Pacific Coast League
The Pacific Coast League is a Minor League Baseball league operating in the Western 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, one grade below Major League Baseball, it is named the Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. Its headquarters are in Texas. Upon its founding in 1903, the Pacific Coast League fielded six teams from the Pacific States of California and Washington. Today, the league is composed of 16 teams across 12 states stretching from Sacramento, California, to Nashville 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 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 and the Albuquerque Dukes and Portland Beavers. 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. The Pacific Coast League was formed on December 29, 1902, when officials from the California State League 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, Seattle Indians. A dispute over territories owned by the Pacific Northwest League, in which the PCL had placed franchises, the PCL's allowing blacklisted players to compete led to the National Association labeling the PCL as an outlaw league.
The mild climate of the West Coast 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. Teams played between 170 and 200 games in a season until the late 1950s; this allowed players, who were career minor leaguers, to hone their skills, earn an extra month or two of pay, 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; the inaugural 1903 season, which consisted of over 200 scheduled games for each team, began on March 26. The Los Angeles Angels finished the season in first place with a 133–78 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; 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, Ox Eckhardt, competed on PCL teams that decade. 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. 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 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 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, 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. However, the American League and National League were uninterested in allowing it to join their ranks. While many PCL players went on to play in the major leagues, teams in the league were 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, but
Austin is the capital of the U. S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 4th-most populous city in Texas, it is the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U. S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2017 estimate, Austin had a population of 950,715 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census; the city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,115,827 as of July 1, 2017. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, Lake Walter E. Long. In the 1830s, pioneers began to settle the area in central Austin along the Colorado River. In 1839, the site was chosen to replace Houston as the capital of the Republic of Texas and was incorporated under the name "Waterloo."
Shortly afterward, the name was changed to Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas" and the republic's first secretary of state; the city grew throughout the 19th century and became a center for government and education with the construction of the Texas State Capitol and the University of Texas at Austin. After a severe lull in economic growth from the Great Depression, Austin resumed its steady development, by the 1990s it emerged as a center for technology and business. A number of Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or regional offices in Austin including, 3M, Amazon.com, Apple Inc. Cisco, eBay, General Motors, Google, IBM, Oracle Corporation, PayPal, Texas Instruments, Whole Foods Market. Dell's worldwide headquarters is located in Round Rock. Residents of Austin are known as Austinites, they include a diverse mix of government employees, college students, high-tech workers, blue-collar workers, a vibrant LGBT community. The city's official slogan promotes Austin as "The Live Music Capital of the World," a reference to the city's many musicians and live music venues, as well as the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits.
The city adopted "Silicon Hills" as a nickname in the 1990s due to a rapid influx of technology and development companies. In recent years, some Austinites have adopted the unofficial slogan "Keep Austin Weird," which refers to the desire to protect small and local businesses from being overrun by large corporations. In the late 19th century, Austin was known as the "City of the Violet Crown," because of the colorful glow of light across the hills just after sunset. Today, many Austin businesses use the term "Violet Crown" in their name. Austin is known as a "clean-air city" for its stringent no-smoking ordinances that apply to all public places and buildings, including restaurants and bars. U. S. News & World Report named Austin the #1 place to live in the U. S. for 2017 and 2018. In 2016, Forbes ranked Austin #1 on its "Cities of the Future" list in 2017 placed the city at that same position on its list for the "Next Biggest Boom Town in the U. S." In 2017, Forbes awarded the South River City neighborhood of Austin its #2 ranking for "Best Cities and Neighborhoods for Millennials."
WalletHub named Austin the #6 best place in the country to live for 2017. The FBI ranked Austin as the #2 safest major city in the U. S. for 2012. Austin, Travis County and Williamson County have been the site of human habitation since at least 9200 BC; the area's earliest known inhabitants lived during the late Pleistocene and are linked to the Clovis culture around 9200 BC, based on evidence found throughout the area and documented at the much-studied Gault Site, midway between Georgetown and Fort Hood. When settlers arrived from Europe, the Tonkawa tribe inhabited the area; the Comanches and Lipan Apaches were known to travel through the area. Spanish colonists, including the Espinosa-Olivares-Aguirre expedition, traveled through the area for centuries, though few permanent settlements were created for some time. In 1730, three missions from East Texas were combined and reestablished as one mission on the south side of the Colorado River, in what is now Zilker Park, in Austin; the mission was in this area for only about seven months, was moved to San Antonio de Béxar and split into three missions.
Early in the 19th century, Spanish forts were established in what are now San Marcos. Following Mexico's independence, new settlements were established in Central Texas, but growth in the region was stagnant because of conflicts with the regional Native Americans. In 1835 -- 1836, Texans won independence from Mexico. Texas thus became an independent country with its own president and monetary system. After Vice President Mirabeau B. Lamar visited the area during a buffalo-hunting expedition between 1837 and 1838, he proposed that the republic's capital in Houston, be relocated to the area situated on the north bank of the Colorado River. In 1839, the Texas Congress formed a commission to seek a site for a new capital to be named for Stephen F. Austin. Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the newly formed Republic of Texas, advised the commissioners to investigate the area named Waterloo, noting the area's hills and pleasant surroundings. Waterloo was selected, "Austin" was chosen as the town's new name.
The location was seen as a convenient crossroads for trade routes between Santa Fe and Galveston Bay, as well as routes between northern Mexico and the Red River. Edwin Wall
Round Rock Express
The Round Rock Express are a Minor League Baseball team of Pacific Coast League and the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros major league club. They are located in Round Rock and play their home games at the Dell Diamond; the team is named for Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, 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. The team won the Texas League championship in 2000; the ownership group led by Nolan Ryan and Don Sanders began its operations in Round Rock in 2000 as the Dell Diamond opened, moving the Double-A Texas League's Jackson Generals to the new park, affiliating with the Houston Astros and setting attendance records for the Double-A level. By 2003, Corpus Christi had offered the Ryan-Sanders group $20 million to build a stadium and move a professional franchise there, the ownership group was convinced Round Rock could support Triple-A baseball.
Meanwhile, the Pacific Coast League's Edmonton Trappers franchise, left isolated by the departure of the Calgary Cannons after the 2002 season for Albuquerque, was under pressure from the rest of the league to relocate to the United States. After the 2003 season, the Ryan group purchased the Trappers franchise with plans to relocate that franchise to Round Rock for 2005, once the Corpus Christi stadium would be ready for the Double-A franchise; the Triple-A club would carry on the Round Rock Express identity. In 2006, the Round Rock Express clinched the Southern Division of the league's American Conference with a win–loss record of 85–59. After defeating the Nashville Sounds in five games to take the American Conference championship, they advanced to the PCL championship series, but lost to the Tucson Sidewinders in three straight games. In 2011, after 6 seasons of serving as the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, 11 seasons of being affiliated with the Astros overall, the Express became the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
Through the end of the 2018 season, attendance figures have dropped 8% since changing affiliations from Houston to Texas. Each of the top 9 season attendances all occurred in the 11 seasons the team was affiliated with Houston. In 2016, Forbes listed the Express as the sixth-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $40 million. On September 20, 2018, the Express announced a 4-year Player Development Contract with the Houston Astros. Season average attendanceAttendance ranking by affiliation Josh Banks, MLB pitcher Jason Hirsh, MLB pitcher Roy Oswalt, MLB pitcher John Buck, MLB catcher Humberto Quintero, MLB catcher Taylor Teagarden, MLB catcher Hunter Pence, MLB outfielder Craig Gentry, MLB outfielder Willy Taveras, MLB outfielder Chris Davis, MLB first baseman Morgan Ensberg, MLB third baseman Roger Clemens, MLB pitcher The "Play Ball" episode of The Simple Life, a reality television series starring young wealthy socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, took place during an Express game.
The show aired on July 2004, as the fifteenth episode of the show's second season. The team made headlines in 2010 when it "signed" Billy Ray "Rojo" Johnson, described in a press release as an East Texan who grew up in Venezuela and had run-ins with the law. In reality, Johnson was actor Will Ferrell, who took the mound at Dell Diamond to promote his nearby charity golf tournament. Official website
The International League is a Minor League Baseball league that operates in the eastern United States and is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, one step below Major League Baseball, it was so named because throughout its history the International League has had teams in Canada and Cuba as well as those in the United States. However, since the relocation of the Ottawa Lynx to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to become the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for the 2008 season, all of the league's teams are now based in the U. S. Today, the league is composed of 14 teams across 9 states stretching from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, from Rochester, New York, to Lawrenceville, Georgia. A league champion is determined at the end of every season; the Rochester Red Wings have won 19 International League titles, the most in the league's history, followed by the Buffalo Bisons and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Since the introduction of the Governors' Cup in 1933, the most cup titles have been won by Rochester and the Columbus Clippers, followed by the Syracuse Mets and the Montreal Royals.
After the season, the IL champion plays in the Triple-A National Championship Game against the Pacific Coast League champion to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball. The Columbus Clippers and Durham Bulls have each won two national championships, more than any other IL team; the International League was created from the mergers of member teams from three precursor leagues: the Eastern League, itself a re-organization of the Interstate Association of 1883. The New York State and Ontario leagues merged in 1886 to form the International League, in 1887 the Eastern League was absorbed to create a 10-club league; the league collapsed soon afterwards, when the northern teams claimed that it was too onerous to travel to the south and formed the International Association. Teams and league names went over the years; the league was affected by the effort to establish the Federal League as a new third major league from 1914 to 1915, with franchises being added and dropped and new ballparks built.
In 1954, a franchise was awarded to Havana, but due to political upheaval in that country it had to be moved — to Jersey City, New Jersey — in the middle of the 1960 season. Another foray into the Caribbean failed when the newly created team in San Juan, Puerto Rico, added in 1961, had to be moved to Charleston, West Virginia, in mid-season. In 1971, an International League all-star team beat the New York Yankees in an exhibition game in Rochester, New York, before 11,000 people. In 1984, the all-stars lost to the Cleveland Indians in 11 innings before 11,032 fans in Columbus, Ohio, to commemorate the league's 100th anniversary; the International League and the American Association, another Triple-A league that operated in the Midwest, voted in 1988 to play interleague games as part of the Triple-A Alliance. The league split into two divisions that year; the interleague concept ended in 1992. In 1998, with the addition of three new teams from the disbanded American Association and the Durham Bulls who played in the Carolina League, the International League reorganized into three divisions for the first time.
The International League is divided into three divisions: the North Division, South Division, West Division. The North Division consists of six teams, while the West Divisions each have four teams; the teams are slated to play 140 games in 2018, reduced from 142 in 2017 and 144 during the years 1998-2016. The season begins during the first week of April and concludes on Labor Day; the league plays by the same rules listed in the Official Baseball Rules published by Major League Baseball. At the end of each season, the three divisional leaders and a wild card team square off in best-of-five series playoffs to determine a league champion, with the winner awarded the Governors' Cup, the league's championship trophy. Under this format, the North Division champion plays the wild card team, while the champions of the South and West Divisions play one another in best-of-five series; the winners play each other in a best-of-five series to determine the champion. Since 2006, the IL champion has played against the Pacific Coast League's champion in the Triple-A National Championship Game, a single game to determine an overall champion of Triple-A baseball.
The IL champion competed in the Triple-A World Series, Junior World Series, 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; the game is meant to mark a symbolic halfway-point in the season. During the All-Star break, no regular-season games are scheduled for two days before the All-Star Game itself. A Indicates current IL franchise's first year in current city; some franchises have prior history in other cities, or had local predecessor franchises at other levels that shared their current name. B Many stadiums have lawn seating. Current team Former team The International League has crowned a league champion each season since 1884. Through 1932, the championship was awarded to the regular season pennant winner. In 1933, the league introduced a postseason playoff system to determine a champion; the winner is awarded the Governors' Cup.
Active International League teams appear in bold
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Moosic, Pennsylvania, in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. The team plays in Northern Division of the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball; the team plays at PNC Field, their home since 1989. The team was known as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, they have won two one Triple-A National Championship. The International League franchise that became the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders was founded in 1919 in Reading, Pennsylvania, as the Reading Coal Barons; the team changed names to Marines in 1920, Aces in 1921, Keystones in 1923. The team played in Reading from 1919 to 1932 before relocating to Albany, New York, to become the IL incarnation of the Albany Senators through 1936; the team relocated to Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1937 to become the Jersey City Giants until 1950. The team moved again to Ottawa, Ontario, to become the Ottawa Giants in 1951 and was renamed the Ottawa Athletics in 1952.
Following the 1954 season, they relocated to Columbus and competed as the Columbus Jets until 1970. In 1971, the team moved again to Charleston, West Virginia, became the Charleston Charlies from 1971 to 1983; the team moved to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, to become the Maine Guides in 1984. In 1987, a group from Scranton, called Northeast Baseball, Inc. purchased the team with the hopes of moving it to a soon-to-be-built stadium in Lackawanna County. Maine ownership sued NBI, claiming violation of the purchase contract. NBI filed suit, after a lengthy court battle, won control of the franchise; the Philadelphia Phillies took control of the Guides for its final season in 1988, renaming it the Maine Phillies. The team was renamed the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons; the name was chosen as a reference to the early minor league franchises in the area, the Scranton Red Sox and the Wilkes-Barre Barons, both members of the Eastern League. Despite early on-field struggles, the team enjoyed great popularity in the community.
The Red Barons drew over 500,000 fans for their first five seasons. Led by.310 hitter Rick Schu and Jay Baller's 22 saves, the club drew 598,067 fans and finished 84–58 in 1992, good for first place in the IL Eastern Division. The Barons would fall to the Columbus Clippers in the championship series. After six mediocre seasons, Marc Bombard took over as manager in 1997, led the club to their second postseason appearance in 1999; the Barons reached the playoffs in four straight seasons from 1999–2002, losing in the finals in both 2000 and 2001. Bombard would manage the team for eight seasons, posting the best finish in Red Barons' history, a 91–53 record in 2002, led by Joe Roa's perfect 14–0 record; the middle part of the 2000s saw. Many of them, such as Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, would help the Phillies win five consecutive division titles from 2007 to 2011, a World Series in 2008. Despite this, attendance dropped during this time. Following the 2006 season, the Phillies ended their affiliation with the Red Barons and signed a player development contract with the Ottawa Lynx in anticipation of that team's move to Allentown's new Coca-Cola Park as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for the 2008 season.
On September 21, 2006, the Red Barons announced an affiliation agreement with the New York Yankees, ending the Yankees' 28-year relationship with the Columbus Clippers. The Red Barons sold 47,000 tickets on the day of the announcement. On December 12, 2006, the team was renamed Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, unveiled new team logos and uniforms; the club has enjoyed much success in their first four seasons as the Yankees. In 2007, the SWB Yankees finished with a record of 84–59 and captured the IL North Division title for the fourth time in team history before losing to Richmond in the semi finals; the 2008 season was the most successful in franchise history as the Yankees finished 88–56, won another division championship, earned their first league title. After defeating the Pawtucket Red Sox 3–1 in the semi finals, the Yankees beat the Durham Bulls 3–1 in the final round to earn the Governors' Cup trophy; the team would again finish in first place in 2009 and advance to the championship before being swept by Durham, 3–0.
The team made history in 2010 as they became the first club in the 126 years of International League play to win five consecutive division championships. Since 2006, S/W-B has finished atop the Northern Division. In the 2010 postseason, the Yankees were beaten by the Columbus Clippers three games to one in the semi final round. On November 9, 2010, the Lackawanna County Multipurpose Stadium Authority voted to sell the franchise to Mandalay Baseball Properties; the following day, SWB Yankees, LLC, announced plans to move ahead with a $40 million renovation to PNC Field. On April 26, 2012, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees were sold to SWB Yankees, LLC, a joint venture between the New York Yankees and Mandalay Baseball Properties. While SWB Yankees, LLC owns the team, Mandalay Baseball Properties still manages the team. Leadership of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees changed on July 9, 2012, when Rob Crain, the former assistant general manager of the Omaha Storm Chasers, was named the new president and general manager of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
Crain replaced former president Kristen Rose, who resigned from her position in April 2012. During the 2012 season
The Durham Bulls are a professional minor league baseball team that plays in the International League. The Bulls play their home games at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the downtown area of Durham, North Carolina. Durham Bulls Athletic Park is called the "DBAP" or "D-Bap"; the Bulls are the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Established in 1902 as the Durham Tobacconists and disbanded many times over the years, the Bulls became internationally famous following the release of the 1988 movie Bull Durham starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon. Since 1991, the team has been owned by the Raleigh-based Capitol Broadcasting Company; the Durham Bulls are operated by the operating entity Durham Bulls Baseball Club, Inc., owned by the Capitol Broadcasting Company. The Bulls were founded in 1902 as the Durham Tobacconists; the official date when the franchise formed was March 18. William G. Bramham President of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, was the first owner.
The Tobacconists took the field for the first time on April 24 in an exhibition game against Trinity College. Their first game in the North Carolina League was at Charlotte on May 5 against the Hornets, their first home game was against the New Bern Truckers on May 12; the league, folded in July, not having played a full season. In December 1912, the Durham Tobacconists re-formed as the Durham Bulls in the North Carolina State League, their first game was on April 1913 at Hanes Field on the Trinity College campus. They defeated the Raleigh Capitals 7-4. On May 30, 1917, the North Carolina State League folded due to America's joining of the Allied Powers during World War I; the Bulls were declared league champions though the season was shortened to only 36 games. On October 31, 1919, the Bulls joined the Piedmont League, a minor league with clubs scattered around Virginia and North Carolina. Seven years in 1926, the team moved from Hanes Field to El Toro Park; the park was dedicated on July 26 by the Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who put on a show by riding a real bull, the team mascot, onto the playing field.
Six years in 1932, the team became affiliated with the National League's Philadelphia Phillies, the first of ten teams that the Bulls have been affiliated with. The next year, the city of Durham purchased El Toro Park, renaming it the Durham Athletic Park after the 1933 season; the Bulls were unable to operate for the 1935 seasons due to the Great Depression. Meanwhile, a team from Wilmington, North Carolina who played in the Piedmont League and was a Cincinnati Reds affiliate called the Wilmington Pirates relocated to Durham and was going to replace the Bulls; the Bulls franchise, was re-activated by having the operations of the Wilmington ball club integrated into the Bulls. The Reds switched affiliations from the former Wilmington ball club to the Bulls and the Bulls continued as the same franchise. On the evening of June 17, 1939, the Durham Athletic Park burned to the ground hours after the Bulls defeated the Portsmouth Cubs 7-3; the groundskeeper, Walter Williams, asleep under the grandstand when the blaze began, was able to escape though the fire nearly killed him.
Damage costs were more than $100,000. In a remarkable two-week turnaround, Durham Athletic Park was functioning again by July 2, with the old wooden grandstand replaced by concrete and steel. Temporary bleachers were added and seated 1,000; the crowd that day saw the Bulls beat the Charlotte Hornets 11-4. A new Durham Athletic Park was completed in April 1940, in time for an exhibition game between the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox, which attracted 5,574 fans. Only 1,587 turned out ten days for the Bulls' first game of the season. On September 5, 1943, the last-place Bulls played their last Piedmont League game, beating Richmond 15-5; the following year, the Piedmont League became an all-Virginia league, there was no baseball in Durham in 1944. In 1945, a second Carolina League formed. On April 27 the reactivated Bulls played their first game in the new league, defeating the Burlington Bees 5-0. Three years in September 1948, Tom Wright, a former Bulls outfielder, became the first Carolina League player to make it to the majors when he debuted with the Boston Red Sox.
Three years after that, the Bulls helped make history when their 5-4 loss to the Danville Leafs featured the first black player in Carolina League history, Percy Miller Jr. who played for the Leafs. It would not be until April 18, 1957 that the Bulls fielded African-American players, when third baseman Bubba Morton and pitcher Ted Richardson took the field in a loss to Greensboro; that season saw the first Carolina League All-Star game played in Durham. In 1967, the Bulls became a New York Mets affiliate. One year the Bulls were renamed the Raleigh-Durham Mets; the franchise was renamed because the Bulls acquired the nearby Raleigh Pirates and merged with them. The team still maintained their affiliation with the Mets, playing half of their home games at Durham Athletic Park and half at Devereaux Meadow in Raleigh; the team switched affiliations from the Mets to the Philadelphia Phillies and were renamed the Raleigh-Durham Phillies for the 1969 season. The team hadn't been affiliated with the Phillies since the 1932 season.
The Phillies abandoned the franchise and the team became independent, renaming themselves the Raleigh-Durham Triangles for the 1970 season. The team remained independent for both seasons; the franchise disbanded again before the 1972 season, baseball would not return to Durham until 1980. Minor league baseball in Raleigh ended for good
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 and are named for The Alamo 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. San Antonio was home for one of the charter members of the Texas League back in 1888. Since that inaugural season the town has hosted a number of Texas League franchises, most of them using the Missions moniker. Baseball was absent only a few of the early years and again when World War II occupied most would-be ballplayers between 1943 and 1945; the team went by the names "Missionaries", "Gentlemen", "Bronchos"—a Spanish twist on the name "Broncos". During these years, nearly 250 players reached the major leagues; the current Missions moniker was coined with the team's first major league affiliation, a partnership with the St. Louis Browns.
They remained a Browns affiliate through the Texas League's temporary demise after the 1942 season due to World War II and until 1959, when they struck up a partnership with the Chicago Cubs. While with the Browns/Orioles, the team saw well over 100 players reach the Major League Baseball, including Hall-of-Famers Willard Brown and Brooks Robinson; the Missions name was used for the teams affiliated with the Cubs, through 1962. In just four years in the Cubs' system, more than 50 alumni reached the major leagues—including future Hall of Famers Ron Santo and Billy Williams; the Missions changed their name to the Bullets in 1963, when the team joined the new Houston Colt.45s organization. The idea behind the name was that the team's prospects would be the "bullets to the gun" of the.45s team. The Bullets boasted 30 prospects that would go on to see time in Major League Baseball, including Hall-of-Famer Joe Morgan and two-time National League All-Star Jerry Grote. In 1965, the San Antonio franchise moved to Amarillo.
Three years in 1968, baseball returned to San Antonio, again taking on the Missions name, as part of an expansion of the Texas League. Again playing as a Cubs affiliate, another 42 future big leaguers took the field over a four-year stretch. After the 1971 season, the team packed up again and moved to Midland, where they continued as the Midland RockHounds. In 1972, another ownership group brought baseball into town to replace the group that left to Midland, brought with it an affiliation with the Milwaukee Brewers, just two years removed from their move to Wisconsin from Seattle. With the affiliation change to the Brewers, the franchise took the parent club's nickname—which it kept despite changes in affiliation to the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers; the Brewers nickname fit the city as well as it fit their single-season affiliate in Milwaukee, being the home of the Pearl Brewing Company. The future major league players continued to pour onto the field through the affiliation changes, more than 30 San Antonio Brewers made it to the top.
Among them was Hall-of-Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley, an Indians farmhand who tore through the Texas League in 1974. The team became the San Antonio Dodgers with a change in affiliation to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977. While the franchise kept the Dodger moniker for eleven seasons, locals still referred to them as the Missions; the Dodgers responded by changing their nickname back to Missions for the 1988 season. The Missions were the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers until 2000, making the relationship the longest-standing major league affiliation held by the San Antonio franchise. During the partnership, Dodgers legends frequented the Alamo City, including Tommy Lasorda. In the 23 years with Los Angeles, some 211 players went on to see time in the majors; that includes players like Ron Washington, Bob Welch, Ron Roenicke, Mike Scioscia, Dave Stewart, Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax, Sid Bream, Sid Fernandez, Franklin Stubbs, Ramón Martínez, John Wetteland, Eric Karros, Pedro Martínez, Raúl Mondesí, Eric Young, Mike Piazza, Henry Blanco, Todd Hollandsworth, Chan Ho Park, Miguel Cairo, Paul Lo Duca, Paul Konerko, Alex Cora, Dennys Reyes, Adrián Beltré, Éric Gagné.
The team played the bulk of its years with the Dodgers at V. J. Keefe Memorial Stadium, which they shared with the St. Mary's University baseball team. In 1994, the team moved into Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, utilizing a design typical of baseball stadiums build during the late-1980s through the mid-1990s; the new stadium was named in honor of Nelson Wolff, the mayor of San Antonio at the time the stadium was built. The affiliation with the Dodgers ended after the 2000 season with both clubs mutually agreeing to part. From 2001 until 2006, the Seattle Mariners had a player development contract with the team that brought back-to-back Texas League Championships during the 2002 and 2003 seasons; the Mariners, fresh off a record season, was stocked with talent in a minor league system built by Pat Gillick, who worked with San Antonio as the farm director of the Houston Colt.45s in 1963. Gillick's prospects turned San Antonio into a Texas League powerhouse, boasting future major leaguers Willie Bloomquist, Jeff Farnsworth, J. J. Putz, Rafael Soriano, Greg Dobbs, Julio Mateo, Gil Meche, Cha Seung Baek, Jose Lopez, George Sherrill, Shin-Soo Choo, Félix Hernández, Mike Morse, Aaron T