series of local exhibitions against foreign teams, which led to a 1-1-1 three-game standoff against Soviet powerhouse Dynamo Kiev, thanks to Stojanovic's brilliant goaltending. But on June 4, 1969, the Clippers were no more.

"Though soccer was not then that accepted in this country," Stojanovic remembered, "eventually it felt great."

As did America to Stojanovic, who chose to live here, in Campbell, after his playing and later coaching career (Oakland Stompers, another short-lived soccer experiment) ended. Another Clipper standout, forward Ilija Mitic, lives in Mountain View. Midfielder Milan Cop resides in Chicago, but most of the Clippers returned to their native lands. A number of those Clippers have passed on.

But their legacy lives on, although in jeopardy, or on Jeopardy, of needing occasional refreshing.

Dave Newhouse's journalism career spans more than half a century, including 45 years at the Oakland Tribune before his retirement in November 2011. His twelfth book, co-authored with Eddie Hart, was published last July and is available in book stores and on Disqualified: Eddie Hart, Munich 1972, and the Voices of the Most Tragic Olympics. Dave grew up in Menlo Park, graduated from San Jose State, and has radio and television experience, in addition to his work as an award-winning sportswriter and columnist.

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit

Pops - Original
Pops Back Label