Far before fans cheered on the Giants and the A's, the Pacifics and the Oaklands ruled Bay Area baseball. Delve into the history of baseball in the Bay Area with the Pacific Coast League, the Nisei League and the World Series earthquake.
Created by KQED on Oct 28, 2010
Last updated: 11/03/10 at 03:28 PM
Tags: Baseball San Francisco Giants A's history
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Dallas Braden of the A's pitches a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Photo: Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Dallas Braden celebrates after throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
The Giants win the World Series 3-1 against the Texas Rangers. This is their first Fall Classic win since moving to the Bay Area. Fans go wild.
The Giants lose to the Anaheim Angels in the World Series, four games to three.
After 40 years at Candlestick Park the Giants relocate to the new, privately financed stadium. The park was originally christened Pacific Bell Park, then renamed SBC Park in 2003, and finally became AT&T Park in 2006. Photo: Aerial view of the AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Julia Robertson/AP
Barry Bonds reigns supreme. Bonds was born in Riverside, grew up in San Carlos and attended a San Mateo high school. In 2003, he becomes the only person to hit 500 career home runs and steal 500 stolen bases. In 2003 and in 2007 he breaks Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. In 2003 Bonds becomes embroiled in the BALCO scandal after his trainer is indicted by a federal grand jury for supplying anabolic steroids to athletes. Bonds admits that he used a clear substance and a cream that his trainer supplied him. Bonds and the other defendants all strike deals with federal prosecutors in 2005 that did not require them to name other athletes who may have used banned drugs. In 2007 Bonds is indicted on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice over the BALCO case. He also tests positive for amphetamines. Bonds' contract is up in 2008 and the Giants do not re-sign him. His trial for obstruction of justice is scheduled to begin in March, 2011. Photo: Barry Bonds signals to the crowd after hitting a home run. Beth A. Keiser/AP
After the team is almost moved to Tampa Bay, Bob Lurie sells the Giants to an ownership group that includes managing general partner Peter Magowan, Before the deal is even official Magowan, signs hometown superstar Barry Bonds as a free agent.
The Oakland A's Rickey Henderson shatters Lou Brock's record by stealing 130 bases in a single season. Photo: Oakland Athletics' Rickey Henderson celebrates and raises third base after setting the all-time stolen base record during the Athletics' baseball game in Oakland, Calif., against the New York Yankees. Eric Risberg/AP
The Bay Bridge Series. After finally winning a National League pennant, the Giants are swept by the A’s in four games. The Loma Prieta earthquake hits Candlestick Park on October 17, half an hour before Game 3, causing a 10-day disruption in play. Photo: A San Francisco firefighter looks for hotspots in the Marina District in San Francisco, the morning after the Loma Prieta quake. The Hayward Daily Review, Nick Lammers/AP
The Giants lose 100 games, the most in franchise history.
Frank Robinson becomes the Giants’ manager and the first black manager in the National League. Photo: Frank Robinson, manager of the San Francisco Giants. AP
After the A's beat the Los Angeles Dodgers n the World Series, pitcher Catfish Hunter files a grievance against the team and joins the Yankees.
The A's beat the Mets in a World Series marred by clashes between Finley and his team. Finley forces Mike Andrews to sign a false affidavit saying he is injured after he makes two errors in the 12th inning of Game 2. The team manager and members rallied around Andrews, who entered Game 4 in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter to a standing ovation from Mets’ fans. Andrews never played another major league game. Photo: Oakland A's owner Charlie O. Finley, left, watches a game. AP
At a time when every other team in the major leagues forbids facial hair, owner Charlie Finley offers $300 to any player who grows a mustache by Father's Day." The A's won their first World Series since 1930 against the heavily favored Cincinnati Reds. Some termed the series "the Hairs vs. the Big Squares." Photo: The Oakland A's burst into celebration after they won the World Series. AP
The Oakland Athletics officially become the Oakland A's.
After 13 uneventful seasons in Kansas City, Charlie Finley moves the Athletics (formerly of Philadelphia) to Oakland. Stars like Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson lead the team to three World Championships in a row from 1972 to 1974, and five straight division titles from 1971 to 1975. Photo: Charles Finley, owner of the Oakland Athletics, right, walks off the baseball diamond with Catfish Hunter in 1968. AP
The A’s Catfish Hunter pitches a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins. To date, there have been only 18 perfect games, in which no opposing player reaches base, since 1900. Photo: A's Catfish Hunter, right, is congratulated by catcher Jim Pagliaroni and third baseman Sal Brando, center, on the pitcher's mound immediately after Hunter pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins, May 8, 1968. AP/RHH
During the 60s and 70s the Giants are always a bridesmaid and never the bride, although the team continues to contend for the pennant thanks to future Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry, Willie McCovey, and Willie Mays. Photo: Willie Mays, left, Juan Marichal, center, and Willie McCovey, right. McCovey was named last Most Valuable Player a year earlier. AP
Game 7 of the 1962 World Series ends dramatically when a potential game-winning hit by Willie McCovey is caught. Photo: Willie McCovey in 1960. AP
The Giants move to Candlestick Park, known for its fog and high winds. Photo: More than 42,000 baseball fans fill Candlestick Park in San Francisco opening day to watch the San Francisco Giants in this April 13, 1960, photo. AP
Owner Horace Stoneham moves his New York Giants to San Francisco the same year that the Dodgers move to Los Angeles. The Giants share Seals Stadium with the Seals in 1958 and 1959. Photo: The San Francisco Giants play the Los Angeles Dodgers during opening game of the first Giants game at Seals Stadium in San Francisco, Ca., April 15, 1958. The Giants defeated the Dodgers, 8-0, and set an attendance record for the stadium with 23,192 fans. AP
The Oakland Oaks move to Vancouver and become the Vancouver Mounties.
About 120,000 Japanese-Americans are sent to internment camps under Executive Order 9066, but the Nisei League continues, as every camp has organized baseball leagues and teams. Photo: Baseball game at the Manzanar Relocation Center in California, 1943. Ansel Adams/Library of Congress
Seals’ outfielder Vince DiMaggio arranges a tryout for his younger brother Joe. A year later the baseball hero hits safely in 61 straight games, foreshadowing his 56-game streak for the 1941 Yankees. Joe DiMaggio leads the Seals to a 1935 pennant a year before he joins the Yankees. Joe, Vince, and Dom DiMaggio, who also played for the Seals, were born in Martinez and moved to San Francisco where they frequently played baseball in North Beach. Photo: Baseball great Joe Dimaggio strikes a pose for the San Francisco Seals in 1934. Tom Sande/AP
The Mission Reds move to San Francisco and play in the Pacific Coast League. The team shares Recreation Park with the San Francisco Seals. In 1937 the team moves back to their original city, Los Angeles, and is renamed the Hollywood Stars.
The Pacific Coast League is formed, with the seminal San Francisco Seals and Oakland Oaks. Teams often play over 200 games in a season. The San Francisco Seals' first stadium, Recreation Park, at Harrison and 8th Street, is destroyed by the 1906 earthquake. They rebuild the stadium at 14th and Valencia. In 1931 The Seals received their own park, Seals Stadium, at 16th and Bryant where a Safeway now stands. The Double Play bar, which still operates, was originally next to the park. The Oakland Oaks played in Emeryville at San Pablo and Park Avenues, the current location of Pixar. Some of the game’s most famous players began in the Pacific Coast League, including Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams. Photo: Former major league player Frank "Lefty" O'Doul, now in his first season as manager with the San Francisco Seals, is flanked by his two outfield aces, Joe Martyn, left, and Joe DiMaggio, right, on July 11, 1935. AP
Many Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans enjoy the game, but many California towns ban non-whites from baseball parks. Local Japanese come together to form the Nisei League. ("Nisei" refers to the second generation of children born to Japanese immigrants.) Later, some are allowed to join the Pacific Coast League.
Resource: Nisei Baseball Research Project
Chiura Obata. bottom far right, founded the Fuji Athletic Club in 1903 and taught art at the University of California, Berkley. His son Gyo would design several of the most highly regarded baseball facilities in America, including Camden Yards in Baltimore, Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Coors Field in Denver, Enron Field in Houston, Comerica Park in Detroit and AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Courtesy the Nisei Baseball Research Project
The San Francisco Pacifics win the California League championship. San Francisco has two teams, which play against Oakland, Sacramento and Stockton. In 1887 the Oakland Kernels win. The team is funded and managed by Oakland's self-proclaimed mayor Tom Robinson.
"The Pacifics" in 1866
Courtesy Bay Area Vintage Baseball
Resource: Bay Area Vintage Baseball
San Francisco forms the first official baseball team in California one hour ahead of Sacramento. On February 22, the San Franciscos beat the Red Rovers, another SF team.
Resource: Bay Area Vintage Baseball
Gold miners brought baseball to California from the East Coast during the Gold Rush. On Jan. 14, 1852, the Daily Alta California carried an item that "fully grown persons [were] engaged very industriously in the game known as “town ball" in San Francisco. Resource: The Golden Game: The Story of California Baseball. Kevin Nelson