Fresno Grizzlies

Last updated
Fresno Grizzlies
Founded in 1998
Fresno, California
FresnoGrizzliesLogo.png
Team logo
Class-level
Current Triple-A (1998–present)
Minor league affiliations
League Pacific Coast League (1998–present)
ConferencePacific Conference
DivisionNorthern Division
Major league affiliations
Current Washington Nationals (2019–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
Class titles (1)2015
League titles (1)2015
Conference titles (2)
  • 2015
  • 2018
Division titles (3)
  • 1998
  • 2015
  • 2018
Team data
NicknameFresno Grizzlies (1998–present)
ColorsScarlet, black, beige, brown [1] [2]
                
MascotParker T. Bear
Ballpark Chukchansi Park (2002–present)
Previous parks
Pete Beiden Field (1998–2001)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Fresno Sports and Events
Manager Randy Knorr
General ManagerDerek Franks

The Fresno Grizzlies are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. They are located in Fresno, California, and play their home games at Chukchansi Park which opened in 2002 and has a capacity of 10,500, after previously playing at Pete Beiden Field from 1998 to 2001. The Grizzlies won the PCL championship in 2015, making it the only league title in franchise history. All games are broadcast on KRDU with Doug Greenwald handling the play-by-play.

Minor League Baseball hierarchy of professional baseball leagues affiliated with Major League Baseball

Minor League Baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball (MLB) and provide opportunities for player development and a way to prepare for the major leagues. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses. Most are members of the umbrella organization known as Minor League Baseball (MiLB), which operates under the Commissioner of Baseball within the scope of organized baseball. Several leagues, known as independent baseball leagues, do not have any official links to Major League Baseball.

The Pacific Coast League (PCL) is a Minor League Baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern, and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one grade below Major League Baseball. It is officially named the Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc. Its headquarters are in Round Rock, Texas.

Triple-A (baseball) Highest level of competition in Minor League Baseball

Triple-A or Class AAA is the highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States and Mexico. Before 2008, Triple-A leagues also fielded teams in Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the Triple-A International League (IL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL), with 14 teams in the IL and 16 in the PCL. The MLB-independent Mexican League fields 16 teams. Triple-A teams are typically located in large metropolitan areas that do not have Major League Baseball teams, such as San Antonio; Austin; Columbus; and Indianapolis.

Contents

History

Prior professional baseball in Fresno

Professional baseball first came to Fresno in 1898 when it had a team in the original California League. The team dropped out of the league after that year but returned in 1905. In 1906, the Tacoma Tigers of the Pacific Coast League moved to Fresno, playing as the Fresno Raisin Eaters for one season before moving to Sacramento for the 1907 season. In the intervening years before the arrival of the Grizzlies, Fresno fielded teams in the California State League in 1910 and 1913, and in the current California League from 1941 through 1988, including the Fresno Cardinals (1941–1956), Fresno Sun Sox (1957), Fresno Giants (1958–1987), and Fresno Suns (1988).

California League baseball league operating at the Class A Advanced level of Minor League Baseball in California, USA

The California League is a Minor League Baseball league which operates throughout California. it is classified at the Class A-Advanced, three steps below Major League Baseball. Most players reach this level in their third or fourth year of professional play.

The Tacoma Rainiers are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. They are located in Tacoma, Washington, and play their home games at Cheney Stadium which opened in 1960. At only 26 miles (42 km) south of Seattle, the Rainiers have the shortest distance between a Triple-A team and its major league parent. Tacoma, which has the longest current active streak of PCL membership, operated under several monikers before becoming the Rainiers in 1995. They have won the PCL championship five times, more than any other active PCL team.

The Fresno Raisin Eaters were a minor league baseball team which played in the Pacific Coast League in 1906. The Sacramento Solons, a charter member of the PCL which began play in 1903, moved to Tacoma in 1904, where the team won the PCL pennant playing as the Tacoma Tigers. The team returned to Sacramento during the 1905 season, then moved to Fresno for the 1906 season.

San Francisco Giants (1998–2014)

When Major League Baseball awarded an expansion team (the Arizona Diamondbacks) to Phoenix, Arizona, that would begin playing in 1998, the Phoenix Firebirds of the Pacific Coast League (the San Francisco Giants' Triple-A affiliate) were forced to move. The Firebirds moved to Tucson, Arizona and changed their name to the Tucson Sidewinders while changing their affiliation to the Diamondbacks. That prompted the Tucson Toros to move to Fresno, giving Fresno its first PCL team since 1906. The Toros were renamed the Grizzlies and became the Giants' new Triple-A affiliate. [3]

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the major league clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Phoenix, Arizona, United States

The Arizona Diamondbacks, often shortened as the D-backs, are an American professional baseball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the National League (NL) West division. The team plays its home games at Chase Field, formerly known as Bank One Ballpark. The Diamondbacks have won one World Series championship – becoming the fastest expansion team in the Major Leagues to win a championship, which it did in only the fourth season since the franchise's inception.

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city of Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city in Arizona, with 1,660,272 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.

From 1998 through 2001 the Grizzlies played at Pete Beiden Field at California State University, Fresno, before moving to Chukchansi Park.

California State University, Fresno university

California State University, Fresno is a public university in Fresno, California. It is one of 23 campuses within the California State University system. The university had a Fall 2018 enrollment of 24,995 students. It offers bachelor's degrees in 60 areas of study, 45 master's degrees, 3 doctoral degrees, 12 certificates of advanced study, and 2 different teaching credentials.

During the team's 11-year history in Fresno, it has had several different owners. In October 2005, the team was sold again, this time to Fresno Baseball Club LLC, headquartered in Delaware.

Delaware State in the United States

Delaware is one of the 50 states of the United States, in the South-Atlantic or Southern region. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, north by Pennsylvania, and east by New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia's first colonial governor.

The team hosted such promotions as K-Fed Night and Second Chance Night in 2006; The Price Is Right Night in 2007; and Totally Rad 80s Night featuring The Karate Kid star Billy Zabka in May 2008.

Kevin Federline American entertainer

Kevin Earl Federline, sometimes referred to as K-Fed, is an American rapper, DJ, actor, television personality, professional wrestler, and fashion model. His career began as a backup dancer; he later became known for a high-profile two-year marriage to American singer Britney Spears and the child custody battle that followed.

William Zabka actor, screenwriter, producer

William Michael “Billy” Zabka is an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He is best known for his roles in several iconic 1980s films, such as his role as Johnny Lawrence in The Karate Kid (1984) and The Karate Kid Part II (1986), and the spin-off TV series Cobra Kai (2018–present). In 2004, he was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing and producing the short film Most.

Parker, the Grizzlies mascot, was named Best Mascot of 2007 by GameOps, beating out all other major and minor league mascots. The Grizzlies former mascot, Wild Thing, "retired" in 2006 after eight years as the team's mascot. [4] Chukchansi Park is also home to the Drag Kings, the Grizzlies' dancing grounds crew who were given an honorable mention by GameOps as Best Entertainment act. The Grizzlies won the Minor League Baseball Promotion of the Year award in 2008 for their "Mascot Showdown" featuring Parker and the Phillie Phanatic. The team's opening day catcher in 2010, Buster Posey, would be the San Francisco Giants' starting catcher for the World Series six months later (the Giants' starting catcher for most of their World Championship season, Bengie Molina, would start for their opponents, the Texas Rangers), resulting in his National League Rookie of the Year award that year.

Houston Astros (2015–2018)

In 2015, they became an affiliate of the Houston Astros. [5] That season, they won the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game by defeating the Columbus Clippers, 7–0, in El Paso, Texas.

Following the 2017 season, Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco announced he would not return to the Houston Astros organization for the 2018 season. DeFrancesco led Fresno to a winning record in each of his three seasons at the helm, his clubs compiling a record of 234–194 (.547) from 2015–2017. The run marked the first time in franchise history (since 1998) the Grizzlies completed three consecutive winning seasons. [6]

On January 19, 2018, Rodney Linares was named the 10th manager in Grizzlies history. [7] The team was sold to Fresno Sports and Events, a group led by Ray and Michael Baker, part owners of the Colorado Rockies and Grand Junction Rockies, and Jim Coufos, a prior investor in the High Desert Mavericks, in a transaction that was made official on February 27, 2018. [8]

The Astros declined to renew their player-development contract with Fresno beyond the 2018 season. [9] [5]

Washington Nationals (2019–present)

On September 18, 2018, the Fresno Grizzlies and Washington Nationals agreed to a player-development contract for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. [10]

The team unveiled new logos, colors, and uniforms on January 29, 2019. While retaining the Grizzlies name and grizzly bear imagery, the team switched to a red, black, beige, and brown color scheme with logos and uniforms that resemble the flag of California. [1]

The 2012 family film Parental Guidance features Billy Crystal as the radio voice of the Fresno Grizzlies. The Grizzlies gained national attention in summer 2015 for playing a game as The Fresno Tacos, which was done to celebrate the city of Fresno's annual Taco Truck Throwdown and came complete with a specially designed tacos uniform. [11]

Roster

Fresno Grizzlies roster
PlayersCoaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Washington Nationals 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated November 3, 2019
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB    Pacific Coast League
Washington Nationals minor league players

Notable alumni

Alex Bregman Alex Bregman on August 21, 2016.jpg
Alex Bregman

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References

  1. 1 2 "Fresno Grizzlies unveil new color scheme, logos and uniforms". FresnoGrizzlies.com. MLB Advanced Media. January 29, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  2. Heneghan, Kelise (January 29, 2019). "Fresno reimagines 'Growlifornia' dream". MiLB.com. MLB Advanced Media . Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  3. "Team History". MiLB.com. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  4. {{cite web|url=http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060318&content_id=48587&vkey=pr_milb&fext=.jsp%7Ctitle=Grizzlies mascot retires|access-date=August 10, 2019|date=March 18, 2006|publisher=Milb
  5. 1 2 "Fresno Grizzlies will have new Major League affiliate for 2019 season". milb.com. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  6. "Tony DeFrancesco will not return to Houston Astros/Fresno Grizzlies in 2018". Fresno Grizzlies. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  7. https://www.milb.com/grizzlies/news/rodney-linares-named-10th-field-manager-in-fresno-grizzlies-history/c-264942414
  8. "New Fresno Grizzlies Owners Finalized; Chukchansi Park Lease Extended". Ballpark Digest. February 27, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  9. Reichard, Kevin (September 16, 2018). "Fresno Grizzlies: We'll Have a New MLB Affiliate". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  10. "Fresno Grizzlies and Washington Nationals agree to Player Development Contract for 2019 and 2020 seasons". Minor League Baseball. September 18, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  11. "Minor League Team to Play Game as Fresno Tacos". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-07-23.