The Pacific Coast League…again.
It is very apparent that this blog often reflects my deep interest in Baseball leagues other than the Major Leagues as I often talk about the Negro Leagues, Independent Leagues and the old Pacific Coast League. The PCL is probably the league I am most fascinated with as I often spend a lot of time reading whatever books I can find on it and researching online about the teams and players that represented the league roughly from 1903 to 1958 or so.
As I have mentioned before, I am sure it has to do with the fact that I am a San Diego Padres fan and both my Grandmother and my Father used to watch the Padres when they were a PCL and/or Minor League team and the fact that I live in San Francisco. This city has a extremely deep Baseball history that goes back long before the Giants moved here in 1958. Last month I mentioned I am working on a PCL post focusing on just the San Francisco Bay area which is still in the works, but in the mean time I thought I would share these gems I have come across over time. Enjoy and I hope that in some way I spark some interest in the PCL in some of you who read my blog regularly.
As I mentioned a few posts ago, Artie Wilson recently passed away which really is sad. I really wish more people knew about this dude. Besides playing in the Major Leagues and Negro Leagues, he was a PCL star who played for 4 different teams in the league during his career. He played Shortstop with the Oakland Oaks from 1949 to 1950 and split the 1951 season between the New York Giants and Oakland Oaks.
This is a rare photo of the 1934 San Francisco Mission Reds aka. The Missions. The Missions represented San Francisco’s Mission District from 1926 to 1937. While the San Francisco Seals were one of, if not the most popular and celebrated teams of the PCL; the Missions could be called the red-headed step children of the league as they failed to gain acceptance by fans during their 12 year existence in San Francisco. According to wiki “The Missions were the team to watch only when the Seals were on the road” and from what I gathered that is pretty on point. They played in the shadows of the Seals and even played in the Seals homes (Recreation Park & Seals Stadium). This is not to say the Missions never had any success as a team but due to the fact that the Seals had such a solidified fan base, the team was bound for disaster in the long run. A cool little side note, a Baseball Club that I am a member of here in San Francisco adopted the Missions cap as our own.
Eddie Church. Another Missions find and I know I am not going to find much more online as Missions photos are hard to come by. I found this on Flickr of all places. The user’s name is _lmc and the information provided on the card goes as: “My grandfather played for the san francisco mission reds (aka missions) in the pacific coast league for a couple of years in the late 20’s/early 30’s. i found this baseball card at a card show – years ago and gave it to him before he died.” Simply incredible.
The 1937 San Diego Padres. This is easily the best team photo I have come across online of the Padres from their second season in existence. That would be Ted Williams in the back row, 2nd from the right.
A October 5th, 1945 article in the LA times regarding a game between the Seattle Rainers and the Seals.
The 1946 San Francisco Seals. One thing that cannot be debated about the majority of the PCL teams is that they had extremely cool uniforms and logos. The Seals were no exception to this and their white home uniforms from 1946 were sweet. As I have mentioned before, all 3 DiMaggio brothers played with the Seals at some point or another and the oldest brother Vince is featured in this team photo in the bottom row, 2nd from the right.