The original incarnation of the American Hockey League Barons played from 1937 to 1973. In that time frame they won 10 division titles and 9 Calder Cups, which is an unsurpassed AHL record. When the World Hockey Association (WHA) Cleveland Crusaders began play in 1973, it shrank the market for the Barons and caused their demise. The Barons could not compete wth the WHA practice of hiring ex-NHL players whose contracts had expired and consequently lost many fans. The owner, Nick Mileti, decided the team could not compete against the new Crusaders and moved the Barons to Jacksonville, Florida.
The National Hockey League Barons started out as the California Seals to draw a larger fan base from San Francisco, California as well as from Oakland, California. During their first season, 1967-1968 the team was renamed the Oakland Seals . In 1970, the new owner of the team renamed them California Golden Seals and had them wear white ice skates. The team reverted back to the California Seals for the 1975-1976 season. The Seals relocated to Cleveland, Ohio and were renamed the Cleveland Barons in the fall of 1976. They played two seasons in Cleveland before the league merged them with the Minnesota North Stars, before the 1978 1979 season.