My interest in Bakersfield hockey started in the mid 1990s when my dad took our family to watch the team that was then known as the Bakersfield Fog (West Coast Hockey League). Since then, they became the Bakersfield Condors of the East Coast Hockey League before becoming the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate for the Edmonton Oilers in 2016; the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL) relocated to Bakersfield as part of a realignment that added a new Pacific Division. The Bakersfield Condors retained their namesake but adopted the team colors and jersey design for their parent club, adding the orange alternate jersey (with their alternate logo as the crest) for the 2016-17 season.
The Condors have given a lot to the Bakersfield community, but the most notable is their Condors Comrades program where a Condors player is paired with a Special Olympics of Kern County athlete. During their inaugural 2015-16 AHL season, the Condors wore specialty Condors Comrades jerseys that were auctioned off and raised over $26,000.00 for the Special Olympics.
I purchased one of these specialty jerseys and was able to have it signed by Matthew Ford, one of the team’s Condors Comrades leaders and the 2015-16 Condors AHL Man of the Year Award recipient, and Laurent Brossoit, #Condorstown fan favorite and player whose game-used jerseys usually raises the most funds.
On January 6th and 7th, 2017 respectively, the Bakersfield Condors hosted the NHL Alumni & Celebrity Game (starring Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, and others) and Condorstown Outdoor Classic at Bakersfield College’s Memorial Stadium against the visiting Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate), the first outdoor hockey game in Bakersfield history.
The Condors wore a different jersey each period: primary logo crest (1st period), primary logo without wordmark crest (2nd period), alternate logo crest (3rd period).
After a scoreless 1st period, the Reign netted two goals during a rainy 2nd period before the Condors tied it with two goals of their own in a much drier 3rd period and won it in overtime. I’m surprised I didn’t lose my voice. While I was certainly tempted to purchase each of the three jerseys, I opted for the primary crest and got it signed by Josh Currie (scored game-tying goal) and Griffin Reinhart (scored game-winning goal).
The location of the autographs on the Outdoor Classic wasn’t ideal, but I hope to figure out a way to get each of the jerseys framed.