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San Francisco Seals
- Location: San Francisco, CA
- League: Pacific Coast League 1903-1957
- Affiliation: New York Giants 1936; Brooklyn Dodgers 1942; New York Yankees 1951; Boston Red Sox 1956-1957
- Ballpark: Recreation Park 1903-1913, 1915-1930; Ewing Field 1914; Seals Stadium 1931-1957
The San Francisco Seals were a longtime member of the Pacific Coast League. A team from San Francisco began play in the circuit's first season in 1903; that team is sometimes also called the San Francisco Stars; the name Seals was in sole use for the next five decades, until the team was relocated following the arrival of the New York Giants in San Francisco.
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.
Four Seals clubs are considered among the greatest minor league teams of all time:
|1909||132-80||1st||Daniel Long||none League Champs|
|1915||118-89||1st||Harry Wolverton||none League Champs|
|1917||119-93||1st||Harry Wolverton (46-30) / Jerry Downs (73-63)||none League Champs|
|1918||51-51||3rd||Jerry Downs (42-45) / Charlie Graham (9-6)||League Suspended operations July 14|
|1922||127-72||1st||Dots Miller||none League Champs|
|1923||124-77||1st||Dots Miller (66-43) / Herbert Ellison (58-34)||none League Champs|
|1925||128-71||1st||Herbert Ellison||none League Champs|
|1926||84-116||8th||Herbert Ellison (38-55) / Nick Williams (46-61)||none|
|1928||120-71||1st||Nick Williams||none League Champs|
|1931||107-80||1st||Nick Williams||League Champs|
|1935||103-70||1st||Lefty O'Doul||League Champs|
|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|
|1941||81-95||5th (t)||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|
|1954||84-84||4th||Tommy Heath||Lost League Finals|
|1956||77-88||6th||Eddie Joost (44-59) / Joe Gordon (33-29)||none|
|1957||101-67||1st||Joe Gordon||none League Champs|
- 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.