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San Francisco Seals

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The San Francisco Seals were a longtime member of the Pacific Coast League. The Seals are perhaps best known for giving Joe DiMaggio (1932-1935) and his brother Dom (1937-1939) their start in the 1930's. After having won the PCL MVP as a Seal in 1927, Lefty O'Doul managed the club from 1935 to 1951, winning pennants in 1935, 1943, 1944, 1945, and 1946. The Seals also won pennants in 1909, 1915, 1917, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1931, and 1957. In addition to the DiMaggios, Harry Heilmann (1915), Paul Waner (1923-1925), Earl Averill (1926-1928), Frankie Crosetti (1928-1931), and Ferris Fain (1939-1942, 1946) went on to successful major league careers after playing for the Seals.

Longtime Seal pitchers include Win Ballou (1930-1944 player/coach last few years), who was 154-131, Ed Stutz (1932-1942, 1946), who was 124-124, and Al Lien (1942-1948) was 126-118. Bob Joyce (1941-1948) was 119-86 winning 20 four times, including 31 in 1945, and Larry Jansen (1941-1946) was the PCL's last 30-game winner in 1936. Sam Gibson (1931, 1934-1944), who was 210-123, led the PCL in W, ERA, and SO in 1931 and in ERA 1939, while Cack Henley (1905-1913) was 183-137 and led the PCL in W in 1910.

Hal Rhyne (1922-1925, 1928, 1934-1938) played SS, Joe Sprinz (1928, 1938-1946) and Sam Agnew (1920-1927) were catchers, and Gus Suhr (1925-1929, 1943-1944) played 1B. Kid Mohler (1905-1912) was a left-handed throwing 2B who led the PCL in R in 1910. 1B Babe Ellison (1921-1927) led the league in RBI in 1922, and H and RBI in 1924. OF Smead Jolley (1925-1929) led the PCL in RBI and AVG in 1927, H in 1929, and won the Triple Crown in 1928. OF Brooks Holder (1935-1942) led in H in 1936 and 3B in 1939, while OF Ted Norbert (1935-1940) led in HR and RBI in 1938.

When the Giants moved to San Francisco for the 1958 season, the Seals ceased operation.

Four Seals clubs are considered among the greatest minor league teams of all time:

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1903 107-110 4th Charlie Irwin none
1904 101-117 5th Henry Harris none
1905 125-100 2nd Parke Wilson none
1906 91-84 4th Parke Wilson none
1907 104-99 2nd Daniel Long none
1908 100-104 3rd Daniel Long none
1909 132-80 1st Daniel Long none League Champs
1910 114-106 3rd Daniel Long none
1911 95-112 5th Daniel Long none
1912 89-115 5th Daniel Long none
1913 104-103 4th Daniel Long none
1914 115-96 3rd Daniel Long none
1915 118-89 1st Harry Wolverton none League Champs
1916 104-102 4th Harry Wolverton none
1917 119-93 1st Harry Wolverton / Jerry Downs none League Champs
1918 51-51 3rd Charlie Graham / Jerry Downs League Suspended operations July 14
1919 84-94 6th Charlie Graham none
1920 103-96 4th Charlie Graham none
1921 106-82 3rd Charlie Graham none
1922 127-72 1st Dots Miller none League Champs
1923 124-77 1st Dots Miller / Herbert Ellison none League Champs
1924 108-93 3rd Herbert Ellison none
1925 128-71 1st Herbert Ellison none League Champs
1926 84-116 8th Herbert Ellison / Nick Williams none
1927 106-90 2nd Nick Williams none
1928 120-71 1st Nick Williams none League Champs
1929 114-87 2nd Nick Williams none
1930 101-98 4th Nick Williams none
1931 107-80 1st Nick Williams League Champs
1932 96-90 4th James Caveney none
1933 81-106 6th James Caveney none
1934 93-95 4th James Caveney
1935 103-70 1st Lefty O'Doul League Champs
1936 83-93 7th Lefty O'Doul
1937 98-80 2nd Lefty O'Doul Lost in 1st round
1938 93-85 4th Lefty O'Doul Lost League Finals
1939 97-78 2nd Lefty O'Doul Lost in 1st round
1940 81-97 7th Lefty O'Doul
1941 81-95 5th (t) Lefty O'Doul
1942 88-90 5th Lefty O'Doul
1943 89-66 2nd Lefty O'Doul League Champs
1944 86-83 3rd Lefty O'Doul League Champs
1945 96-87 4th Lefty O'Doul League Champs
1946 115-68 1st Lefty O'Doul League Champs
1947 105-82 2nd Lefty O'Doul Lost in 1st round
1948 112-76 2nd Lefty O'Doul Lost in 1st round
1949 84-103 7th Lefty O'Doul
1950 100-100 5th Lefty O'Doul
1951 74-93 8th Lefty O'Doul
1952 78-102 7th Tommy Heath
1953 88-92 5th Tommy Heath
1954 84-84 4th Tommy Heath Lost League Finals
1955 80-92 6th Tommy Heath none
1956 77-88 6th Eddie Joost (44-59) / Joe Gordon (33-29) none
1957 101-67 1st Joe Gordon none League Champs

[edit] Further Reading

  • P.J. Dragseth: The 1957 San Francisco Seals: End of an Era in the Pacific Coast League, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2013. ISBN 978-0-7864-6545-3
  • Charles D. Johnson: "The Little Corporation: Professional Baseball in San Francisco, 1953-1955", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 38, Number 1 (Summer 2009), pp. 106-116.
  • Brent Kelley: The San Francisco Seals, 1946-1957: Interviews with 25 Former Baseballers, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2002.
  • Al Parnis: "A Game I'll Never Forget: Los Angeles Defeats San Francisco in 1947 Playoff Game", in Jean Hastings Ardell and Andy McCue, ed.: Endless Seasons: Baseball in Southern California, The National Pastime, SABR, Number 41, 2011, pp. 122-124.

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