Edwin F. Hale Sr. – Chairman
An avid sports fan and Baltimore native, Edwin F. Hale, Sr. is the proud owner of the 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2016 MISL/MASL Champion Baltimore Blast. After owning the Blast for eight seasons, he saw one of his dreams come true on April 18, 2003 when his Baltimore Blast defeated the Milwaukee Wave to win the League Title. He only had to wait one more year for his team to win the Championship again, becoming the first back-to-back champs since the Wave did it in 2000 and 2001. His team also won the championship in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2013 – for the fourth time in nine years. The Blast went on to win the 2016 MASL Championship after defeating Sonora Mexico in overtime.
Hale, 69, kicked off his involvement in Baltimore soccer on September 15, 1989 when he purchased the Baltimore Blast of the original Major Indoor Soccer League. During his involvement in the original MISL, Hale served as Chairman of the League’s Executive Committee and Marketing Committee and was regarded as one of the MISL’s most active and dedicated soccer executives.
In addition to owning the Blast, Hale owned the naming rights to Baltimore’s premier indoor Arena and stood alongside then-Mayor Martin O’Malley on January 4, 2003 when the Arena officially became known as 1st Mariner Arena.
Hale’s professional experience is highly respected in the Maryland business community. From May 1995 until December 2011, he has served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of 1st Mariner Bancorp which he founded.
Mr. Hale began his business career in 1968 with Atco Trailer Rentals. Originally hired as a clerk, he worked his way up to vice president. In 1975, he resigned to begin Port East Transfer. Port East was later renamed to Hale Trans, a trucking transportation, tug, barge and shipping company, which operated in 12 terminals throughout the East Coast and Midwest. Hale Trans was the largest employer in the Port of Baltimore until being sold in October 2002.
Mr. Hale is involved in a number of joint ventures and other private investments throughout the United States, and various industrial and commercial real estate ventures. He travels throughout the world on trade missions; all the while exploring investment opportunities.
In September 1991, Mr. Hale was elected as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Baltimore Bancorp, a major commercial bank in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region with assets of $3.5 billion.
In addition to his above involvements, Hale, a real estate developer, envisioned and developed Canton Crossing, a project that includes the Carefirst Tower with 1st Mariner Bank’s offices, other offices, retail shops and restaurants. Hale later sold that property.
In 2014, a biography was written about Mr. Hale entitled “Hale Storm” which outlines his life growing up with his parents and 4 siblings. The book includes all aspects of his life including his business accomplishments and his incredible secret life in the CIA.
Known throughout the community for his professional successes and charitable endeavors, Hale was named Ernst & Young’s “Master Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1996. He has also been recognized by several charitable organizations for his dedication to the community in which he grew up. Hale was chairman and CEO of Visit Baltimore, formerly known as BACVA (Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association), and was founder, chairman and CEO of the Maryland Business Council, and was Chairman of Miss USA in 2005 and 2006. In 2015, Hale was inducted into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame and in 2016, he was inducted into the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame.
Born in Highlandtown, Hale attended Sparrows Point High School, Essex Community College and the American International College in Springfield, Mass. He resides in Easton & Sparrows Point and has three children, a son, Edwin Jr., and two daughters, Ashley and Alexandra. He also has four grandsons and one granddaughter.
Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo – Commissioner
Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo was born and raised in Rochester, NY and fell in love with the great game of soccer in 1970 at the age of 10. Sam began playing that year with the Rochester Juniors and his Uncle Al Oliveri took him to his first Lancers game. Sam has been an avid fan of Indoor and Outdoor American Soccer ever since and continues to play.
IFSL 1985-2000: SoccerSam took over as commissioner of the Irondequoit Fall Soccer League (IFSL) in 1985. This 20 team league offered Fall soccer to some of the best former Pro players, college coaches and this areas best local players. In 1994, an all-star team traveled to Agropoli, Italy and won an adult tournament. Sam and his board organized several international trips.
SoccerSam TV Show 1994-2006: In 1994, Sam started America’s first weekly soccer TV show called “The SoccerSam Show” on Irondequoit cable access. This weekly show featured the IFSL all stars, trips to Italy and the first Rochester Lancers reunion game and award banquet. The show covered local youth and adult soccer, including section V soccer and local teams competing in the US Open Cup. The show went weekly on the WB network. Sam interviewed some of the greatest names in the history of soccer on this show including Pelé and Mia Hamm. 1995: The Rochester Rhinos were introduced and the focus of the show became making the Rhinos a success. The Rhinos became the most successful team in the history of American Soccer and many attribute the success of the team to the show. The show will return soon!
Kick This! The SoccerSam Radio Show 1995-Present: This weekly radio show started in 1995 and several local soccer celebrities helped host the show. The show’s focus is local soccer and covers only American Soccer! Rich Jones is the Producer and Mike Moran is the Webmaster. Kick This! can be heard nationally on iHeartRadio Saturdays from 11am-Noon EST. Replays are available at soccersam.com.
Buffalo Blizzard: SoccerSam helped the Buffalo Blizzard of the NPSL for many years. The Buffalo Blizzard was an indoor soccer team based in Buffalo, New York. The team was a member of the now defunct NPSL from 1992 to 2001. From 1992-1996, the team played at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, and they moved to HSBC Arena in 1996 where they played until 2001. SoccerSam was part of the radio team, game day production and helped organize the Buffalo Stallions reunion game. The team averaged over 8,400 fans per season during its existence. SoccerSam covered the Blizzard and the NPSL on his weekly television show for years.
The Rochester Rhinos 1996-2009: SoccerSam was the assistant to the GM since day one of the Rochester Rhinos. SoccerSam took care of selling tickets, sponsorship, trades and most of the game day ideas for the early days of the Rhinos. SoccerSam was part of the Rhinos radio team for years and introduced the Postgame Call-In Show. In 2008, under new owner Rob Clark, SoccerSam became the Team President and helped rebuild attendance, sponsorship sales and new concessions. SoccerSam brought back the party to each game! Pre-game bands, music throughout the game, and postgame autographs on the field with the players. The Rhinos soon became a success at the new venue.
Time Out: After surgery in July, 2009, SoccerSam suffered a stroke effecting his entire memory. In his new life, he used videos and tapes of the SoccerSam Show and notes from this book he was working on to reconnect with his past.
The Rochester Lancers 2011-Present:
The Rochester Lancers is an indoor soccer team that started in the Major Indoor Soccer League. The team is named in honor of the Rochester Lancers (1967-80) of the North American Soccer League. SoccerSam is the CEO/Founder of the Lancers.
Following a merger of the I-League and the Major Indoor Soccer League, the Lancers played their first game in Syracuse on November 4, 2011 against their “Thruway Rivals” the Syracuse Silver Knights. The team is led by former Rochester Rhino and Rochester soccer legend forward Doug Miller. The Lancers finished 2nd in the Eastern Division in 2011, qualifying for the playoffs. 2012-13 Doug Miller was the League MVP. After the 2013-2014 season, the USL announced that they were no longer focusing on indoor soccer. The Lancers and other MISL teams joined the MASL for the 2014-2015 season. The Lancers advanced in the playoffs under Head Coach, Doug Miller. The Lancers did not play in the 2015-2016 season in the MASL, but the team won the RDSL indoor championship that year.
WNY Flash Present:
SoccerSam returns to the WNY Flash of the NWSL. In past years, Sam hosted pregame, postgame and game day radio for the Team and featured stars like Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Marta, and more. In 2016 , the Flash named SoccerSam Rochester’s Soccer Ambassador.
SoccerSam’s Soccer Awards:
1996: Section V Committee “Media Award”
2000: Town of Irondequoit “15 Years of Leadership”
2002: Press Radio Club “Charlie Wagner Award”
2005: County of Monroe “Outstanding Asset Builder”
2005: Section V Committee “Media Award”
2008: Eastridge High School “Hall of Fame”
2010: Frontier Field “Walk of Fame”
2011: Camp Good Days “Ring of Honor”
2013: Italian Civic League “Outstanding Citizen Award”
2016: Hickok Brain Injury Center “Community Hero Award”
Salvatore’s: Salvatore “SoccerSam” Fantauzzo is the Founder and CEO of Salvatore’s Old Fashioned Pizzeria. In 1978, Sam took a High School project and opened the first Salvatore’s location. Today there are over 30 locations throughout Monroe County. The Salvatore’s Pizza Family employs over 1,000 Rochesterians. In 2010 he brought back Donuts Delite, a Rochester landmark. SoccerSam recently brought Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips back to Rochester in 2014. In 2015, SoccerSam opened the 1872 Cafe and introduced a new franchise model called Speedy Slice Pizza.
Personal: SoccerSam is married to Linda Fantauzzo and resides in Webster with his children Salvatore II, Roxanna, Silvio (Angela) and three grandchildren Santino, Salvatore III and Massimo. Hobbies: Indoor Soccer, Outdoor Soccer, Futsal, Beach Soccer, and eating pizza.