St. Paul Saints

From BR Bullpen


Location: St. Paul, MN

League: Northwestern League 1887; Western League 1892, 1897, 1899, 1901; American Association 1902-1960; Northern League 1993-2005; American Association 2006-2019; Triple-A East 2021; International League 2022-

Affiliation: Chicago White Sox 1936-1942; Brooklyn Dodgers 1944-1957; Los Angeles Dodgers 1958-1960; Minnesota Twins 2021-

Ballpark: Lexington Park 1897-1956; Midway Stadium 1957-1960 and 1993-2014; CHS Field 2015-

Team History[edit]

The St. Paul Saints, formerly of the independent American Association, briefly in Triple-A East, and now in the International League, are widely known for offbeat promotions and hilarious non-conformity. They play their home games at CHS Field in St. Paul, MN.

MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization pulled the Saints from independent baseball - one of three such teams - to become the nearby Minnesota Twins' top affiliate.

Team owners include actor Bill Murray and Mike Veeck, son of legendary baseball team owner and promoter Bill Veeck. Their promotions fit Veeck's genealogy - out-drawing other indies by having a pig for a mascot, playing a game without umpires (don't ask!), and hosting Atheists Night as the St. Paul Aints. The Saints debuted in the indy Northern League in 1993, then in 2006 chartered what would become the larger but also-indy Association.

The Saints play Copa de la Diversión Hispanic engagement campaign games as Los Santos de St. Paul, a literal translation of their brand.

City Baseball History[edit]

St. Paul had a long history in the original American Association, from 1902 to 1960 - as did Minneapolis. For some reason people confuse the Saints with the Apostles, who played during the 19th Century in St. Paul in a completely different league. While they were referred to in the press as the Apostles as an informal name, the official team name of the American Association's St. Paul club was the Saints.

The long-time rivals of the Minneapolis Millers, they often played home-and-road doubleheaders with their twin city on holidays, with the first game would be played in one city in the morning and the second in the other in the afternoon. The rivalry was especially heated when the Saints were a Brooklyn Dodgers farm club and the Millers were allied with Brooklyn's rival, the New York Giants.

The Saints finished first nine times, but won only one Little World Series, in 1924. In 1925, they were bought by Bob Connery, formerly the chief scout for the New York Yankees, with Yankees manager Miller Huggins as a minority owner (although the fact was not publicized at the time). From that year until 1932, St. Paul acted as a quasi-farm team for the Yankees, as the club would regularly sell players to the Bronx Bombers (an estimated 29 players were transferred between the two teams during the period), with the Yankees sending around $300,000 to St. Paul in total for these purchases. Most prominent among those players were Mark Koenig and Fred Heimach. Connery sold the team to St. Paul investors after the 1934 season.

Roy Campanella played for the Saints in 1948 prior to making his major league debut.

Three Saints clubs are considered among the greatest minor league teams of all time:

The Northern League entry of 1993 drew some of the biggest names in that circuit's first decade, including J.D. Drew, Darryl Strawberry, Ila Borders and Jack Morris. The team's 1996 season was chronicled for the documentary series Baseball, Minnesota, which aired on FX. After the 2005 season, the Saints announced they were leaving the Northern League for the following season, and the next season they chartered the new American Association.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1887 75-45 3rd John Barnes none
1892 20-31 overall -- A.M. Thompson / Billy Alvord Team moved to Fort Wayne on May 25
1897 86-51 4th Charles Comiskey none
1899 57-69 5th Charles Comiskey none
1901 69-54 2nd Jimmy Ryan none
1915 90-63 2nd Mike Kelley none
1916 86-79 4th Mike Kelley none
1917 88-66 3rd Mike Kelley none
1918 39-38 6th Mike Kelley League suspended operations on July 21
1919 94-60 1st Mike Kelley none League Champs
1920 115-49 1st Mike Kelley none League Champs
1921 80-87 6th Mike Kelley none
1922 107-60 1st Mike Kelley none League Champs
1923 111-57 2nd Mike Kelley none
1924 96-70 1st Nick Allen none League Champs
1925 91-75 3rd Nick Allen none
1926 82-81 6th Nick Allen none
1927 90-78 4th Nick Allen none
1928 88-80 5th Nick Allen none
1929 102-64 2nd Bubbles Hargrave none
1930 91-63 2nd Lefty Leifield none
1931 104-63 1st Lefty Leifield none League Champs
1932 70-97 7th Lefty Leifield none
1933 78-75 4th Emmett McCann (70-71) / Phil Todt (8-4)
1934 67-84 7th Bob Coleman
1935 75-78 5th Marty McManus none
1936 84-68 2nd Gabby Street Lost in 1st round
1937 67-87 7th Gabby Street (28-45) / Phil Todt (39-42)
1938 90-61 1st Babe Ganzel Lost League Finals
1939 73-81 5th Babe Ganzel
1940 69-79 5th Babe Ganzel
1941 61-92 7th Red Kress
1942 57-97 8th Truck Hannah (32-47) / interim (2-0) / Bob Tarleton (23-50)
1943 67-85 7th (t) Salty Parker
1944 85-66 4th Ray Blades Lost League Finals
1945 75-76 4th Ray Blades Lost League Finals
1946 80-71 3rd Ray Blades Lost in 1st round
1947 69-85 7th Herman Franks (52-74) / Curt Davis (17-11)
1948 86-68 3rd Walter Alston League Champs
1949 93-60 1st Walter Alston Lost in 1st round
1950 83-69 4th Clay Hopper Lost in 1st round
1951 85-66 2nd Clay Hopper Lost League Finals
1952 80-74 3rd Clay Bryant Lost in 1st round
1953 72-82 6th Clay Bryant
1954 75-78 5th Clay Bryant
1955 75-78 5th Max Macon
1956 75-78 5th Max Macon (66-66) / Roy Hartsfield (9-12)
1957 82-72 4th Max Macon Lost League Finals
1958 70-84 7th Max Macon
1959 81-81 5th (t) Max Macon
1960 83-71 4th Danny Ozark Lost in 1st round
1993 49-29 1st Tim Blackwell League Champs
1994 43-36 3rd Tim Blackwell
1995 53-31 1st Marty Scott League Champs
1996 45-40 3rd Marty Scott League Champs
1997 45-39 4th Marty Scott Lost in 1st round
1998 40-46 4th (t) Marty Scott Lost League Finals
1999 38-47 5th Marty Scott
2000 43-43 4th (t) Marty Scott Lost in 1st round
2001 37-53 6th (t) Doug Sisson
2002 39-50 7th Jimmy Johnson
2003 52-38 3rd George Tsamis Lost in 1st round
2004 61-34 1st George Tsamis League Champs
2005 55-40 2nd George Tsamis Lost in 1st round
2006 54-42 4th George Tsamis Lost League Finals
2007 57-39 2nd George Tsamis Lost League Finals
2008 42-54 9th George Tsamis
2009 49-47 4th (t) George Tsamis
2010 45-51 7th George Tsamis
2011 56-44 3rd George Tsamis Lost League Finals
2012 52-48 6th George Tsamis
2013 47-53 9th George Tsamis
2014 48-52 6th (t) George Tsamis
2015 74-26 2nd George Tsamis Lost in 1st round
2016 61-39 1st George Tsamis Lost in 1st round
2017 48-52 7th George Tsamis
2018 59-41 1st George Tsamis Lost League Finals
2019 64-36 1st George Tsamis League Champs
Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching coach Coach
2021 61-59 10th Toby Gardenhire 6-4 Matt Borgschulte Cibney Bello & Mike McCarthy Tyler Smarslok
2022 Toby Gardenhire Ryan Smith Cibney Bello & Virgil Vasquez Tyler Smarslok

Further Reading[edit]

  • Roger A. Godin: "The 1924 Junior World Series: The St. Paul Saints' Magnificent Comeback", in The National Pastime, SABR, Volume 28 (2008), pp. 119-128.
  • Rex Hamann: "Baseball's Twin Towers in the Twin Cities: The Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints in the American Association, 1902-1960", in Daniel R. Levitt, ed.: Short but Wondrous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State, The National Pastime, Volume 42 (2012), pp. 29-37.
  • Rex Hamann: The Millers and the Saints: Baseball Championships of the Twin Cities Rivals, 1903–1955, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2014. ISBN 978-1-4766-1599-8
  • Dick Harris: The St. Paul Saints Baseball Club, 1902-1961: A Historical Chronicle, Bookhouse Fulfillment, Beaver's Pond Press, Edina, MN, 2008.
  • Neal Karlen: Slouching Towards Fargo, William Morrow, New York, NY, 1999. ISBN 978-0380974849
  • Joe O'Connell: "The Saints-Millers Holiday Series", in Daniel R. Levitt, ed.: Short but Wondrous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State, The National Pastime, Volume 42 (2012), pp. 44-46
  • Steve Steinberg: "The St. Paul-New York Underground Railroad", in Daniel R. Levitt, ed.: Short but Wondrous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State, The National Pastime, Volume 42 (2012), pp. 38-43.
  • Stew Thornley: The St. Paul Saints: Baseball in the Capital City, Minnesota Historical Society Press, St. Paul, MN, 2015. ISBN 978-0-8735-1958-8

Related Sites[edit]

  • Official site of the St. Paul Saints
  • [1] website dedicated to the first 61 seasons of the original minor league American Association, including the eight original teams: the Columbus Senators, Columbus Red Birds, Indianapolis Indians, Kansas City Blues, Louisville Colonels, Milwaukee Brewers, Minneapolis Millers, St. Paul Saints and Toledo Mud Hens. This website is an off-shoot of the hard copy publication The American Association Almanac which has been in circulation since 2001.