Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
San Diego Padres (PCL)
- For the major league franchise in the National League, see: San Diego Padres.
The San Diego Padres were a minor league baseball team which played in the Pacific Coast League from 1936 through 1968. The team that would eventually become the Padres was well traveled prior to moving to San Diego. It began its existence in 1903 as the Sacramento Solons, a charter member of the PCL. The team moved to Tacoma in 1904 (where it won the PCL pennant), returned to Sacramento in 1905, then left the PCL altogether for the next three seasons. The Solons rejoined the PCL in 1909, then moved to San Francisco during the 1914 season, finishing out the season as the San Francisco Missions. The team was sold to businessman Bill "Hardpan" Lane who moved the team to Salt Lake City for the 1915 season as the Salt Lake Bees.
Eleven years later Lane moved the Bees to Los Angeles for the 1926 season, and changed their name to the Hollywood Stars. The Stars played at Wrigley Field, home of the Los Angeles Angels, winning pennants in 1929 and 1930. When, after the 1935 season, Angels' owner William Wrigley doubled the Stars’ rent, Lane moved the Stars to San Diego for the 1936 season, to become the San Diego Padres.
The city constucted a waterfront stadium for its new team, appropriately called Lane Field. The team finished second in its inaugural year in the border city, then won the postseason series and the PCL pennant in 1937, led by the hitting of sophomore outfielder Ted Williams, who was first signed to a contract in 1936.
Though for the next decade or more the Padres were mired in the second division, at last this franchise achieved stability and longevity. The team remained in San Diego for 28 years, displaced only by virtue of San Diego's admission to the major leagues. Finally in 1954, managed by former major league player Lefty O'Doul, the Padres finished first in the PCL for the first time in their history, but were eliminated in the postseason playoffs.
After the 1957 season, the Padres were sold to C. Arnholt Smith, who moved the team from ancient Lane Field to Westgate Park, an 8,200-seat facility located in Mission Hills, where the Padres won PCL pennants in 1962, 1964, and 1967. The Pads fell to fourth place in 1968, their last year as a PCL team.
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