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Denver Bears

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The Denver Bears played in the American Association from 1955 to 1962 and from 1969 to 1992, before the Colorado Rockies arrived in Denver. When the American Association folded after the 1962 season, the team moved to the Pacific Coast League until the American Association re-formed in 1969. Teams called the Denver Bears (and also the Denver Grizzlies) also played in the Western League from 1900 to 1917, 1922 to 1932, 1941 and 1947 to 1954. They first adopted the Bears nickname in 1900 - they won the title that year but changed their name the next year to the Grizzlies. They returned to the Bears name in 1913 and won another title then went almost a half-century before their next championship.

For many years, Mile High Stadium was their home ballpark. The club was also known as the Denver Zephyrs from 1984 to 1992 and kept this name when they moved to New Orleans beginning in 1993, after Denver was awarded a National League franchise.

Among the club's more famous alumni were Tim Raines Sr., Barry Larkin, Joe Tinker, Randy Bass and Greg Vaughn. Marv Throneberry won three home run titles in a row while playing for Denver in the 1950s.

The Bears name was first used because of the fame of Teddy Roosevelt, then serving as vice president of the USA.

[edit] Championships

  • American Association Playoff Champions: 6 times (1957, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1981 and 1983)
  • American Association Regular Season Champions: 1 time (1960)
  • American Association Western Division Champions: 7 times (1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980 and 1981)
  • Western League Regular Season Champions: 4 times (1900, 1913, 1952, 1954)
  • Western League Playoff Champions: 1 time (1952)

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1900 61-44 1st George Tebeau none League Champs
1913 104-62 1st Jack Hendricks none League Champs
1914 96-72 2nd Jack Coffey none
1915 82-55 2nd Jack Coffey / Larry Spahr none
1916 78-75 4th Rebel Oakes none
1917 62-86 7th Rebel Oakes / Roy Hartzell none
1922 63-105 7th Joe Dunn / C.H. Adkins / Bill Rodgers none
1923 59-107 8th Billy Gilbert none
1924 100-67 2nd Joe Berger none
1925 97-71 2nd Joe Berger none
1926 88-80 5th Joe Berger none
1927 77-75 4th Joe Berger none
1928 81-84 5th Jack Knight
1929 73-81 5th Eddie Palmer none
1930 74-74 6th Eddie Palmer none
1931 64-77 6th John Butler
1932 83-64 2nd Earl Smith
1941 42-68 6th Cobe Jones
1947 54-75 5th Marty McManus
1948 70-67 2nd Mike Gazella Lost in 1st round
1949 71-68 2nd Mike Gazella / William DeCarlo / Earl Browne Lost in 1st round
1950 75-79 5th Earl Browne
1951 88-66 2nd Andy Cohen Lost League Finals
1952 88-66 1st Andy Cohen League Champs
1953 94-60 2nd Andy Cohen Lost League Finals
1954 94-56 1st Andy Cohen Lost League Finals
1955 83-71 3rd Ralph Houk Lost in 1st round
1956 87-67 2nd Ralph Houk Lost League Finals
1957 90-64 2nd Ralph Houk League Champs
1958 78-71 4th Andy Cohen Lost League Finals
1959 76-86 8t Stan Hack
1960 88-66 1st Charlie Metro Lost League Finals
1961 75-73 3rd Charlie Metro Lost in 1st round
1962 79-71 3rd Frank Skaff Lost League Finals
1963 71-87 9th Jack Tighe
1964 80-78 8t Bill Adair
1965 83-62 2nd Cal Ermer
1966 79-68 5th Cal Ermer
1967 69-76 9th Cal Ermer (21-25) / Johnny Goryl (48-51)
1968 73-72 6th Johnny Goryl (8-22) / Billy Martin (65-50)
1969 58-82 6th Don Heffner none
1970 70-69 4th Whitey Kurowski (26-36) / Dick Gernert (44-33) Lost League Finals
1971 73-67 2nd Del Wilber League Champs
1972 61-79 6th (t) Del Wilber
1973 61-75 8th Jimmy Williams
1974 62-74 7th Frank Verdi
1975 81-55 1st Loren Babe Lost League Finals
1976 86-50 1st Vern Rapp League Champs
1977 71-65 3rd Jim Marshall League Champs
1978 64-71 6th Doc Edwards
1979 62-73 7th Jack McKeon
1980 92-44 1st Billy Gardner Lost League Finals
1981 76-60 2nd Felipe Alou League Finals
1982 68-67 7th Rich Donnelly
1983 73-61 2nd Jim Mahoney League Champs
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