With the Baltimore Bombers now a member of the North American Lacrosse League, we decided to take a look at the history of professional lacrosse in the Baltimore area.
The Baltimore Thunder were an original NLL team in 1987. Other than the Philadelphia Wings, they are the only active original NLL franchise (now relocated to Colorado).
Baltimore remained the Thunder and in the state of Maryland until 1999 when they began relocating. In 2005, they became the Mammoth. All time, the Thunder were 49-67. They won the first ever NLL Championship, in 1987.
They would miss the playoffs every year until 1991, where they lost in the semi finals. They lost in the division finals the next year, and missed the playoffs again every year until 1998, where they lost in the Championship.
The other professional lacrosse team to play in Baltimore is the Baltimore Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse, now the Chesapeake Bayhawks and a four time MLL champion.
The Bayhawks began in Baltimore in 2001. They played at Johns Hopkins in 2001 and 2003, and they played at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, in 2002.
Baltimore was the only MLL team to have a winning record in their first five years. In 2006, the Bayhawks moved to Washington DC and in 2010, they changed their name to the Chesapeake Bayhawks. They have hosted three of the last four MLL Championship Weekends.
Baltimore has also been the host of the NCAA lacrosse final four in five of the past ten years. Can Baltimore become a successful professional lacrosse market? The Thunder lasted for twelve years, longer than most pro lacrosse teams, and the Bayhawks are still a staple in the Baltimore area.
The Bombers are a new chapter to lacrosse in Baltimore.