Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Oakland Oaks (PCL)
For the American Basketball Association team see: Oakland Oaks (ABA).
For the American Basketball League team see: Oakland Oaks (ABL).
The Oakland Oaks were a minor league baseball team which played in the Pacific Coast League from 1903 until 1955. Along with the Los Angeles Angels, Portland Beavers, Sacramento Solons, San Francisco Seals, and Seattle Indians, the Oaks were charter members of the Pacific Coast League which was founded in 1903. The team finished last that year, and finished either last or next to last place four more times before winning its first PCL pennant in 1912. The Oaks (or “Acorns” as they were also called) played their home games at Freeman’s Park at 59th Street and San Pablo Avenue and at Recreation Park in San Francisco.
After the 1912 season, the Oaks opened their new stadium, named Oakland Ball Park (or simply Oaks Park) though it was located in the neighboring city of Emeryville at San Pablo and Park Avenues. In their first season at Oaks Park the Acorns finished last, and were mired in the second division for more than a decade. In 1927, the Oaks won their first pennant at Oaks Park, finishing 120-75 (.615), 14½ games over the runner-up Seals.
In 1943, a controlling interest in the Oaks was purchased by C. L. “Brick” Laws, who operated the team for its remaining seasons. In 1946, Laws hired Charles “Casey” Stengel, the former manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves of the National League to manage the Oaks. He responded with second and fourth place finishes, before the club won its most celebrated pennant in 1948. It was in Oakland that Stengel developed his talent for “platooning,” i.e., juggling his lineup to maximize each player’s potential in given situations, that served him so famously as manager of the New York Yankees.
The 1948 Oaks were nicknamed the “Nine Old Men” in that many of the star players were older veterans of the major leagues, including Ernie Lombardi, Cookie Lavagetto, Nick Etten, and George Metkovich. There were younger players on the team as well, including rookie second baseman Alfred “Billy” Martin. Manager Stengel wore jersey number 1, while Martin wore number 7. When Martin came to the Yankees in 1950, number 7 had been taken by Mickey Mantle, so Martin asked for and was issued number 1 – in honor of his mentor, Casey Stengel.
Stengel’s success with the Oaks did not go unnoticed, and he became manager of the Yankees in 1949. Stengel was replaced by Charlie Dressen, who led the Oaks to a second place finish in 1949 and the PCL pennant in 1950. Again, the Oaks’ manager’s success resulted in a promotion to the major leagues, with Dressen hired to manage the Dodgers in 1951. Former New York Giant star Mel Ott was hired as his replacement.
In 1954, the Acorns finished third, but won the postseason series to capture their last PCL pennant. In spite of this, attendance at the now-dilapidated Oaks Park had dropped dramatically. The Oaks finished seventh in 1955, and their attendance was the worst of the eight-team league. Owner Laws felt he had no other choice but to move the team. When officials of Vancouver, British Columbia made him an offer, Laws moved the Oaks to Vancouver, where they were renamed the Vancouver Mounties.
Oaks Park was demolished in 1957, replaced by a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant. Presently, the site is the headquarters of Pixar Animation Studios. The only thing left in the area to suggest that baseball was ever played at Park and San Pablo Avenues is a cardroom and restaurant across the street, appropriately named the Oaks Club.
On October 18, 1967, twelve years after the Oaks played their last game in Emeryville, the American League owners gave Kansas City Athletics president Charles O. Finley permission to move the Athletics to Oakland for the 1968 season.
Some Oaks notable members with MLB experience
- George Bamberger
- Charlie Beamon
- Gene Bearden
- Roger Bowman
- Ernie Broglio
- Sam Chapman
- Augie Galan
- Billy Herman
- Jackie Jensen
- Spider Jorgensen
- Cookie Lavagetto
- Thornton Lee
- Ernie Lombardi
- Billy Martin
- Hershel Ray Martin
- George Metkovich
- Mel Ott
- Johnny Price
- Earl Rapp
- Casey Stengel
- Jim Tobin
- Charlie Workman
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details