Pacific Coast League

The Pacific Coast League (PCL) is a Minor League Baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern, and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one grade below Major League Baseball. It is officially named the Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. Its headquarters are in Round Rock, Texas.[1]

Upon its founding in 1903, the Pacific Coast League fielded six teams from the Pacific States of California, Oregon, and Washington. Today, the league is composed of 16 teams across 12 states stretching from Sacramento, California, to Nashville, Tennessee, and from Tacoma, Washington, to New Orleans, Louisiana.

The PCL was one of the premier regional baseball leagues in the first half of the 20th century. Although it was never recognized as a true major league, to which it aspired, its quality of play was considered very high. A number of top stars of the era, including Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams, were products of the league.

In 1958, with the arrival of major league teams on the west coast and the availability of televised major league games, the PCL's modern era began with each team signing Player Development Contracts to become farm teams of major league clubs.

A league champion is determined at the end of every season. The San Francisco Seals won 14 Pacific Coast League titles, the most in the league's history, followed by the Los Angeles Angels (12) and the Albuquerque Dukes and Portland Beavers (8). After the season, the PCL champion plays in the Triple-A National Championship Game against the International League champion to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball. The Omaha Storm Chasers and Sacramento River Cats have each won two national championships, more than any other PCL teams.

Pacific Coast League
Pacific coast league
Pacific Coast League logo
SportBaseball
Founded1903
PresidentBranch B. Rickey
No. of teams16
CountryUnited States
Most recent
champion(s)
Memphis Redbirds (2018)
Most titlesSan Francisco Seals (14)
ClassificationTriple-A
Official websitewww.pclbaseball.com

History

Formation and early history

The Pacific Coast League was formed on December 29, 1902, when officials from the California State League (1899–1902) met in San Francisco for the purpose of expanding the league beyond California. Six franchises were granted. These were the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Oaks, Portland Beavers, Sacramento Senators, San Francisco Seals, and Seattle Indians. A dispute over territories owned by the Pacific Northwest League, in which the PCL had placed franchises, and the PCL's allowing blacklisted players to compete led to the National Association (Minor League Baseball) labeling the PCL as an outlaw league.[2]

The mild climate of the West Coast, especially California, allowed the league to play longer seasons, sometimes starting in late February and ending as late as the beginning of December. During the 1905 season the San Francisco Seals set the all-time PCL record by playing 230 games.[3] Teams regularly played between 170 and 200 games in a season until the late 1950s. This allowed players, who were often career minor leaguers, to hone their skills, earn an extra month or two of pay, and reduce the need to find off-season work. These longer seasons gave owners the opportunity to generate more revenue. Another outcome was that a number of the all-time minor league records for season statistical totals are held by players from the PCL.

Opening Day 1903, Oakland Commuters leaving the Statehouse Hotel for their first PCL game against Sacramento. (17124238308)
The visiting Oakland Oaks prepare to travel to the ballpark on Opening Day 1903 to face the Sacramento Senators.

The inaugural 1903 season, which consisted of over 200 scheduled games for each team, began on March 26.[4] The Los Angeles Angels finished the season in first place with a 133–78 (.630) record, making them the first league champions.

In 1904, National Association President Patrick T. Powers brokered terms with the PCL, clearing it of its outlaw status and designating it as a Class A league. In 1909, the league classification was raised to Double-A. In 1919, with the earlier addition of the Salt Lake Bees and Vernon Tigers, league membership reached eight teams for the first time. While the league had experienced little commercial success up to this point, the 1920s were a turning point which saw increased attendance and teams fielding star players.[2]

The Great Depression of the 1930s resulted in a lower quality of play due to the league's salary reduction. Still, a number of top stars, including Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, and Ox Eckhardt, competed on PCL teams that decade. Also helping attendance was the introduction of night games. At Sacramento's Moreing Field, the Sacramento Solons and the Oakland Oaks played the first night baseball game, five years before any major league night game, on June 10, 1930. The Hollywood Stars and San Diego Padres were added to the league in the 1930s as well.[2]

A near-major league

During the first half of the 20th century, the Pacific Coast League developed into one of the premier regional baseball leagues. The cities enfranchised by the other two high-minor leagues, the International League and the American Association, were generally coordinated geographically with the major leagues, but such was not the case with the PCL. With no major league baseball team existing west of St. Louis, the PCL was unrivaled for American west coast baseball. Although it was never recognized as a true major league, its quality of play was considered very high. Drawing from a strong pool of talent in the area, the PCL produced many outstanding players, including such future major-league Hall of Famers as Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Tony Lazzeri, Paul Waner, Earl Averill, Bobby Doerr, Joe Gordon, and Ernie Lombardi. Amid success experienced after World War II, league President Pants Rowland began to envision the PCL as a third major league. During 1945 the league voted to become a major league.[5] However, the American League and National League were uninterested in allowing it to join their ranks.[2]

While many PCL players went on to play in the major leagues, teams in the league were often successful enough that they could offer competitive salaries to avoid being outbid for their players' services. Some players made a career out of the minor leagues. One of the better known was Frank Shellenback, whose major league pitching career was brief,[6] but who compiled a record PCL total of 295 wins against 178 losses. (It should be mentioned, however, that Shellenback's long career in the PCL was largely due to his use of the spitball, banned in the major leagues in 1920, not the competitive salaries offered by PCL clubs.)[7] Many former major league players came to the PCL to finish their careers after their time in the majors had ended.

In 1952, the PCL became the only minor league in history to be given the "Open" classification, a grade above the Triple-A level. This limited the rights of major league clubs to draft players from the PCL, and was considered an act toward the circuit becoming a third major league.[2]

Sudden decline

The shift to the Open classification came just as minor league teams from coast to coast suffered a sharp drop in attendance, primarily due to the availability of major league games on television. The hammer blow to the PCL's major league dreams came in 1958 with the arrival of the first MLB teams on the west coast (the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants). As a result, three of the PCL's flagship teams (the Los Angeles Angels, Hollywood Stars, and San Francisco Seals) were immediately forced to relocate to smaller markets. The Oakland Oaks had moved to Canada two years before the Giants arrived. The San Diego Padres and Seattle Rainiers suffered the same fate when they were displaced by major league teams in 1969. Additionally, the PCL lost customers to the major league teams which then occupied the same territory. The league never recovered from these blows. The Pacific Coast League reverted to Triple-A classification in 1958, where it remains to this day, and soon diminished in the public eye to nothing more than another minor league.

Moving beyond the coast

The PCL began to spread out across the nation, and internationally, in the 1950s. Previously, Salt Lake City has been the eastern-most city in the league. In 1956, the Oakland Oaks relocated to Canada where they became the Vancouver Mounties, the circuit's first international team. Two years later, the Los Angeles Angels moved to become the Spokane Indians and the San Francisco Seals became the Phoenix Giants.[2]

The league continued to expand throughout the country in the 1960s. Clubs representing new cities during the decade included the Dallas Rangers, Denver Bears, Hawaii Islanders, Indianapolis Indians, Oklahoma City 89ers, Tacoma/Phoenix Giants, and Tucson Toros. From 1964 to 1968 the PCL swelled to twelve teams. The Albuquerque Dukes were one of several teams to begin play in the 1970s.[2] Several new teams arrived in the 1980s, such as the Calgary Cannons, Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Edmonton Trappers, and Las Vegas Stars, but the league began to stabilize as franchise relocations became less frequent.[2]

Recent expansion

In 1998, the Pacific Coast League took on five teams from the disbanding American Association, which had operated in the Midwest, and a sixth franchise was added to the league as an expansion team, thus providing the scheduling convenience of an even number of teams. The addition of the Iowa Cubs, Nashville Sounds, Oklahoma RedHawks, Omaha Royals, New Orleans Zephyrs, and the expansion Memphis Redbirds grew the league to an all-time-high 16 clubs.[2] The league presently stretches from Western Washington to Middle Tennessee. Despite its name, the league now has as many teams east of the Mississippi (Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans) as it does near the Pacific coast (Fresno, Sacramento, and Tacoma).

The league's presence in Canada diminished and ended in the early 2000s, as the Calgary Cannons moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to become the Albuquerque Isotopes in 2003, and the Edmonton Trappers, the circuit's final Canadian team moved to Round Rock in 2005. Of the cities represented in the PCL in its heyday, only Salt Lake City and Sacramento remain, and even these are represented by franchises different from those that originally called these cities home. In 2005, the Pacific Coast League became the first minor league ever to achieve a season attendance of over 7 million. In 2007, league attendance reached an all-time high of 7,420,095.[8]

In 2019, the team previously known as the Colorado Springs Sky Sox will relocate to San Antonio, Texas, where they will continue play in the PCL as the San Antonio Missions, which had competed in the Double-A Texas League.[9] This move will be accompanied by realignment in the American Conference. Nashville and Memphis will move to the Northern Division, and Oklahoma City and San Antonio will compete in the Southern Division.[10] In a further move, the New Orleans Baby Cakes have requested permission to relocate to Wichita, Kansas as early as 2020.[11]

Structure and season

The league is divided into two conferences, the American Conference and the Pacific Conference. Each conference is divided into a Northern Division and a Southern Division. Each conference consists of eight teams evenly divided into four-team divisions.[12]

Each club has 140 games scheduled per season. Of these, 112 games are played against conference opponents, with 48 against teams in their division and 64 against teams in the other division. The other 28 games are played against teams in the opposing conference. These interconference games are organized as eight, three-or-four-game series. A team will play one opposite conference's division's teams at home and the other's on the road. Play alternates each year so that interconference opponents will have played each other at home and on the road over the span of two seasons. The season typically begins during the first week of April and concludes in the first week of September on Labor Day.[13]

Championship and interleague play

2015 AAA All-Star Game dugout
PCL All-Stars at the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game

At the end of the season, the Northern and Southern Division winners within each conference meet in a best-of-five series to determine conference champions. The American and Pacific Conference winners then play a best-of-five series to determine a league champion.[14]

Since 2006, the PCL champion has played against the International League's champion in the Triple-A National Championship Game, a single game to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball. Previously, the PCL champion also competed in the Triple-A World Series (1983, 1998–2000), Junior World Series (1919), and other sporadic postseason competitions throughout the league's history.

Other interleague play occurs during the Triple-A All-Star Game. Traditionally, the game has taken place on the day after the mid-summer Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[15] The game is meant to mark a symbolic halfway-point in the season (though not the mathematical halfway-point which, for most seasons, is usually one month prior). During the All-Star break, no regular-season games are scheduled for two days before the All-Star Game itself.[16]

Rules

The Pacific Coast League plays by the same rules listed in the Official Baseball Rules published by Major League Baseball. One exception is the use of the Designated hitter (DH). Whereas the application of the DH rule in Major League Baseball is determined by the identity of the home team, with the rules of the home team's league applying to both teams, PCL pitchers hit when both clubs are National League affiliates and they have agreed to have their pitchers hit. Two National League affiliated clubs may agree to use the DH instead. The reason for this is that as players move up and get closer to reaching the majors, teams prefer to have the rules follow (as closely as possible) those of the major leagues. The DH is always used when one or both teams are American League affiliates.[17]

Other differences lie in the use of professional baseball's pace-of-play initiatives which began to be implemented in 2015. A 15-second pitch clock is used when no runners are on base; 20 seconds are allowed with runners present. Each half extra inning begins with a runner on second base.[18] Teams are limited to five mound visits during a nine-inning game.[19] Pitchers are required to face a minimum of three consecutive batters until the side is retired or the pitcher becomes injured and is unable to continue playing.[19]

Current teams

Division Team Founded MLB Affiliation Affiliated City Stadium Capacity
American
Northern
Iowa Cubs 1969 Chicago Cubs 1981 Des Moines, Iowa Principal Park 11,500
Memphis Redbirds 1998 St. Louis Cardinals 1998 Memphis, Tennessee AutoZone Park 10,000
Nashville Sounds 1978 Texas Rangers 2019 Nashville, Tennessee First Tennessee Park 10,000
Omaha Storm Chasers 1969 Kansas City Royals 1969 Papillion, Nebraska Werner Park 9,023
American
Southern
New Orleans Baby Cakes 1993 Miami Marlins 2009 Metairie, Louisiana Shrine on Airline 10,000
Oklahoma City Dodgers 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers 2015 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark 9,000
Round Rock Express 2000 Houston Astros 2019 Round Rock, Texas Dell Diamond 11,631
San Antonio Missions 1888 Milwaukee Brewers 2019 San Antonio, Texas Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium 9,200
Pacific
Northern
Fresno Grizzlies 1998 Washington Nationals 2019 Fresno, California Chukchansi Park 10,500
Reno Aces 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks 2009 Reno, Nevada Greater Nevada Field 9,013
Sacramento River Cats 2000 San Francisco Giants 2015 West Sacramento, California Raley Field 14,014
Tacoma Rainiers 1960 Seattle Mariners 1995 Tacoma, Washington Cheney Stadium 6,500
Pacific
Southern
Albuquerque Isotopes 2003 Colorado Rockies 2015 Albuquerque, New Mexico Isotopes Park 13,500
El Paso Chihuahuas 2014 San Diego Padres 2014 El Paso, Texas Southwest University Park 9,500
Las Vegas Aviators 1983 Oakland Athletics 2019 Summerlin, Nevada Las Vegas Ballpark 10,000
Salt Lake Bees 1994 Los Angeles Angels 2001 Salt Lake City, Utah Smith's Ballpark 14,511
Current team locations:
  American Conference – Northern Division
  American Conference – Southern Division
  Pacific Conference – Northern Division
  Pacific Conference – Southern Division

Current team rosters

Teams timeline

Note: Teams in italics are PCL "classic" teams from the league's height in the 1950s.

Source:[20]

1The 1917 Portland Beavers ceased operations, and its slot in the PCL was offered to Sacramento.
2The 1905 Tacoma Tigers were moved back to Sacramento in the middle of the 1905 season due to poor play, then were moved again to Fresno the following season.
3The 1907–1908 Sacramento Cordovas played in the California League after returning from Fresno.
4The 1907–1918 Seattle Indians played in the Class B Northwest League.

Former American Association teams

Five current league teams were acquired by the PCL following the disbandment of the American Association after the 1997 season.

5The Oklahoma City 89ers were a member of the Pacific Coast League from 1963–1968.
6The Denver Bears were a member of the Pacific Coast League from 1963–1968.

Defunct teams

Two former league teams played in the PCL from the 1964 to 1968. Each one had played in the International League during the 1963 season, and each was transferred to the American Association after the 1968 season.

Presidents

Seventeen presidents have led the PCL since its formation:[23][24]

  • 1902–1903: James Moran
  • 1903–1906: Eugene F. Bert
  • 1907–1909: J. Cal Ewing
  • 1910–1911: Judge Thomas F. Graham
  • 1912–1919: Allan T. Baum
  • 1920–1923: William H. McCarthy
  • 1924–1931: Harry A. Williams
  • 1932–1935: Hyland H. Baggerly
  • 1936–1943: W. C. Tuttle
  • 1944–1954: Clarence H. Rowland
  • 1955: Claire V. Goodwin
  • 1956–1959: Leslie O'Connor
  • 1960–1968: Dewey Soriano
  • 1968–1973: William B. McKechnie Jr.
  • 1974–1978: Roy Jackson
  • 1979–1997: Bill Cutler
  • 1998–present: Branch B. Rickey

Past champions

League champions have been determined by different means since the Pacific Coast League's formation in 1903. With few exceptions, most PCL champions through 1927 were simply the regular season pennant winners.[25] However, a few seasons during this time did feature a postseason championship series to crown a champion. It wasn't until the mid-1930s that the league instituted regular postseason play that was only sporadically cancelled due to financial problems or other factors.[26]

The San Francisco Seals have won 14 PCL championships, the most among all teams in the league, followed by the Los Angeles Angels (12) and the Albuquerque Dukes and Portland Beavers (8). Among active PCL franchises, the Tacoma Rainiers have won 5 championships, the most in the league, followed by the Sacramento River Cats and Memphis Redbirds (4).[26]

Awards

The PCL recognizes outstanding players and team personnel annually near the end of each season.

MVP Award

The Most Valuable Player Award, first awarded in 1927, is given to honor the best player in the league. The award is voted on by team managers, general managers, broadcasters, and media representatives from around the league, as are all PCL year-end awards.[27]

Pitcher of the Year Award

The Pitcher of the Year Award, first awarded in 2001, serves to recognize the league's best pitcher. Pitchers were eligible to win the MVP award from 1927 to 2000 as no award was designated solely for pitchers.[27]

Rookie of the Year Award

The Rookie of the Year Award, created in 1998, is given to the best player with no prior PCL experience.[27]

Manager of the Year Award

The Manager of the Year Award, started in 1967, is given to the league's top manager.[27]

Executive of the Year Award

The Executive of the Year Award, first awarded in 1974, honors team executives who have achieved success in the area of attendance figures, promotions, and community involvement.[27]

Hall of fame

The Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame was established in 1942 to honor league players, managers, and executives who have made significant contributions to the league's ideals. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class of 12 men in 1943. The Hall became dormant after 1957, but was revived in 2003, the PCL's centennial season. Today, the Hall of Fame Committee seeks to recognize worthy players throughout the league's history who have made contributions to the league. New members are elected before the start of each season.[28]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Contact Us". Pacific Coast League. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Pacific Coast League Year-By-Year Standings". 2017 Pacific Coast League Sketch & Record Book. Pacific Coast League. 2017. p. 141.
  3. ^ Weiss, William J., ed. (1969). "Records". Pacific Coast League Record Book. Pacific Coast League. p. 30.
  4. ^ Bauer, Carlos (30 March 2003). "The Formation of the Pacific Coast League". Pacific Coast League. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Pacific Coast League Votes to Become a Major League". The Milwaukee Journal. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. AP. 5 December 1945. p. L6. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Frank Shellenback Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Frank Shellenback – BR Bullpen". Baseball-Reference.com. 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Pacific Coast League: Attendance". milb.com. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  9. ^ "San Antonio to join PCL beginning in 2019". Pacific Coast League. 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Sounds Announce 2019 Home Schedule". Nashville Sounds. Minor League Baseball. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  11. ^ "It's official: Wichita confirms Baby Cakes filed for request to relocate". WDSU. 6 September 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  12. ^ "2017 Pacific Coast League Schedule Revealed". milb.com. Minor League Baseball. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  13. ^ "2018 Nashville Sounds Season Schedule" (PDF). Nashville Sounds. Minor League Baseball. 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Pacific Coast League Playoff Procedures". Pacific Coast League. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Omaha Storm Chasers and Werner Park to Host 2015 Triple-A Baseball All-Star Game". Omaha Storm Chasers. Minor League Baseball. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Durham Lands 2014 Triple-A ASG". Minor League Baseball. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  17. ^ "MiLB.com Frequently Asked Questions". The Official Site of Minor League Baseball. 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  18. ^ "MiLB announces pace-of-play rules for 2018". MILB.com. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  19. ^ a b "MiLB announces pace-of-play rules for 2019". MILB.com. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Pacific Coast League (AAA) Encyclopedia and History". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  21. ^ Nothaft, Mark (3 January 2017). "What happened to the Phoenix Firebirds?". Arizona Republic. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  22. ^ "PCL approves Sidewinders sale; Reno gets site". The Arizona Daily Star. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  23. ^ "Former Presidents". Pacific Coast League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  24. ^ Bauer, Carlos. "The Formation of the Pacific Coast League". Pacific Coast League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Past Champions". Pacific Coast League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  26. ^ a b "Post-Season Play in the Pacific Coast League". Triple-A Baseball. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  27. ^ a b c d e f "Pacific Coast League Award Winners". Pacific Coast League. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  28. ^ "Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame". Pacific Coast League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 3 March 2015.

External links

Albuquerque Isotopes

The Albuquerque Isotopes are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. They are located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and play their home games at Isotopes Park which opened in 2003 and has an elevation exceeding 5,100 feet (1,555 m) above sea level.

Albuquerque was previously represented in the PCL as a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate by the Albuquerque Dukes who won several PCL championships in the 1970s and 1980s before relocating to Oregon as the Portland Beavers in 2001. The Isotopes began play in 2003 when the Calgary Cannons relocated from Alberta to New Mexico. The Isotopes were affiliated with the Florida Marlins from 2003 to 2008 and the Dodgers from 2009 to 2014. They have won three division titles (2003, 2009, and 2012), but have yet to win a league championship.

The Isotopes' mascot is Orbit, a yellow, orange, and red alien. In 2016, Forbes listed the team as the 14th-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $34 million.

Colorado Springs Sky Sox

The Colorado Springs Sky Sox were a Minor League Baseball team in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The team played in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and was the Triple-A affiliate of the major league Milwaukee Brewers (2015–2018), Colorado Rockies (1993–2014), and Cleveland Indians (1988–1992). The Sky Sox won the PCL title in 1992 and 1995.

El Paso Chihuahuas

The El Paso Chihuahuas are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. They are located in El Paso, Texas, and play their home games at Southwest University Park, which opened in 2014. The Chihuahuas moved to El Paso from Tucson, Arizona, where they were known as the Tucson Padres. The only league title in franchise history is the 2016 PCL championship.

Fresno Grizzlies

The Fresno Grizzlies are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. They are located in Fresno, California, and play their home games at Chukchansi Park which opened in 2002 and has a capacity of 10,500, after previously playing at Pete Beiden Field from 1998 to 2001. The Grizzlies won the PCL championship in 2015, making it the only league title in franchise history. All games are broadcast on KRDU with Doug Greenwald handling the play-by-play.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. They are located in Des Moines, Iowa, and play their home games at Principal Park, which opened in 2004. The team was originally known as the Iowa Oaks when it was established as a member of the Triple-A American Association in 1969. The Cubs took on the moniker of their major league affiliate in 1982. They joined the PCL in 1998. Their only league title in franchise history is the 1993 American Association championship.

Las Vegas Aviators

The Las Vegas Aviators, formerly known as the Las Vegas 51s and Las Vegas Stars, are a Minor League Baseball team in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. They are located in Summerlin, Nevada, a community in Las Vegas. The Aviators play their home games at Las Vegas Ballpark, a new 10,000-seat facility. The team previously played at Cashman Field from 1983 to 2018.

The team won the PCL championship as the Stars in 1986 and 1988.

Memphis Redbirds

The Memphis Redbirds are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. They are located in Memphis, Tennessee, and play their home games at AutoZone Park which opened in 2000 and seats 10,000. The team previously played at Tim McCarver Stadium in 1998 and 1999.

They were established as a PCL expansion team in 1998. A total of 7 managers have led the club and its more than 500 players. As of the completion of the 2018 season, the Redbirds have played in 3,000 regular season games and compiled a win–loss record of 1,514–1,486 (.505). They won the Pacific Coast League championship in 2000, 2009, 2017, and 2018. The Redbirds won the Triple-A National Championship Game in 2018.

New Orleans Baby Cakes

The New Orleans Baby Cakes (formerly the New Orleans Zephyrs) are a Minor League Baseball team in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. They are located in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, and play their home games at the Shrine on Airline.

The team began play in 1993 as a member of the Triple-A American Association (AA) after the Denver Zephyrs relocated to Metairie. They joined the PCL in 1998. New Orleans has qualified for the postseason on three occasions and has won the PCL championship twice as the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros (1998 and 2001).

The Baby Cakes will relocate to Wichita, Kansas, in 2020. The city of New Orleans hopes to bring in a Double-A Southern League team to carry on the Baby Cakes identity.

Omaha Storm Chasers

The Omaha Storm Chasers are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They are located in Papillion, Nebraska, a suburb southwest of Omaha, and play their home games at Werner Park which opened in 2011. The team previously played at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, home to the College World Series, from 1969 to 2010.The team has been the only Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals since their inception in the 1969 Major League Baseball expansion. They were originally known as the Omaha Royals when they were established as a member of the Triple-A American Association in 1969. They joined the PCL in 1998, and were briefly known as the Omaha Golden Spikes (1999–2001) before reverting to their Royals moniker. They rebranded as the Storm Chasers in 2011.

Omaha has won seven league championships. Most recently, they won back-to-back PCL championships in 2013 and 2014. They previously won the PCL title in 2011. They also won the American Association championship in 1969, 1970, 1978, and 1990. They went on to win the Triple-A Classic in 1990 and the Triple-A National Championship Game in 2013 and 2014.

In 2016, Forbes listed the Storm Chasers as the 29th-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $27 million.

Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame

The Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame is an American baseball hall of fame which honors players, managers, and executives of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). It was created by the Helms Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles in 1942 to honor those individuals who made significant contributions to the league's ideals. The Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1943. A special Hall of Fame room was set up at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field on June 27, 1943.After the 1957 death of founder and main supporter Paul Helms and the arrival of Major League Baseball in the PCL's two largest markets, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Hall went dormant. In 2003, with the Pacific Coast League celebrating its centennial season, the Hall was revived. In its first new induction in 2003, twenty-one pre-1957 inductees were elected. The aim of the PCL's Hall of Fame Committee is to eventually recognize worthy players from before 1957, as well as those who made more recent contributions to the league. As of 2018, 110 individuals have been inducted into the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.

Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player Award

The Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual award given to the best player in minor league baseball's Pacific Coast League. Managers from the 16 Pacific Coast League teams vote for the winner of the award, which is then combined with 16 votes from various general managers, broadcasters, and media representatives around the league to determine a winner. The award was formerly voted upon by writers from The Sporting News.In 1927, Lefty O'Doul won the first ever Pacific Coast League MVP Award. No player was selected from 1928 to 1931. In 1932, the award returned, going to Jigger Statz. For six seasons in the 1970s (1973, 1975–79) the award was suspended. In 1948, Charlie Graham donated a plaque, which was named in his honor, to be awarded annually to the league's MVP.First basemen, with 22 winners, have won the most among infielders, followed by third basemen (7), second basemen (3), and shortstops (3). Eight players who won the award were catchers. Twenty-eight outfielders have won the MVP Award, the most of any position. A total of 11 pitchers have won the MVP Award, all of them being right-handed. The last pitcher to win was Steve Mintz in 1996. The Pacific Coast League now has a Pitcher of the Year Award, which was established in 2001. Steve Bilko has the record for most MVP Award wins with three (1955–57). Sandy Alomar, Jr., and Les Scarsella have both won the MVP Award twice. Scarsella first won the award in 1944 as a first baseman and then won his second in 1946 as an outfielder.

Two Pacific Coast League MVP Award winners, Joe DiMaggio and Tony Pérez, have gone on to be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Seven players each from the Los Angeles Angels and the Las Vegas Stars/51s have been selected for the MVP Award, more than any other teams in the league, followed by the Albuquerque Dukes and San Diego Padres (6); the Hollywood Stars (5); the Oakland Oaks, Sacramento River Cats, San Francisco Seals, and Spokane Indians (4); the Calgary Cannons, Reno Aces, Salt Lake City Stingers/Bees, Seattle Rainiers, and Tucson Toros/Sidewinders (3); the Albuquerque Isotopes, Edmonton Trappers, Fresno Grizzlies, Iowa Cubs, Oklahoma City 89ers/Oklahoma RedHawks, Phoenix Firebirds, and Sacramento Solons (2); and the El Paso Chihuahuas, Eugene Emeralds, Indianapolis Indians, Omaha Royals, Tacoma Giants, and the Tulsa Oilers (1).

Thirteen players from the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball (MLB) organization have won the MVP Award, more than any other, followed by the Chicago Cubs organization (9); the San Diego Padres organization (5); the Arizona Diamondbacks, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, and San Francisco Giants organizations (4); the Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, and St. Louis Cardinals organizations (3); the Anaheim/California Angels, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, and Toronto Blue Jays organizations (2); and the Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, and New York Yankees organizations (1). Thirteen MVP Award winners were not members of any MLB organization.

Reno Aces

The Reno Aces are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They are located in Reno, Nevada, and play their home games at Greater Nevada Field which opened in 2009. The Aces won the PCL championship in 2012 and went on to win the Triple-A National Championship Game.

Round Rock Express

The Round Rock Express are a Minor League Baseball team of Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros major league club. They are located in Round Rock, Texas, and play their home games at the Dell Diamond. The team is named for Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who was nicknamed "The Ryan Express." Ryan, along with son Reid Ryan and Don Sanders make up the team's ownership group, Ryan Sanders Baseball.The Express was established as a Double-A team of the Texas League in 2000, the team was replaced by a Triple-A PCL team in 2005. The Triple-A Express carried on the history of the Double-A team that preceded it. The team won the Texas League championship in 2000.

Sacramento River Cats

The Sacramento River Cats are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. They are located in West Sacramento, California, and play their home games at Raley Field which opened in 2000.

Sacramento was previously represented in the PCL by the Solons, a charter member of the league which was founded in 1903. Three different versions of the Solons played in California's capital city in 1903, 1905, from 1909 to 1914, from 1918 to 1960, and from 1974 to 1976. As of 2018, Sacramento is the only charter city that hosts a PCL team.

The team has won four PCL championships. Most recently, the River Cats won back-to-back in 2007 and 2008. They went on to win the Triple-A National Championship Game in both seasons. Sacramento also won the PCL crown in 2003 and 2004.

In 2016, Forbes listed the team as the most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $49 million.

Salt Lake City Bees

The Salt Lake City Bees were a minor league baseball club, based in Salt Lake City, Utah from 1911 until 1984, under various names. The Bees were long-time members of both the Pacific Coast League and Pioneer League. The team played their home games at Derks Field.

The direct predecessor to the Bees were the Salt Lake City Skyscrapers that played in the class-D Union Association from 1911–1914. The Association folded after the 1914 season. However, in 15, the San Francisco Missions were sold to Utah businessman Bill "Hardpan" Lane who moved the team to Salt Lake City. The club was named the Bees from 1915–1925. Due to the high altitude and the dimensions of the club's Bonneville Park stadium, the Bees recorded some of the best batting records in the PCL during this period.The club was named the Bees name from 1915–1925. However Lane moved the team to Los Angeles for the 1926 season. Originally they were known as the Hollywood Bees, but soon changed their name to the Hollywood Stars.

The Bees' baseball was still available though in the city with Salt Lake City's team in the Utah–Idaho League from 1926–1928. The team won its first title in their final 1928 season. In 1939 the third incarnation of the Bees was formed and played in the Pioneer League, winning titles in 1946 and 1953. The city returned to the Pacific Coast league from 1958–1965, winning the league title in 1959.

From 1967–1968, the city was represented by Salt Lake City Giants again played in the Pioneer League, now a rookie-level class league. The team was affiliated with the San Francisco Giants The team played the 1969 and 1970 seasons renamed as the Bees.

After their 1969, the club returned to Triple-A status and the Pacific Coast League. In 1971 the club was renamed the Salt Lake City Angels, when they became the affiliate of the California Angels through the 1974 season. In their first season as the Angels, the club won the southern division of the Pacific Coast League with a 78-68 record. The team would then go on to defeat the Tacoma Twins 3 games to 1 to claim the league pennant. The team was renamed the Salt Lake City Gulls in 1975 but remained as the Angels' top affiliate through the 1981 season. In 1979, the team were able to sweep the Hawaii Islanders and capture their final league title.

In 1982, The Gulls switched to the Seattle Mariners organization. Following the 1984 season, the team was relocated to Calgary, Alberta, and became the Calgary Cannons in 1985.The current minor league team in the city, the Salt Lake Buzz chose their name in part to pay homage to the Bees heritage. In November 2005, the Buzz, now the Salt Lake Stingers, changed their name to the Salt Lake Bees, reviving the name once again.

San Antonio Missions

The San Antonio Missions are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League and the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. They are located in San Antonio, Texas, and are named for The Alamo, originally a Spanish mission located in San Antonio. The Missions play their home games at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, which opened in 1994 and seats over 6,200 people with a total capacity of over 9,000.

Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. They are located in Tacoma, Washington, and play their home games at Cheney Stadium which opened in 1960. At only 26 miles (42 km) south of Seattle, the Rainiers have the shortest distance between a Triple-A team and its major league parent. Tacoma, which has the longest current active streak of PCL membership, operated under several monikers before becoming the Rainiers in 1995. They have won the PCL championship five times (1961, 1969, 1978, 2001, and 2010), more than any other active PCL team.

Triple-A (baseball)

Triple-A or Class AAA is the highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States and Mexico. Before 2008, Triple-A leagues also fielded teams in Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the Triple-A International League (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL), with 14 teams in the IL and 16 in the PCL. The MLB-independent Mexican League fields 16 teams. Triple-A teams are typically located in large metropolitan areas that do not have Major League Baseball teams, such as San Antonio; Austin; Columbus; and Indianapolis.

Interleague play between the International League and Pacific Coast League occurs twice each season. In July, each league's All-Star team competes in the Triple-A All-Star Game. In September each league's regular season champions play each other in the Triple-A National Championship Game to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball.

The Triple-A classification was created before the 1946 season. Prior to then, the top level of the minors had been designated as Double-A since 1912. The modern Double-A classification also dates to 1946, when the former Class A1 level was renamed.

Vancouver Canadians

The Vancouver Canadians are a Minor League Baseball team based in the Northwest League (NWL) and the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. They are located in Vancouver, British Columbia, and play their home games at Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium. The Canadians were established in 1978 as members of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League (PCL). They joined the NWL in 2000.The Canadians have won the NWL championship on four occasions (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2017). They previously won the PCL championship three times (1985, 1989, and 1999). The 1999 team also won the Triple-A World Series.They have been the only Canadian team in the affiliated minor leagues since 2008, the first season after the Ottawa Lynx moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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