Fort Worth Cats

From BR Bullpen

Fort Worth Cats.jpg

Team History[edit]

Logo of the historic Fort Worth Cats

The Fort Worth Cats (also frequently known as the Fort Worth Panthers for their first seven decades) began play in 1888 as one of the first teams in the Texas League. The team derived its name from a Dallas newspaper criticizing crime in the region and saying that the main drag was "the noonday lair of the panther." The team from Fort Worth, TX won titles in 1895, 1905, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1930, 1937, 1939 and 1948 for 12 titles in 64 years (the league did not operate in 1898, 1900-1901 or 1943-45). The early 1920s edition was one of the strongest mid-level minor-league teams ever as the team won both the first and second half of the schedules six years in a row. The Cats played home games at LaGrave Field.

Fw cats mascot.jpg

In 1956, the Brooklyn Dodgers traded the Ft. Worth franchise to the Chicago Cubs for the Los Angeles Angels, effectively giving the Dodgers territorial rights to L.A., which they obviously used in 1958.

In 1959 the team joined the expanding American Association and went 81-81, 5th in the 10-team league. In 1960 they merged with the Dallas Rangers to form the Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers.

After a few years as a combined entity, the clubs were separated again for one year in 1964. With Dallas remaining in the PCL, the Fort Worth Cats were the worst team in the Texas League with a record of 51-89. The club did have a future solid major leaguer in Fred Norman, but he was a wretched 1-8 with a 6.95 ERA that season. In 1965 they merged again with Dallas and became the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs.

The Cats were revived in 2001 as part of the short-lived All-American Association and went 37-35 to finish fourth of six teams. The club then switched over to the Central Baseball League. They moved back into a re-built LaGrave Field, located exactly where the previous ballpark had stood. In 2002, they finished dead last, going 36-60. The team improved over time and in 2005 they won the first-half flag, the second-half title (30-17 each half) and then won the post-season as well under manager Wayne Terwilliger. The Cats switched leagues again in 2006, joining the new American Association, where they captured the circuit's inaugural championship and repeated as champions in 2007. They played at LaGrave Field, but did not return after the 2011 season. The Cats joined the North American League in 2012, playing in the Southern Division with other teams from the state of Texas. In 2013, they changed leagues again, playing two seasons in the United League until that circuit folded.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1932 68-81 4th Dick McCabe (49-67) / Art Phelan (19-24)
1933 63-88 7th Walter Holke (14-22) / Jake Atz (49-66)
1934 59-92 7th Del Pratt
1935 64-95 8th Johnnie Heving (45-55) / "Pid" McCurdy (19-40)
1936 76-78 5th "Pid" McCurdy (11-38) / Homer Peel (65-40)
1937 85-74 3rd Homer Peel League Champs
1938 61-99 8th Homer Peel (40-53) / Cecil Coombs (1-3) / Jackie Reid (20-43)
1939 87-74 4th Bob Linton League Champs
1940 52-108 8th Bob Linton
1941 78-76 5th Bob Linton
1942 84-68 3rd Rogers Hornsby Lost in 1st round
1946 101-53 1st Ray Hayworth Lost League Finals
1947 95-58 2nd Les Burge Lost in 1st round
1948 92-61 1st Les Burge (37-30) / George Dockins (8-1) / Bobby Bragan (47-30) League Champs
1949 100-54 1st Bobby Bragan Lost League Finals
1950 88-64 2nd Bobby Bragan Lost in 1st round
1951 84-77 4th (t) Bobby Bragan
1952 86-75 2nd Bobby Bragan Lost in 1st round
1953 82-72 3rd Max Macon Lost in 1st round
1954 81-80 4th Al Vincent Lost League Finals
1955 77-84 6th Tommy Holmes
1956 84-70 3rd Clay Bryant Lost in 1st round
1957 70-84 6th Lee Handley
1958 89-64 1st Lou Klein Lost in 1st round
1959 81-81 5th (t) Lou Klein Lost League Finals
1964 51-89 6th Alex Grammas
2001 37-35 4th Jim Gentile Lost in 1st Round
2002 36-60 4th Jim Gentile (23-41) / Marty Scott (13-19)
2003 51-43 Wayne Terwilliger Lost in 1st round
2004 51-43 Wayne Terwilliger
2005 60-34 Wayne Terwilliger League Champs
2006 56-39 2nd Stan Hough League Champs
2007 53-40 4th Stan Hough League Champs
2008 60-36 1st (t) Chad Tredaway Lost in 1st round
2009 53-43 2nd (t) Chad Tredaway Lost in 1st round
2010 37-56 9th Chad Tredaway
2011 48-52 8th (t) Chad Tredaway
2012 52-44 2nd Curtis Wilkerson Lost League Finals
2013 49-30 1st Jim Essian Lost League Finals
2014 42-35 2nd Barrett Weaver Lost League Finals