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Pacific Coast League
Pacific Coast League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 1903
No. of teams 16
Country Flag of the United States United States
Current champions Tacoma Rainiers
Official website

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 AAA level, which is the highest level below the American major leagues.


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, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Seals, and Seattle Rainiers.

A Near-Major League[]

In the early 20th century, the Pacific Coast League developed into one of the premier regional baseball leagues. With no Major League Baseball team existing west of St. Louis, the PCL was unrivalled as the vehicle for 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. 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 let players earn an extra month or two worth of pay and reduced the need to find offseason work, something which even some major league players found necessary because of the low salaries, by today's standards, paid to many players. 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. One consequence is 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.

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, 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 1968, but by this time the PCL's decline was already far advanced.

Recent Expansion[]

In 1997, the Pacific Coast League agreed to take teams from the disbanding American Association, which had operated in the Midwest. The league now stretches from western Washington to Middle Tennessee. The league is divided into two conferences, the American Conference and Pacific Conference; after a realignment for 2005 necessitated by the move of the Edmonton Trappers to Round Rock, Texas, each is divided into a Northern Division and a Southern 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 over 7 million.

Current teams[]

Current teams[edit][]

Division Team Founded MLB Affiliation Affiliated Since City Stadium Capacity
East Albuquerque Isotopes 2003 Colorado Rockies 2015 Albuquerque, New Mexico Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park 13,500
El Paso Chihuahuas 2014 San Diego Padres 2014 El Paso, Texas Southwest University Park 9,500
Oklahoma City Dodgers 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers 2015 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark 9,000
Round Rock Express 2000 Texas Rangers 2021 Round Rock, Texas Dell Diamond 11,631
Sugar Land Space Cowboys 2012 Houston Astros 2021 Sugar Land, Texas Constellation Field 7,500
West Las Vegas Aviators 1983 Oakland Athletics 2019 Summerlin South, Nevada Las Vegas Ballpark 10,000
Reno Aces 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks 2009 Reno, Nevada Greater Nevada Field 9,013
Sacramento River Cats 2000 San Francisco Giants 2015 West Sacramento, California Sutter Health Park 14,014
Salt Lake Bees 1994 Los Angeles Angels 2001 Salt Lake City, Utah Smith's Ballpark 14,511
Tacoma Rainiers 1960 Seattle Mariners 1995 Tacoma, Washington Cheney Stadium 6,500

2006 Standings[]

Final Standings for 2006

American Conference[]

Northern Division W L Win % GB
Nashville Sounds 76 68 .528 ---
Iowa Cubs 76 68 .528 ---
Memphis Redbirds 58 86 .403 18.0
Omaha Royals 53 91 .368 23.0
Southern Division W L Win % GB
Round Rock Express 85 59 .590 ---
Oklahoma RedHawks 74 70 .514 11.0
New Orleans Zephyrs 72 71 .503 12.5
Albuquerque Isotopes 70 72 .493 14.0

Pacific Conference[]

Northern Division W L Win % GB
Salt Lake Bees 81 63 .563 ---
Tacoma Rainiers 74 70 .514 7
Portland Beavers 68 76 .472 13.0
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 66 77 .462 14.5
Southern Division W L Win % GB
Tucson Sidewinders 91 53 .632 ---
Sacramento River Cats 78 66 .542 13.0
Las Vegas 51s 67 77 .465 24.0
Fresno Grizzlies 61 83 .424 30.0

1903-1957 Teams[]

  • Hollywood Stars (1938-1957) → Salt Lake Bees (1958-1965) → Tacoma Rainiers
  • Los Angeles Angels (1903-1957) → Spokane Indians (1958-1970) → Albuquerque Dukes (1971-1999) → Portland Beavers
  • Oakland Oaks (1903-1955) → Vancouver Mounties (1956-1969) → Salt Lake City Gulls (1970-1984) → Calgary Cannons (1985-2002) → Albuquerque Isotopes
  • Portland Beavers (1903-1972) → Spokane Indians (1973-1982) → Las Vegas 51s
  • Sacramento Solons (1903-1960) → Hawaii Islanders (1961-1986) → Colorado Springs Sky Sox
  • San Diego Padres (1936-1968) moved from Hollywood
  • San Francisco Seals (1903-1957) → Phoenix Firebirds (1958-1997) → Fresno Grizzlies
  • Seattle Rainiers (1903-1968)
  • Salt Lake Bees (1915-1925) → Hollywood Stars (1926-1935) → San Diego Padres
  • Vernon Tigers (1909-1925) → Mission Reds (1926-1937) → Hollywood Stars

Present Franchise Genealogy[]

The roots of many of today's Pacific Coast League teams can be traced back to "classic" PCL franchises. as of 2019

Albuquerque Isotopes

Calgary Cannons 1985-2002
Salt Lake Gulls 1975-84
Salt Lake Angels 1970-74
Vancouver Mounties 1965-69
Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers 1962-64
Vancouver Mounties 1956-61
Oakland Oaks 1903-55

Colorado Springs Sky Sox

Hawaii Islanders 1961-86
Sacramento Solons 1918-60
Portland Beavers 1905-17
Portland Giants 1904
Portland Browns 1903

Fresno Grizzlies

Phoenix Firebirds 1986-97
Phoenix Giants 1966-85
Tacoma Giants 1960-65
Phoenix Giants 1958-59
San Francisco Seals 1903-57

Las Vegas 51s

Las Vegas Stars 1983-2000
Spokane Indians 1973-82
Portland Beavers 1915-72

Reno Aces

Tucson Sidewinders 1998-2009
Tucson Toros 1969-97
Seattle Angels 1965-68
Seattle Rainiers 1938-64
Seattle Indians 1919-37

Round Rock Express

Edmonton Trappers 1981-2004
Ogden A's 1979-80
San Jose Missions 1977-78
Sacramento Solons 1974-77
Eugene Emeralds 1969-73
San Diego Padres 1936-68
Hollywood Stars 1926-35
Salt Lake Bees 1915-25
Sacramento Sacts 1909-14

Tacoma Rainiers

Tacoma Tigers 1980-94
Tacoma Tugs 1979
Tacoma Yankees 1978
Tacoma Twins 1972-77
Tacoma Cubs 1966-71
Salt Lake Bees 1958-65
Hollywood Stars 1938-57
Mission Reds 1926-37
Vernon (and Venice) Tigers 1909-25

Tucson Padres

Portland Beavers 2000-10
Albuquerque Dukes 1971-99
Spokane Indians 1958-70
Los Angeles Angels 1903-57

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 B. Rickey

See also[]

  • Pacific Coast League champions
  • Triple-A World Series
  • Sports league attendances
  • List of defunct PCL teams

External links[]

Professional Baseball
Major League Baseball American LeagueNational League
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