Oklahoma City Indians

Last updated
Oklahoma City Indians
1904 1957
(1904–1912, 1914–1942, 1946–1957)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Minor league affiliations
  • Double-A (1946–1957)
  • Class A1 (1936–1942)
  • Class A (1918–1935)
  • Class B (1911)
  • Class C (1905–1910)
  • Class D (1904, 1912, 1914–1917)
Major league affiliations
Minor league titles
Dixie Series titles (1)1935
League titles (4)
  • 1914
  • 1915
  • 1923
  • 1935
Team data
  • Oklahoma City Indians (1918–1942, 1946–1957)
  • Oklahoma City Boosters (1917)
  • Oklahoma City Senators (1915–1916)
  • Oklahoma City Boosters (1914)
  • Oklahoma City Indians (1909–1912)
  • Oklahoma City Mets (1904–1908)
BallparkHolland Field, Texas League Park, Western League Park
  • Jimmie Humphries (1951–1957)
  • Bill Veeck & Rudie Schaffer (1948–1951) [1]
  • Harold O. Pope (1945–1948) [2]
  • Harold O. Pope & C. R. Virtue (1942–1945) [2]
  • John Holland family (1918–1942) [3]

The Oklahoma City Indians was the primary name of an American professional baseball team representing Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from 1904 though 1957, except for 1913 and three seasons during World War II. The team played in several different minor league baseball leagues, primarily the Texas League and the Western League. The team was known as the Mets, Boosters, and Senators at different times during its early years.



A team representing Oklahoma City first played in the Southwestern League in 1904. [4] The city was represented continuously in minor league baseball through 1957, except for four seasons. [4] Following the disbanding of the Oklahoma State League during the 1912 season, Oklahoma City did not have a professional team in 1913, although several Western League teams played exhibition games in the city. [5] During World War II, play was suspended for three seasons, 1943–1945, and resumed in 1946. [6]

In addition to competing in the Southwestern League in 1904 and the Oklahoma State League in 1912, Oklahoma City teams played in the Western Association during 1905–1908 and 1914–1917; the Texas League during 1909–1911, 1933–1942 and 1946–1957; and the Western League from 1918 to 1932. [4] Oklahoma City teams played their home games at Western League Park, Holland Field and Texas League Park. [7]

Minor league classifications varied somewhat during the team's lifetime, but the Western and Texas leagues of the post-World War I era—rated Class A, A1 or Double-A—were high-level circuits that usually ranked two notches below Major League Baseball calibre.

The Indians won the 1935 Texas League championship and two years later captured 101 regular-season victories, but generally struggled in the Texas League standings. Additionally, they won the 1935 Dixie Series, a postseason interleague championship between the champions of the Southern Association and the Texas League. [8] In the club's last three seasons, 1955–1957, it lost 90, 106 and 88 games. The team spent the post-World War II period as the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, but the Oklahoma City Indians' nickname long preceded that relationship. The Indians team spent many years as an unaffiliated franchise, and in its last two seasons was a farm club of the Boston Red Sox.

Baseball Hall of Fame player Rogers Hornsby managed the Indians for part of the 1940 season, and broadcaster Curt Gowdy launched his baseball announcing career with the postwar Indians; when he left in early 1949, Gowdy's replacement was Bob Murphy. [9] Both Gowdy and Murphy went on to win the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. Former minor league player and manager Jimmie Humphries, who owned the team during the 1950s, was with the Indians in different capacities from 1919 through 1957, "one of the longest careers with a single franchise in baseball history." [10]

The Oklahoma City Indians folded when the Texas League reorganized following the 1957 season. Five years later, the Oklahoma City 89ers, Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Colt .45s, then a major league expansion team (now known as the Houston Astros), debuted in the American Association. The Triple-A franchise has played continuously since 1962, and since 2015 has been the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

Notable alumni

Players with Oklahoma City who also appeared in Major League Baseball (MLB) include:

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  1. Rice, Pete (July 22, 1951). "Humphries Swings Deal for Ball Club". The Daily Oklahoman . Oklahoma City. p. 1. Retrieved September 11, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  2. 1 2 Pierce, Don (August 26, 1945). "Pope Buys Indian Baseball Stock, C. R. Virtue Out". The Daily Oklahoman . Oklahoma City. p. 21. Retrieved September 11, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  3. "Oil Man Buys Oklahoma City's Baseball Club". Cushing Daily Citizen . Cushing, Oklahoma. UP. November 30, 1942. p. 4. Retrieved September 11, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  4. 1 2 3 Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles (2007). Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (third ed.). Baseball America. ISBN   9781932391176.
  5. "Jingle of Coin will be an Effective Lobbyist". The Daily Oklahoman . Oklahoma City. February 23, 1913. p. 10. Retrieved September 11, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  6. "Take a Gander at Tribe Park, It's Getting a Facelifting". The Daily Oklahoman . Oklahoma City. January 13, 1946. p. 22. Retrieved September 11, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  7. Nichols, Max, "Stadium Name Change Follows Tradition", Oklahoma City Journal Record, October 7, 2002
  8. "Dixie Series Title Goes to Oklahoma City". The Knoxville News-Sentinel. Knoxville. October 7, 1935. p. 8 via Newspapers.com.
  9. "Murphy Takes Post to Air Indians Games". The Daily Oklahoman . Oklahoma City. February 6, 1949. p. 4B. Retrieved September 11, 2020 via newspapers.com.
  10. Burke, Bob (2003). Baseball in Oklahoma City. Arcadia Publishing. p. 10. ISBN   1531617832 via Google Books.
Preceded by
Birmingham Barons
Boston Red Sox
Double-A affiliate

Succeeded by
Memphis Chickasaws