The Pacific Coast League

Current PCL logo

The Pacific Coast League is one the oldest still existing minor leagues. The league was    founded in 1903.
Unlike the International League and the American Associaton, the Pacific Coast League ran its own business without the interference of MLB. Until 1958 there was no Major League baseball West of St. Louis, so the league was not affiliated to MLB for a long time.

PCL strongholds were Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Seattle and San Diego. All of these cities were lost because MLB settled there, although Oakland didn’t have a PCL franchise after 1955 (the Athletics only arrived in 1968 when they moved from Kansas City).

For long, the PCL had aspirations to become a third Major League. Despite being one of the three leagues at (what is now) AAA level, the quality of play was rather high. The league produced big name players like Joe DiMaggio (San Francisco Seals), Tony Lazzeri (Salt Lake City Bees), Ted Williams (San Diego Padres) and Bobby Doerr (Hollywood Stars). In 1945 the league voted to become a Major League according to this article in the Milwaukee Journal. PCL players preferred to stay in the Pacific Coast League rather than to play in the Majors Leagues; the salaries that were paid in the PCL were considerably higher.

Familiar face?

The Hollywood Stars were a big attraction for the movie stars from the movie studios in the area. The stadium where the Stars played was a dining hotspot on game days.

The PCL was a thriving league until the 1950s when TV started to broadcast MLB games; those broadcasts were the start of the decline of which many minor leagues suffered. The final blow was the move of the Dodgers and the Giants to the West Coast. The PCL lost territory to those MLB teams. The Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley bought the Los Angeles Angels in the1950s from the Wrigley family. When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles the Angels were forced to leave for Spokane, Washington, to become the Spokane Indians. The Dodgers “stole” the LA cap logo of the Angels but changed thecolours.

In 1958 the league adopted AAA status and became an all affiliated league.

In 1997 the PCL adopted five teams from the American Association, which had ceased its activities. A sixth team was added as an expansion team to keep an even number of teams. The new additions were the Iowa Cubs, Nashville Sounds, New Orleans Zephyrs, Oklahoma City 89ers (renamed the Oklahoma RedHawks and later the Oklahoma City RedHawks, now called the Oklahoma City Dodgers), and Omaha Royals (renamed Omaha StormChasers). The new clubs made a division into two conferences necessary: The Pacific Conference and the American Conference. After the move of the Edmonton Trappers to Round Rock in Texas another division was necessary. Each conference now has a North and South division.

Since 2006 the league champion has played against the International League champion in the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game, a single game for the Triple-A Championship.

The teams of the PCL are divided as follows: PCL

Champions of the Pacific Coast League:

Year Champion Year Champion
1903 Los Angeles Angels 1960 Spokane Indians
1904 Tacoma Tigers 1961 Tacoma Giants
1905 Los Angeles Angels 1962 San Diego Padres
1906 Portland Beavers 1963 Oklahoma City 89ers
1907 Los Angeles Angels 1964 San Diego Padres
1908 Los Angeles Angels 1965 Oklahoma City 89ers
1909 San Francisco Seals 1966 Seattle Angels
1910 Portland Beavers 1967 San Diego Padres
1911 Portland Beavers 1968 Tulsa Oilers
1912 Oakland Oaks 1969 Tacoma Cubs
1913 Portland Beavers 1970 Spokane Indians
1914 Portland Beavers 1971 Salt Lake City Angels
1915 San Francisco Seals 1972 Albuquerque Dukes
1916 Los Angeles Angels 1973 Spokane Indians
1917 San Francisco Seals 1974 Spokane Indians
1918 Los Angeles Angels 1975 Hawaii Islanders
1919 Vernon Tigers 1976 Hawaii Islanders
1920 Vernon Tigers 1977 Phoenix Giants
1921 Los Angeles Angels 1978 Albuquerque Dukes/Tacoma Yankees3
1922 San Francisco Seals 1979 Salt Lake City Gulls
1923 San Francisco Seals 1980 Albuquerque Dukes
1924 Seattle Indians 1981 Albuquerque Dukes
1925 San Francisco Seals 1982 Albuquerque Dukes
1926 Los Angeles Angels 1983 Portland Beavers
1927 Oakland Oaks 1984 Edmonton Trappers
1928 San Francisco Seals 1985 Vancouver Canadians
1929 Hollywood Stars 1986 Las Vegas Stars
1930 Hollywood Stars 1987 Albuquerque Dukes
1931 San Francisco Seals 1988 Las Vegas Stars
1932 Portland Beavers 1989 Vancouver Canadians
1933 Los Angeles Angels 1990 Albuquerque Dukes
1934 Los Angeles Angels 1991 Tucson Toros
1935 San Francisco Seals 1992 Colorado Springs Sky Sox
1936 Portland Beavers 1993 Tucson Toros
1937 San Diego Padres 1994 Albuquerque Dukes
1938 Sacramento Solons 1995 Colorado Springs Sky Sox
1939 Sacramento Solons 1996 Edmonton Trappers
1940 Seattle Rainiers 1997 Edmonton Trappers
1941 Seattle Rainiers 1998 New Orleans Zephyrs
1942 Seattle Rainiers 1999 Vancouver Canadians
1943 San Francisco Seals 2000 Memphis Redbirds
1944 San Francisco Seals 2001 New Orleans Zephyrs/Tacoma Rainiers4
1945 San Francisco Seals 2002 Edmonton Trappers
1946 San Francisco Seals 2003 Sacramento River Cats
1947 Los Angeles Angels 2004 Sacramento River Cats
1948 Oakland Oaks 2005 Nashville Sounds
1949 Hollywood Stars 2006 Tucson Sidewinders
1950 Oakland Oaks2 2007 Sacramento River Cats
1951 Seattle Rainiers 2008 Sacramento River Cats
1952 Hollywood Stars2 2009 Memphis Redbirds
1953 Hollywood Stars2 2010 Tacoma Rainiers
1954 Oakland Oaks 2011 Omaha Storm Chasers
1955 Seattle Rainiers 2012 Reno Aces
1956 Los Angeles Angels 2013 Omaha Storm Chasers
1957 San Francisco Seals 2014 Omaha Storm Chasers
1958 Phoenix Giants
1959 Salt Lake City Bees
1 The season was suspended on July 14 due to wartime travel restrictions.
2 The championship series were canceled for financial reasons.
3 The championship series canceled because of weather at semifinal series. The Albuquerque Dukes had won one semifinal series, but the other between the Tacoma Yankees and Portland Beavers was tied at two games apiece when heavy rain washed out the rest of the series. League president Roy Jackson, named the Albuquerque and Tacoma teams co-champions, as Tacoma had a better record.
4 All Minor League championships were canceled because of terrorist attacks on September 22 New Orleans Zephyrs and Tacoma Rainiers had already won their conference finals.
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