Vancouver Canadians

From BR Bullpen


Team History[edit]


The Vancouver Canadians, of the High-A Northwest League and briefly in High-A West, are the only Canadian team operating in a U.S.-based affiliated league. The Toronto Blue Jays farmhands play their home games at Rogers Field at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver, BC.

While one might assume a rule or a tradition put them together, the partnership between Canada's only remaining teams in Organized Baseball is, like all affiliations, a mutual decision.

However, MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization reportedly nearly ended the pairing. The restructuring raised the Canadians, and most of the NwL, two levels to High-A. It also raised the Midwest League to the same level, giving the Jays two High-A teams - the Canadians and the Lansing Lugnuts. Baseball isn't transparent with its affiliation process - before the reorganization, teams didn't even always announce them, often just letting them become obvious after the biennial change cycle. In this case, the San Francisco Chronicle broke a story that didn't happen - although it looks more a change of mind than an error in journalism. On October 20th, Susan Slusser reported the Jays would drop the C's in favor of the Lugnuts, who are some 2,000 miles closer to Toronto and line up much more closely with the Jays' other farm clubs. While the Canadians' president said, "As of today we have not been notified of any changes regarding our affiliation," the A's farm editor and the C's play-by-play announcer both tweeted about the change. However, on November 30th, Slusser followed up with two tweets: "Vancouver appears to be staying a Toronto affiliate" followed by "Sounds as if potential border/COVID restrictions might have contributed." Meanwhile, Oakland must have already dropped its MwL club, the Beloit Snappers - on whom the A's had first call and who were in the very act of building a new stadium - in anticipation of signing Vancouver. The December 9th announcements of affiliation invitations had the Jays still with Vancouver, the Miami Marlins with Beloit, and the A's with the Lugnuts.

The Jays may have simply changed their minds on what must have been a close call. Seeing future Jays probably accounts for a large contingent of Toronto fans living on Canada's Pacific Coast, whose geographically closest MLB option is the Seattle Mariners with seven others between them and Toronto; that presumably also boosts the Canadians' gates. None of that changed between October 20th and November 30th, but it could be the specific point on which the Jays' decision shifted. They did touch on it in their invitation announcement: "As this country’s only Major League Baseball team, the club takes great pride in maintaining a West Coast presence, introducing future Blue Jays players to Canadian fans and helping grow the game nationally." The border may even have been a factor on its own merit. Principles and observers alike say Organized Baseball's only remaining Canadian team's tie benefits both [1].

In 2023, Diamond Baseball Holdings bought the C's. Entertainment giant Endeavor created DBH in 2021 specifically to acquire Professional Development League teams in the wake of - and under new rules created by - MLB's Minor League Reorganization. Endeavor later sold DBH to Silver Lake Partners. Those rules reportedly include caps of 24 teams total and nine in any given level. Former owners Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney remain with the operation.

The C's became the last affiliated club in Canada in 2008, when the Ottawa Lynx moved to Allentown, PA. There have been several iterations of Vancouver professional baseball, mostly Triple-A clubs playing as Canadians or Mounties. In their final Triple-A year, the Pacific Coast League Canadians won the Triple-A World Series. After that season, they became the Sacramento River Cats and the NwL's Southern Oregon Timberjacks moved to Vancouver, BC, to take over the Canadians' brand.

During their season in High-A West, the Canadians were prevented from playing any home games in Vancouver due to border-crossing restrictions of a similar nature to those that forced their parent Blue Jays to spend a part of the year based in Dunedin, FL, and then in Buffalo, NY, before finally moving to Toronto at the end of July. Meanwhile, the Canadians were hosted by the Hillsboro Hops, sharing Ron Tonkin Field for the entire season: By the time border restrictions had been eased enough to make a return to British Columbia possible, the season was so far advanced that a move would have been too complicated. When the C's finally returned on April 19, 2022, High-A West was again the Northwest League and - counting off-seasons as well as the lost season and the away season - they had gone a total of 963 days between true "home" games.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching coach Coach
1978 74-65 4th Jim Marshall
1979 79-68 3rd John Felske Lost in 1st round Butch Hughes
1980 79-60 3rd Bob Didier Lost in 1st round
1981 56-76 8th Lee Sigman
1982 72-72 6th Dick Phillips Eli Grba
1983 60-80 9th Dick Phillips (31-39) / Tony Muser (29-41) Eli Grba
1984 71-71 4th Tony Muser Don Rowe
1985 79-64 3rd Tom Trebelhorn League Champs Mike Paul
1986 85-53 1st Terry Bevington Lost League Finals Mike Paul
1987 72-72 6th Rocky Bridges Jackie Brown
1988 85-57 2nd Terry Bevington Lost League Finals Ron Jackson Eli Grba
1989 73-69 5th Marv Foley League Champs Cal Emery Moe Drabowsky
1990 74-67 5th Marv Foley Roger LaFrancois Moe Drabowsky
1991 49-86 10th Marv Foley (24-39) / Moe Drabowsky (0-3) /
Doug Mansolino (3-1) / Rick Renick (22-43)
Roger LaFrancois Moe Drabowsky
1992 81-61 3rd Rick Renick Lost League Finals Roger LaFrancois Rick Peterson
1993 72-68 3rd Max Oliveras Lenn Sakata Gary Ruby
1994 77-65 3rd Don Long Lost League Finals Lenn Sakata Gary Ruby
1995 81-60 2nd Don Long Lost in 1st round
1996 68-70 5th Don Long John Morris Frank Reberger
1997 75-68 5th Bruce Hines Lost in 1st round Leon Durham Howie Gershberg
1998 53-90 16th Mitch Seoane Leon Durham Greg Minton
1999 84-58 1st Mike Quade League Champs
AAA World Series Champs
Roy White Pete Richert
2000 39-37 4th Dave Joppie Billy Owens Jim Coffman
2001 37-39 4th Webster Garrison Billy Owens Jim Coffman
2002 37-39 6th Orv Franchuk Gordon Gerlach Michael Kelly
2003 35-41 5th Dennis Rogers Juan Dilone Ed Vosberg
2004 42-34 1st (t) Dennis Rogers Lost League Finals Craig Lefferts
2005 46-30 1st Juan Navarette Lost League Finals Craig Lefferts
2006 39-37 4th Rick Magnante Craig Lefferts
2007 37-38 2nd Rick Magnante Chris Pritchett Jimmy Escalante
2008 34-42 6th Rick Magnante Jimmy Escalante
2009 36-40 5th Rick Magnante Casey Myers Craig Lefferts
2010 42-34 4th Rick Magnante Lost in 1st round Casey Myers Craig Lefferts
2011 39-37 3rd John Schneider League Champs Dave Pano Jim Czajkowski
2012 46-30 2nd (t) Clayton McCullough League Champs Dave Pano Jim Czajkowski
2013 39-37 4th Clayton McCullough League Champs Dave Pano Jim Czajkowski
2014 46-30 2nd John Schneider Lost League Finals Dave Pano Jeff Ware
2015 34-42 6th(t) John Schneider Dave Pano Jim Czajkowski
2016 29-45 8th John Tamargo Jr. Dave Pano Willie Collazo
2017 34-33 1st Rich Miller League Champs Dave Pano Jim Czajkowski Jose Mayorga
2018 40-36 2nd Dallas McPherson Aaron Mathews Jim Czajkowski Jose Mayorga
2019 30-46 7th Casey Candaele Aaron Mathews Demetre Kokoris Daniel Canellas
2020 Season cancelled
2021 55-64 5th Donnie Murphy Ryan Wright Phil Cundari Daniel Canellas, Taylor Hill
2022 67-62 2nd Brent Lavallee Lost League Finals Ryan Wright Phil Cundari Ashley Ponce, Joel Bonnett
2023 77-54 1st Brent Lavallee League Champs Ryan Wright Joel Bonnett Daniel Canellas, Ashley Stephenson, Austin Bibens-Dirkx
2024 Brent Lavallee Ryan Wright Austin Bibens-Dirkx Deiferson Barreto, Ashley Stephenson, Carson Phillips

External Link[edit]