Pacific Coast LeagueFor the high school sports league, see Pacific Coast League (California). Pacific Coast League Sport BaseballFounded 1903No. of teams 16 Country(ies) United StatesMost recent
champion(s) Sacramento River CatsOfficial website www.pclbaseball.com
The Pacific Coast League (PCL) is a minor league baseball league operating in the West and Midwest of the United States. It is one of two leagues, along with the International League, playing at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball.
- 1 History
- 2 Championship and interleague play
- 3 Current teams
- 4 Final 2007 season standings
- 5 Teams timeline
- 6 Presidents of the PCL
- 7 See also
- 8 Sources
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The PCL has had a long tradition on the West Coast, with teams with evocative names such as the Hollywood Stars, Los Angeles Angels, Mission Reds (representing San Francisco's Mission District), Oakland Oaks, Portland Beavers, Sacramento Solons, Salt Lake Bees, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Seals, Seattle Rainiers, Vancouver Canadians, and Vernon Tigers.
A near-major league
In 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 interwoven geographically with the major leagues. Such was not the case with the PCL. With no major league baseball team existing west of St. Louis, the PCL was unrivaled as the vehicle for American west coast baseball. Although never recognized as a true major league, the quality of play was considered very high. Drawing from a strong pool of talent in the area, the PCL produced a number of outstanding players, including future major-league stars Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Tony Lazzeri, Paul Waner, Earl Averill, and Ernie Lombardi.
While many PCL stars 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 stars' services. Some players made a career out of the minor leagues. One of the better known of those was Frank Shellenback, whose major league pitching career was brief  but who compiled a record PCL total of 295 wins, against 178 losses. 
In addition, the mild climate of the West Coast, especially in California, allowed the league to play longer seasons, sometimes starting in late February and ending as late as the beginning of December. This allowed players to potentially hone their skills more sharply, and also to earn an extra month or two worth of pay and reduce the need to find offseason work, something which even some major league players found necessary because of the low salaries, by today's standards. The longer playing season also provided room for additional games on the schedule, giving team owners a chance at generating more revenue.
Teams sometimes played over 200 games in a single season. The high-water mark was the 1905 season, in which the San Francisco Seals set the all-time PCL record by playing in 230 games (PCL Record Book, p.30). Even just prior to the 1958 reshuffling, the league was playing 170-180 games per season. One consequence of such lengthy seasons was that a number of the all-time minor league records for season statistical totals are held by players from the PCL.
In 1952, the PCL became the only minor league in history to be given the "Open" classification, a step above the AAA level. This limited the rights of major league clubs to draft players from the PCL, and was seen as a step toward the circuit becoming a third major league.
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, when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants moved to San Francisco. As a result, three of the PCL's flagship teams (the Los Angeles Angels, the Hollywood Stars, and the San Francisco Seals) were immediately forced to relocate to smaller markets. Additionally, the PCL did not benefit from the comparison with the major leagues, which now occupied the same territory and drew away much of the attention of its former fans. The league never recovered from this blow. It reverted to AAA classification, and soon diminished in the public eye to nothing more than another minor league.
Of the cities represented in the PCL in its heyday, only Salt Lake City, Portland, and Sacramento remain, and even these are represented by different franchises than those that had originally called these cities home. The Oakland Oaks had moved to Canada two years before the arrival of the Giants. The San Diego Padres and Seattle Rainiers were displaced by Major League teams in 1969, but by this time the PCL's decline was already far advanced.
Recent expansionA map showing the locations of all current PCL teams.
In 1997, the Pacific Coast League agreed to take five teams from the disbanding American Association, which had operated in the Midwest; a sixth team was added to the league as an expansion team, thus providing the scheduling convenience of an even number of teams. The league now stretches from western Washington to Middle Tennessee.
The league is divided into two conferences, the American Conference and the Pacific Conference; after a realignment for 2005 necessitated by the move of the Edmonton Trappers to Round Rock, Texas, each is divided into a North Division and a South Division. The Trappers' move also ended the league's presence in Canada; as recently as 1999, the league had teams north of the border in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton, but they left for Sacramento in 2000, Albuquerque in 2003, and Round Rock in 2005 respectively. In 2005, the Pacific Coast League became the first minor league ever to achieve a season attendance of over 7 million.
Championship and interleague play
At the end of the season, the North and South Division winners within each conference meet in a best-of-five series to determine conference champions. Then, the American and Pacific Conference winners play a best-of-five series to determine a league champion.
Since 2006 the league champion has played against the International League champion in the Bricktown Showdown, a single game for the Triple-A Championship. Previously, the PCL champion also competed in the Triple-A World Series.
In further interleague play, in 1988, the three Triple-A leagues, the other being the American Association, met to play the first Triple-A All-Star Game. One team was made up of All-Stars from American League affiliates and the other of National League affiliates. Beginning in 1998, a team of PCL All-Stars faced off against a team of IL All-Stars.
American ConferenceDivision Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity North Iowa CubsChicago CubsDes Moines, IowaPrincipal Park11,500 Memphis RedbirdsSt. Louis CardinalsMemphis, TennesseeAutoZone Park14,200 Nashville SoundsMilwaukee BrewersNashville, TennesseeHerschel Greer Stadium10,052 Omaha RoyalsKansas City RoyalsOmaha, NebraskaJohnny Rosenblatt Stadium24,000 South Albuquerque IsotopesFlorida MarlinsAlbuquerque, New MexicoIsotopes Park11,124 New Orleans ZephyrsNew York MetsMetairie, LouisianaZephyr Field10,000 Oklahoma RedHawksTexas RangersOklahoma City, OklahomaAT&T Bricktown Ballpark1 13,166 Round Rock ExpressHouston AstrosRound Rock, TexasDell Diamond10,000
- 1 Hosting 2008 Triple-A Championship Game
Pacific ConferenceDivision Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity North Colorado Springs Sky SoxColorado RockiesColorado Springs, ColoradoSecurity Service Field9,000 Portland BeaversSan Diego PadresPortland, OregonPGE Park2 19,810 Salt Lake BeesLos Angeles Angels of AnaheimSalt Lake City, UtahFranklin Covey Field15,500 Tacoma RainiersSeattle MarinersTacoma, WashingtonCheney Stadium9,600 South Fresno GrizzliesSan Francisco GiantsFresno, CaliforniaChukchansi Park12,500 Las Vegas 51s3 Los Angeles DodgersLas Vegas, NevadaCashman Field10,000 Sacramento River CatsOakland AthleticsWest Sacramento, CaliforniaRaley Field11,200 Tucson Sidewinders4 Arizona DiamondbacksTucson, Arizona4 Tucson Electric Park5 11,000
- 2 Hosting 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game
- 3 The 51s announced that they will be changing their name in 2009.
- 4 The Sidewinders will be relocated to Reno, Nevada in 2009.
- 5 To be replaced in 2009 by a new stadium currently named "Sierra Nevada Stadium"
Current team rosters
- Main article: Pacific Coast League rosters
Final 2007 season standings
American Conference North DivisionAmerican Conference North W L Pct. GB Nashville Sounds89 55 .618 — Iowa Cubs79 65 .549 10 Omaha Royals73 71 .507 16 Memphis Redbirds56 88 .389 33
American Conference South DivisionAmerican Conference South W L Pct. GB New Orleans Zephyrs75 69 .521 — Albuquerque Isotopes72 70 .507 2 Oklahoma RedHawks71 72 .497 3½ Round Rock Express61 81 .430 13
Pacific Conference North DivisionPacific Conference North W L Pct. GB Salt Lake Bees74 69 .517 — Colorado Springs Sky Sox69 75 .479 5½ Tacoma Rainiers68 76 .472 6½ Portland Beavers58 86 .403 16½
Pacific Conference South DivisionPacific Conference South W L Pct. GB Sacramento River Cats83 60 .580 — Fresno Grizzlies77 67 .535 6½ Tucson Sidewinders75 66 .532 7 Las Vegas 51s67 77 .465 16½
Note: Teams in italics are PCL "classic" teams.
- Los Angeles Angels (1903–1957) → Spokane Indians (1958–1970) → Albuquerque Dukes (1971–1999) → Portland Beavers (2000–present)
- Memphis Redbirds (1998–present; created as an expansion during the absorption of the five American Association teams, in order to provide an even number of teams)
- Oakland Oaks (1903–1955) → Vancouver Mounties (1956–1961) → Dallas Rangers (1962–1964) → Vancouver Mounties (1965–1969) → Salt Lake City Angels (1970–1974) → Salt Lake City Gulls (1975–1984) → Calgary Cannons (1985–2002) → Albuquerque Isotopes (2003–present)
- Portland Beavers (1903–1917) → Sacramento Solons (1918–1960) → Hawaii Islanders (1961–1987) → Colorado Springs Sky Sox (1988–present)
- Portland Beavers (1918–1972) → Spokane Indians (1973–1982) → Las Vegas Stars (1983–2000) → Las Vegas 51s (2001–2008, to be renamed in 2009)
- Portland Beavers (1978–1993) → Salt Lake Buzz (1994–2001) → Salt Lake Stingers (2002-2005) → Salt Lake Bees (2006-present)
- San Francisco Seals (1903–1957) → Phoenix Giants (1958–1959) → Tacoma Giants (1960–1965) → Phoenix Giants (1966–1985) → Phoenix Firebirds (1986–1997) → Fresno Grizzlies (1998–present)
- Seattle Indians (1903–1938) → Seattle Rainiers (1938–1964) → Seattle Angels (1965–1968) → Tucson Toros (1969–1997) → Tucson Sidewinders (1998–2008 (projected))→ Reno (2009– (projected, name not announced yet))
- Sacramento Sacts/Senators (1903–1906) → Fresno Raisin Eaters (1907) → Sacramento Solons (1908–1914) → Salt Lake Bees (1915–1925) → Hollywood Stars (1926–1935) → San Diego Padres (1936–1968) → Eugene Emeralds (1969–1973) → Sacramento Solons (1974–1977) → San Jose Missions (1978) → Ogden A's (1979–1980) → Edmonton Trappers (1981–2004) → Round Rock Express (2005–present)
- Vancouver Canadians (1978–1999) → Sacramento River Cats (2000–present)
- Vernon Tigers (1909–1925) → Mission Reds (1926–1937) → Hollywood Stars (1938–1957) → Salt Lake Bees (1958–1965) → Tacoma Cubs (1966–1971) → Tacoma Twins (1972–1977) → Tacoma Yankees (1978) → Tacoma Tugs (1979) → Tacoma Tigers (1980–1994) → Tacoma Rainiers (1995–present)
Former American Association teams
Five current league teams were acquired by the PCL following the disbandment of the American Association after the 1997 season.
- Evansville Triplets (1970–1984) → Nashville Sounds (1985–present)
- Houston Buffaloes (1959–1961) → Oklahoma City 89ers (1962–1997) → Oklahoma RedHawks (1998–present)
- Iowa Oaks (1969–1981) → Iowa Cubs (1982–present)
- Kansas City Blues (1902–1954) → Denver Bears (1955–1983) → Denver Zephyrs (1984–1992) → New Orleans Zephyrs (1993–present)
- Omaha Royals (1969–present)
Presidents of the PCL
- 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 William C. Tuttle
- 1944–1954 Clarence H. Rowland
- 1955–1955 Claire V. Goodwin
- 1956–1959 Leslie M. O’ Connor
- 1960–1968 Dewey Soriano
- 1968–1973 William B. McKechnie, Jr.
- 1974–1978 Roy Jackson
- 1979–1997 William S. Cutler
- 1998–present Branch Rickey III
- Pacific Coast Baseball League Record Book 1903-1969, compiled by William J. Weiss, League Statistician; published by the PCL, 1969.
- ^ "PCL approves Sidewinders sale; Reno gets site." The Arizona Daily Star. 13 July 2007. 4 February 2008.
v • d • ePacific Coast League American Conference - North Division
Iowa Cubs• Memphis Redbirds• Nashville Sounds• Omaha RoyalsAmerican Conference - South Division Albuquerque Isotopes• New Orleans Zephyrs• Oklahoma RedHawks• Round Rock ExpressPacific Conference - North Division
Colorado Springs Sky Sox• Portland Beavers• Salt Lake Bees• Tacoma RainiersPacific Conference - South Division
Fresno Grizzlies• Las Vegas 51s• Sacramento River Cats• Tucson Sidewinders
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