Southern Oregon Timberjacks
The Southern Oregon Timberjacks were a minor league baseball team in the northwest United States, based in Medford, Oregon. The team played in the short-season Class A Northwest League and were an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics for 21 seasons. They played their home games at Miles Field in south Medford from 1979 through 1999.
|Southern Oregon Timberjacks|
|Previous||Class A-Short Season (1979–1999)|
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Northwest League (1979–1999)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Previous||Oakland Athletics (1979–1999)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||1981, 1983|
|Division titles||1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989|
|Colors||Forest green, gray, white|
|Miles Field (1979–1999)|
Vince Genna Stadium (Bend, 1978)
The Timberjacks came to Medford to fill the void left by the departed Medford Giants (1967–1968) and Rogue Valley/Medford Dodgers (1969–1971), both of the Northwest League. Originally known as the Bend Timber Hawks for a season in 1978, owner Doug Emmans relocated the team south and it became the Medford Athletics (or A's) in 1979.
A name change to Southern Oregon Athletics (or A's) came in 1988, and then a new nickname of Timberjacks in 1996 for their last four seasons. They were six-time southern division champions (1981–1984, 1988–1989) and won the league championship twice (1981 and 1983).
In 1982, former minor league pitcher Fred Herrmann was named the team's general manager and then became the team's majority owner in 1985.
As a minor league baseball franchise, the A's and Timberjacks had featured future major league players such as Greg Cadaret, José Canseco, Rod Beck, Scott Brosius, Jason Giambi, Tim Hudson, Terry Steinbach, Jason Windsor, Miguel Tejada, and Eric Byrnes.
Relocation controversy and stadium demiseEdit
Finally on October 26, 1999, Herrmann announced that the franchise would relocate to Vancouver, British Columbia, and in 2000, they completed their move and were renamed the "new" Vancouver Canadians. The previous Canadians franchise was the Athletics' Class AAA Pacific Coast League affiliate, which was sold and moved to California and became the Sacramento River Cats. Both teams continued to be affiliated with the Oakland A's until 2011, when the Canadians became affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. The current Canadians do not show any history or records of the Timberjacks at their official website, though their relocation is mentioned one time on the media guide page.
Herrmann did attempt to bring a Western Baseball League team to Medford to replace the Timberjacks (Despite long standing rules that prohibited affiliated owners having a financial interest in independent baseball teams). However, those plans fell through when the potential owners, including Herrmann, failed to come up with the money necessary to establish a team. After four years without a professional team and despite efforts to rebuild and restore historic Miles Field, the city of Medford ordered the deteriorating stadium be torn down in 2004 to make way for a new Wal-Mart SuperCenter.
In 2004, the city council of Medford orchestrated an agreement with the new Harry & David Field that a professional team will not be allowed to play at the new ballpark which currently hosts the collegiate wood bat Medford Rogues, the American Legion baseball Medford Mustangs and youth baseball. Despite previous efforts to bring pro baseball back to Medford, the decision stands to this day.
|1981||42–28||1st||Brad Fischer||League Champs|
|1982||53–17||1st||Dennis Rogers||Lost playoffs|
|1983||50–18||1st||Dennis Rogers||League Champs|
|1984||45–29||2nd||Dennis Rogers||Lost playoffs|
|1985||33–41||6th (t)||Grady Fuson|
|1988||46–30||1st||Lenn Sakata||Lost in finals|
|1989||45–30||1st||Grady Fuson||Lost in finals|
- Rod Beck (1986-1987) 3 x MLB All-Star
- Mike Bordick (1986) MLB All-Star
- Scott Brosius (1987) MLB All-Star; 1998 World Series Most Valuable Player
- Eric Byrnes (1998)
- Greg Cadaret (1983)
- Jose Canseco (1983) 6 x MLB All-Star; 1986 AL Rookie of the Year; 1988 AL Most Valuable Player
- Ron Coomer (1987) MLB All-Star
- Jason Giambi (1992) 5 x MLB All-Star; 2000 AL Most Valuable Player
- Ben Grieve (1994) MLB All-Star; 1998 AL Rookie of the Year
- Tim Hudson (1997) 4 x MLB All-Star; 222 Wins
- Gerald Laird (1999)
- Charlie O'Brien (1982)
- Steve Ontiveros (pitcher) (1982) MLB All-Star; 1994 AL ERA Title
- Craig Paquette (1989)
- Lenn Sakata (1988, MGR)
- Scott Spiezio (1994)
- Terry Steinbach (1983) 3 x MLB All-Star
- Kevin Tapani (1986)
- Miguel Tejada (1995) 6 x MLB All-Star; 2002 AL Most Valuable Player
- Todd Van Poppel (1990)
- Dave Veres (1986)
- Luis Vizcaino (1997)
- Curt Young (1981)
- Withers, Bud (June 23, 1978). "Bend baseball bounces back". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1D.
- "Emmans clears final hurdle in Medford". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. February 15, 1979. p. 14.
- Welch, Bob (November 14, 1978). "Farewell to the Timber Hawks?". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 18.
- Welch, Bob (January 31, 1979). "Public says yes in survey". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 18.
- Welch, Bob (July 4, 1979). "Seeing too much red at Genna". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 12.
- "Ems rank 22nd in attendance". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. April 17, 1988. p. 2B.
- Fred Herrmann's Linfield College Hall of Fame biography
- "Timberjacks owner wants to move team". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. April 2, 1997. p. 6B.
- "Medford minor league team moving". Ellenburg Daily Record. Washington. Associated Press. October 16, 1998. p. 11.
- Medford Mail Tribune: Timberjacks' move gains steam (March 16, 1998)
- Medford Mail Tribune: TJ's: 1 more year (October 16, 1998)
- "Timberjacks will make move to Vancouver, B.C." Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. October 27, 1999. p. 6F.
- Medford Mail Tribune: Timberjacks go north; owner courts replacement (October 27, 1999)
- Vancouver Canadians media guide page
- Medford Mail Tribune: Herrmann shut out on new team (March 30, 2000)
- Southern Oregon Timberjacks at Baseball-Reference
- Southern Oregon Timberjacks' original website (archive.org)
- Southern Oregon Timberjacks' profile at Minor League baseball website (1998) (archive.org)
- Southern Oregon Timberjacks year-by-year records, statistics and rosters at The Baseball Cube
- Northwest League Team History (1990–1997)
- Northwest League Team History (1998–2005)