Vancouver Canadians (PCL)

The Vancouver Canadians were a Minor League Baseball team of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League from 1978 to 1999. They were located in Vancouver, British Columbia, and played their home games at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Vancouver Canadians
19781999
Vancouver, British Columbia
Minor league affiliations
ClassTriple-A (1978–1999)
LeaguePacific Coast League (1978–1999)
Major league affiliations
Team
Minor league titles
Class titles (1)1999
League titles (3)
  • 1985
  • 1989
  • 1999
Conference titles (1)1999
Division titles (6)
  • 1985
  • 1986
  • 1988
  • 1989
  • 1992
  • 1994
Team data
NameVancouver Canadians (1978–1999)
ColorsBlue, red, white

      (1997–1999)
Navy blue, red, white

      (1978–1997)
BallparkNat Bailey Stadium (1978–1999)

HistoryEdit

Vancouver, a city with storied baseball history, had been without a professional team since the departure of the Vancouver Mounties in 1969. Harry Ornest secured the rights to a Triple-A Pacific Coast League franchise for the city called the Vancouver Canadians, which began play in 1978 as an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.

The Canadians went 74–65 in their inaugural campaign, but missed the postseason two and a half games behind the Portland Beavers. Entering the 1979 season, the Canadians shifted their affiliation to the Milwaukee Brewers. Vancouver finished at the top of the north division standings with a record of 79–68. The Canadians faced the Hawaii Islanders in the division series, but lost in three games. The following year, they returned to the postseason, but suffered the same fate losing to Hawaii in the division series.

Vancouver returned to the postseason in 1985. The Canadians swept the Albuquerque Dukes in the division series and the Phoenix Giants in the finals to claim their first Pacific Coast League championship. In an effort to repeat as champions, Vancouver finished first atop the division standings at 85–53. The Canadians defeated the Tacoma Tigers to win the division title, but lost the championship round to the Las Vegas Stars in a full five games.

In 1987, the Canadians shifted their affiliation to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The relationship lasted only one year after which the club signed a player development contract with the Chicago White Sox. In their first season with Chicago, the team returned to the postseason. Vancouver swept Portland in the division series. Facing Las Vegas, the Canadians lost the championship series in five games. In 1989, the Canadians earned a playoff entry and defeated a fellow Canadian club, the Calgary Cannons, to win the north division title. Vancouver defeated Albuquerque in the championship series to close out the decade as Pacific Coast League champions. In 1992, they won their fifth division title outlasting the Portland Beavers. The south division winner, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, outlasted Vancouver for the league championship in a series that went the full five games. Following the season, the White Sox transferred their Triple-A affiliation to Nashville.

Vancouver entered into a new player development contract with the California Angels in 1993. In their second year linked with the Angels, they won the division title besting the Salt Lake Gulls. The Canadians faced the Albuquerque Dukes in the championship series, but were denied, losing 3–2. The club made postseason appearances in 1995 and 1997, but lost 3 games to 1 in both series to Salt Lake and the Edmonton Trappers, respectively. After the 1998 season, the Angels ended their relationship with Vancouver and signed on with Salt Lake.

In the winter of 1998, Art Savage purchased the franchise announced his intention to relocate the team.[1] Moreover, the Canadians and the Oakland Athletics, who had were the club's first affiliate in 1978, signed a new agreement. The season would be of significance for baseball in Vancouver. The club posted an 84–58 record to win the west division. Vancouver defeated Salt Lake to earn the Pacific Conference title. The Canadians advanced to the championship series to face the Oklahoma RedHawks. Vancouver took the series in four games to claim the club's third Pacific Coast League championship.[2] Resurrected in 1998, the Triple-A World Series pitted the Pacific Coast League's Canadians against their International League counterpart Charlotte Knights. With a young roster that included Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder, the Canadians and Knights traded wins through the first four games of the series. In the rubber match, Vancouver routed the Knights 16–2 to win the Triple-A World Series crown.[3] Terrance Long earned the series Most Valuable Player Award with a slash line of .429, 9 hitss, and 10 runs batted in.

Despite a banner year, it would be the Vancouver's last at the Triple-A level. After 22 seasons, the franchise moved south to Sacramento, California, were a new US$40 million ballpark awaited. Upon relocating to California's capital city, the team became the Sacramento River Cats. Vancouver would not be without baseball as the Southern Oregon Timberjacks of the Northwest League announced relocation to fill the void in Vancouver.[4] The Canadians name resumed as members of the Class A Short Season Northwest League.

BallparkEdit

The Canadians played their home games at the historic Nat Bailey Stadium.

Season-by-season recordEdit

Season PDC Division Finish Wins Losses Win% Post-season Manager Attendance
Vancouver Canadians
1978 OAK West 3rd 74 65 .532 Jim Marshall 123,466
1979 MIL North 1st 79 68 .537 Lost to Hawaii in division series 2–1 John Felske 131,367
1980 MIL North 1st 79 60 .568 Lost to Hawaii in division series 2–1 Bob Didier 150,758
1981 MIL North 5th 56 76 .424 Lee Sigman 127,161
1982 MIL North 3rd 72 72 .500 Dick Phillips 158,767
1983 MIL North 5th 60 80 .429 Dick Phillips 179,337
1984 MIL North 2nd 71 71 .500 Tony Muser 147,599
1985 MIL North 1st 79 64 .552 Defeated Albuquerque in division series 3–0
Defeated Phoenix in championship series 3–0
Tom Trebelhorn 199,781
1986 MIL North 1st 85 53 .616 Defeated Tacoma in division series 3–0
Lost to Las Vegas in championship series 3–2
Terry Bevington 231,819
1987 PIT North 3rd 72 72 .500 Rocky Bridges 338,614
1988 CHW North 1st 85 57 .599 Defeated Portland in division series 3–0
Lost to Las Vegas in championship series 3–1
Terry Bevington 386,220
1989 CHW North 2nd 73 69 .514 Defeated Calgary in division series 3–0
Defeated Albuquerque in championship series 3–1
Terry Bevington 281,812
1990 CHW North 3rd 74 67 .525 Marv Foley 281,540
1991 CHW North 5th 49 86 .363 Rick Renick 288,978
1992 CHW North 2nd 81 61 .570 Defeated Portland in division series 3–2
Lost to Colorado Springs in championship series 3–2
Rick Renick 333,564
1993 CAL North 2nd 72 68 .514 Max Oliveras 349,726
1994 CAL North 1st 77 65 .542 Defeated Salt Lake in division series 3–2
Lost to Albuquerque in championship series 3–2
Don Long 320,863
1995 CAL North 1st 81 60 .574 Lost to Salt Lake in division series 3–1 Don Long 305,739
1996 CAL North 1st 68 70 .493 Don Long 334,800
Vancouver Canadians
1997 ANA North 3rd 75 68 .524 Lost to Edmonton in division series 3–1 Don Long 303,148
1998 ANA West 4th 53 90 .371 Mitch Seoane 284,935
1999 OAK West 1st 84 58 .592 Defeated Salt Lake in conference series 3–2
Defeated Oklahoma in championship series 3–1
Defeated Charlotte in Triple-A World Series 3–2
Mike Quade 241,461
Division winner Conference champions League champions Class champions

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Johnson, Kelly. "Who's on first? Baseball war heats up after team purchased". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  2. ^ "The Vancouver Canadians celebrate Pacific Coast League title beating Oklahoma 5-3". UPI. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  3. ^ Pearlman, Jeff. "Something Old, Something New At the Triple A series, Vancouver's youth was too much for Charlotte's veterans". Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  4. ^ "Timberjacks will make move to Vancouver, B.C." Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. October 27, 1999. p. 6F.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Expansion franchise
Pacific Coast League franchise
1978–1999
Succeeded by
Sacramento River Cats