JOE DiMAGIO

LEFTY O'DOUL

EARL AVERILL

     Even though the 1928 Seals finished 6th in the league for team defense, their pitching was stellar with 3 experienced major-leaguers. Lefty Watler "Dutch" Ruether led the league in wins (29-7, 3.03) and Elmer Jacobs took top PCL honors in ERA (2.56), shutouts (6), and strikeouts (159).

JOE NEALON

"SPIDER" BAUM

ROY JOHNSON

FRANK BROWNING       CACK HENLEY         HENRY MELCHIOR           PING BODIE              BROWNING           ROLLIE ZEIDER       NICK WILLIAMS

AWAY

    PAUL WANER       LEFTY  GOMEZ              JOE DiMAGGIO            HARRY HEILMANN        EARL AVERILL

                           

FRANKIE CROSETTI

CHIEF JOHNSON

"JOLTIN" JOE DiMAGGIO

 THE YANKEE CLIPPER

     San Francisco won her 2nd PCL pennant in 1915 and the Detroit Tigers had a lot to with it. The Tigers thought that their 20 year old outfielder Harry Heilmann needed some more seasoning so they loaned the future Hall-of-Famer to the Seals for the 1915 season. Heilmann, originally from San Francisco and attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep, led the Pacific Coast League in hitting (.364) and slugging percentage (.544) on the Seals' way to their 118-89 championship season. Heilmann moved on to win 3 American League batting titles with Detroit, including a .403 average in 1923. He also led the AL in hits (237) in 1921, average (.394) in '21, doubles (45) in 1924, Rbi's (134) and average in 1925 and average again (.398) in 1927. His 17-year career .342 average ranks 12th all-time in MLB history.


     Fellow outfielder "Ping" Bodie and his 52 ounce club hit 19 home runs for the Seals and hit .325 with a team-leading 52 doubles. He had led the PCL in home runs (30) and SLG (.438) in 1910 and hit 20 HR's for the Seals in 1916 to go along with his .302 average. Prior to 1915, Bodie had spent 4 years in the majors with the Chicago White Sox and would go on to spent 5 more with Philadelphia and New York. He averaged .275 during his 9 years in the majors with a career best .295 with the 1920 Yankees. Pitcher Charlie "Spider" Baum, also from San Francisco led the Seals' pitching staff and finished 2nd in the PCL in victories with his 30-15 record (.667 win% and 2.45 ERA). Baum toiled for 15 seasons in the minor leagues, mostly in the Pacific Coast League, where he compiled a career 281-248 record. 

SAM GIBSON

HOME

    San Francisco won their 1st PCL pennant (132-80) in 1909, finishing 13.5 games ahead of Portland. The 132 wins ranks as the 3rd most in minor league history. Left-handed pitcher Frank Browning from San Antonio, Texas, led the PCL in victories (32-16) including a 16-game win streak that still stands today as an all-time PCL record. On July the 5th, he tossed a no-hitter against Sacramento. Seal pitcher Cack Henley, 31-10, led the league in winning percentage (.736) and on June the 8th, the Sacramento native shut out the Oakland Oaks in 24 innings, the longest shutout in PCL history. Browning struck out 197 batters in 54 games while Henley K'd 188 in 46 games. Outfielder Henry Melchior led the PCL in batting (.298) while inf/of Rollie Zeider led the league in runs (141) and stolen bases (93). Left fielder Ping Bodie, from San Francisco, led the Seals with his 10 home runs.

OLLIE MITCHELL

WILLIE KAMM

THE ROARING TWENTIES: The San Francisco Seals won four Pacific Coast League pennants during the 1920's including back-to-back titles in 1922 and '23. By the end of the decade (27 seasons), the Seals had won 7 pennants. The Los Angeles Angels had also won 7 with Portland winning five. Third baseman Willy Kamm from San Francisco led the 1922 Seals' offense with his team-leading .342 average, 20 home runs, and 56 doubles (.548 SLG). The 22 year old Kamm would go on and spent 13 seasons in the major leagues with a career .281 batting  average while playing for the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians (the White Sox paid a whopping $100,000 for Kamm).  He hit .308 for the 1928 Sox and .295 for the 1931 Indians. Catcher Sam Agnew from Farmington, Missouri hit .337 for the 1922 Seals and spent 20 seasons (1910-1929) as a professional including 7 in the majors with a career .204 MLB average. Outfielder Joe Kelly from Weir City, Kansas hit .333 for the '22 Seals. He would log 23 years (1912-1930) in the minors and majors (5 yrs.) with a career .224 MLB average. San Francisco native Eugene Valla hit .333. Valla would spend 8 seasons in the minor leagues (1922-1929), mostly with San Francisco. He averaged .323 over the course of his career including a .367 season for the Seals in 1924.


     The Seals' pitching staff was led by left-hander Ollie Mitchell (24-7, .774 win%, 2.90 ERA) and righty Jim Scott (25-9, .735, win%, 2.22 ERA). Scott had previously pitched 9 seasons in the majors (1909-1917) with a career MLB 107-114 record and 2.30 ERA. He was 24-11 with a 2.03 ERA for the 1915 Pale Hose, and 20-21 with a 1.90 ERA for the same White Sox in 1913. Mitchell spent 7 of his 8 pro seasons with the Seals where he won 130 games and lost 76 (.631 win%) with a career 3.84 ERA). He went 28-15 for the 1924 Seals and 20-8 a year later.

"DUSTER" MAILS

YEAR    RECORD   FINISH


INDEPENDENT

1903       107-110       4th

CLASS-A

1904       101-117       5th

1905       125-100       2nd

1906       93-81           3rd

1907       104-99         2nd

1908       100-104       3rd

1909       132-80         1st

1910       114-106       3rd

1911        95-112        5th

CLASS-AA

1912        89-115        5th

1913       104-103       4th

1914       115-96         3rd

1915       118-89         1st

1916       104-102       4th

1917       119-93         1st

1918       51-51           3rd

1919       84-94           6th

1920       103-96         3rd

1921       106-82         3rd

1922       127-72         1st

1923       124-77         1st

1924        108-93         3rd

1925       128-71         1st

1926       84-116         last

1927       106-90         2nd

1928       120-71         1st

1929       114-87         2nd


     The  Seals of 1925 (128-71) won their 6th PCL pennant, tied with the Los Angeles Angels who had also won 6 championships. Paul Waner led the Pacific Coast League in hitting with his .401 average. Seals' pitcher Doug McWeeney led the league in earned run average at 2.70 and San Francisco native Francis "Lefty" O'Doul was named League MVP.


THE 1928 SAN FRANCISCO SEALS: The '28 Seals won their 7th Pacific Coast League pennant and 4th of the decade with their 120-71 record. After winning the league's 1st-half title, the Seals defeated the 112-79 Sacramento Senators, winners of the league's 2nd-half title, 4 game to 2 in the PCL's best-of-seven playoff championship series. The '28 Seals has been considered as among the greatest minor league hitting teams of all-time. They hit .308 as a team and also led the PCL in runs (1,129), hits (2,059), RBI's (1,019), home runs (182), and doubles (393). Right fielder Snead Jolley won the league's Triple Crown with his .404 batting average, 45 home runs and 188 RBI's. He almost accomplished the feat a year earlier when he led the PCL in average (.397) and RBI's (163). His 33 HR's were the league's 2nd best. In 1929, he slipped to .387 but collected 314 hits, his 2nd year in a row with over 300 hits and the only player in history to log 2 seasons with 300 hits.
    

     Smead Jolley was another pitcher turned slugger and could be considered as the "Babe Ruth" of the minor leagues. The Wessen, Arkansas native and son of a cotton farmer, began his professional baseball career with a 12-7 record with the Greenville Bucks of the "D" Cotton States League. In 1924, he went 9-9 for the Texarkana Twins of the East Texas League and also led the team in hitting with his .371 average. That same year, Jolley hit .511 with 4 home runs in 45 at bats for the Class-C Bartlesville Bearcats. So much for pitching. The following season, Jolley hit .367 for the champion Corsicana Oilers and led the Texas Association in hits with 180. His contract was bought-out by "AA" San Francisco, and later that same year, he got into 34 games for the Seals and hit .447 in 132 at-bats, not enough to qualify for the league batting title. Jolley spent 4 seasons in the major leagues (1930-'33) with the White Sox and Red Sox. In 1932, he led the Bo Sox in home runs (18), RBI's (99), and hits (164). His .309 average was the team's 2nd best. Jolley's outfield defense was so bad that Boston gave him a chance at catcher but he dislocated a finger; nor could he handle pop-ups behind the plate. He averaged .305 during his MLB career and returned to the PCL in 1934 where he led the Hollywood Stars in batting with his .360 average. Jolley led several leagues in hitting on 6 different occasions during his 20-year career including the International League in 1936 (.373) and the Western International League twice at the end of his career (.373 for the Class-B Spokane Indians in 1940 and .345 for Spokane and Vancouver a year later. He retired as a house painter in Alameda, California. Oil was struck at the family farm back in Arkansas.


     Paul Zingg and Mark Medeiros featured San Francisco center fielder Earl Averill on the cover of their book, Runs, Hits, and an Era--The Pacific Coast League, 1903-58 and for good reason. Averill, from Snohomish, Washington, hit .348 and .324 for the 1926 and '27 Seals before batting .354 with 36 home runs and driving in 173 runs with a .594 SLG for the 1928 Seals. A year later, he hit .332 and the Cleveland Indians in HR's (18), SLG (.538), and runs scored (110) as a rookie. He followed with another 5 consecutive seasons hitting over .300 including 4 years with more than 100 RBI's. In 1931, Averill finished 3rd in the AL behind Babe Ruth and Lou Gerhig with his 32 HR's and 143 RBI's. After a .288 season in 1935, Averill hit .378 (2nd in the AL) for the Indians and led the American League in hits (232) and triples (15). His 385 total bases were 3rd best in the AL while his .431 on base percentage and .627 SLG were the leagues 4th best. He also hit 28 homers and scored 136 runs (both 5th best in the AL). Not bad for a league that also included Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, and Luke Appling. Averill was a 6-time All-Star and batted .299 or better 9 times during his 13 years in the majors with a career .318 average with 238 homers, 401 doubles, 128 triples and a career .534 slugging percentage. In 1975, the Veteran's Committee inducted Averill into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.

     Late in the 1928 season, the Cleveland Indians offered the Seals $100,000 for their three star outfielders as a package deal. Rejected. Roy Johnson was born on an Indian reserve in Pryor, Oklahoma before moving to Washington state where he attended Tacoma High School. He signed with San Francisco after playing semi-pro baseball in the SF Bay Area during the winter of 1925. Johnson finished the '28 season with the Seals and hit .360 with 22 home runs, both 2nd best on the team. His 29 steals led the team and his 16 triples led the PCL. After the season, he signed a contract with the Detroit Tigers worth $75,000. The next year, Johnson hit .314 and led the American League in at-bats (640) and doubles (45) as a rookie. He averaged .296 during his 10 years in the majors. In 1931, he led the AL with 19 triples and hit .320 with 119 RBI's for the Boston Red Sox in 1934. Johnson was the better all-around player of the 3 Seal outfielders. Although not quite

as handy with the stick, he was faster with a stronger arm.

SAN FRANCISCO BASEBALL HISTORY                                                 CALIFORNIA BASEBALL

1957--THIS IS THE END: After a couple of 2nd place finishes in 1947 and '48, the San Francisco Seals dropped to the lower or middle of the pack for the next 8 seasons before ending it all with a bang and claiming their 12th and final Pacific Coast League championship. Ken Aspromonte led the Seals and the Pacific Coast League in hitting with his .334 batting average. Grady Hatton's .317 average was the league's 3rd best. Frank Kellert led the Seals in Rbi's (107), doubles (36), runs scored (102), and hits (181). Bill Renna led the Seals in slugging % (.508) and home runs (29, PCL's 3rd most). As a team, the Seals hit .278. Leo "Black Cat" Kiely Led the pitching staff with his 21-6 record and 2.22 ERA. Bill Abernathie won 13 games while only losing 2. His .867 win % was the Coast League's 2nd best although he posted an unimpressive 4.23 ERA. Bob Smith (13-10) led the PCL in shutouts with 6.


     The '57 Seals were mostly a combination of former and future major leaguers. A year later, Ken Aspromonte from Los Angeles, began his MLB career with the Washington Senators. He averaged .249 over the course of 7 seasons (1958-1963) with several major league teams including a .290 season with 10 home runs for the 1960 Cleveland Indians. He also spent 3 years in the Japan Central League and combined to hit .271 for the Chunici Dragons and Taiyo Whales.


     Left handed pitcher Leo "Kiki" Kiely from Hoboken New Jersey logged a total of 12 seasons (1948-1960) as a professional, all but his final season in the Boston Red Sox chain. He began as an 18 year-old with the Wellsville Nitros (12-9, 3.40 ERA) of the Class-D Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York League. He spent the 1953 season in Japan with the Manichi Orions of the Japanese Pacific League (6-0, 1.80 ERA) before making his major league debut a year later with the Red Sox (5-8, 3.50 ERA). Kiely split the 1956 season with San Francisco (1-3, 2.10 ERA) and the Boston Red Sox (2-2, 5.17 ERA). His best year as a major league pitcher was 1958 when he went 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA for Boston. Kiely spent parts of 7 seasons in the majors (career 26-27 record with a 3.37 ERA) including his last year with the Kansas City Athletics (1-2, 1.74 ERA).


     During the middle of the 1957 season, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers announced that they would be relocating to the west coast and become the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, thus eliminating any chance of the PCL becoming a third major league. Rather than attempt to compete with the National League, the Seals, Angels, and Hollywood Stars opted to leave town and operate in smaller markets. The Seals decided that if you can't beat them, then join them and moved to Phoenix, Arizona where they became the SF Giants' AAA affiliate--the Phoenix Giants. They continued their winning ways and won the 1958 PCL with an 89-65 record, topping the San Diego Padres by 4.5 games. Phoenix shortstop Andre Rogers from the Bahamas led the realigned league in hitting with his .354 average. The SF Giants played their 1st two seasons at Seals Stadium before making the same mistake the Seals made in 1914 by moving into the cold, foggy, and windy Candlestick Park in 1960. They remained there for 40 years without a WS championship playing before sparse crowds. In the year 2000, the SF Giants moved downtown to their new AT&T Park where they've played before sellout crowds and have won 3 World Series (2010, 2012, 1014).

LARRY JANSEN

     Joe DiMaggio was born in the small fishing village, now oil-refining town of Martinez, California, across the bay approximately 25 miles northeast of San Francisco. The DiMaggios moved to San Francisco's North Beach area near Fisherman's Wharf when Joe was 2 years old. There, Joe, older brother Vince, and younger brother Dom grew up and all attended Galileo High School before signing contracts with the Seals and later moving on to the major leagues. Joe DiMaggio first donned a Seals' uniform at age 17 in 1932. He got into 3 games as a shortstop after a recommendation from San Francisco outfielder and older brother Vince. A year later, Joe took his brother's spot in the outfield and hit .340 with 28 homers including a 61-game hitting streak, a minor league record and prelude to his coveted 56-game streak while with the NY Yankees in 1941, a MLB record that stands today. 

1935 SAN FRANCISCO SEALS: Francis Joseph "Lefty" O'Doul became San Francisco's new manager for the 1935 season and skippered the 103-70 Seals to their 10th PCL pennant, most by any team in the circuit's 33 year history. After winning the 2nd half of the split season, the Seals went on to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 4 games to 2 and claim their 2nd PCL playoff title. Twenty year old Joe DiMaggio led the Seals in batting with his .398 average, one percentage point below Mission's Ox Eckhardt's PCL leading .399 mark. DiMaggio led the PCL in RBI's with 173, total bases (456), and triples with 18. His 34 home runs, 270 hits, and .672 slugging percentage all led the Seals and were 2nd best in the PCL. Joe Becker from St. Louis, Missouri hit .372 (PCL's 3rd best) while Sacramento's Joe Marty hit .287 with 16 triples. A year later, Marty would lead the PCL in hitting with his .359 average. Sam Gibson again led San Francisco's pitching staff with a 22-4 record and 3.46 ERA. His .846 win % led the PCL while his 22 wins was one shy of Mission's "Boob-Boom" Beck's 23. Seal pitcher Ray Joiner from Red Bluff, California went 14-5 with a 3.74 ERA. His ..737 win % was the league's 2nd best.

YEAR   RECORD   FINISH


1930    101-98      4th

1931    107-80      1st

1932     81-106     4th

1933     96-85       4th

1934     93-95       4th

1935    103-70      1st*

1936     83-93       7th

1937     98-80       2nd

1938     93-85       4th

1939     97-78       2nd

1940     81-97       7th

1941     81-95       5th

1942     88-90       5th

1943     89-66       2nd

1944     86-83       3rd

1945     95-85       4th

CLASS-AAA

1946    115-68      1st*

1947    105-82      2nd

1948    112-76      2nd

1949     84-103     7th

1950    100-100    5th

1951     74-93       last

CLASS-OPEN or AAAA

1952     78-102     7th

1953     91-89       5th

1954     84-84       4th

1955     80-92       6th

1956     77-88       6th

1957    101-67      1st

*  playoff champion


THE DIRTY THIRTIES:The stock market had crashed. The "Great Depression" began which would last for a decade. Thousands were fleeing the dust bowl states of the Midwest seeking agricultural work in Northern California. America was beginning to crumble but not in San Francisco, at least not in 1931. The Seals opened the season with an exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers in San Francisco's brand new ballpark at 16th and Bryant Streets--Seals Stadium with it's Romanesque facade and home to the Mission Reds and SF Seals of the PCL was possibly the greatest baseball field in the world at that time. She opened March 13, 1931 in San Francisco's Mission District, also known as the "warm belt" (fog-free during the summer) at a cost of 1.25 million dollars. Laborers worked for $3/day to complete the open-air structure with no canopies. Home runs came at a premium as her dimensions were 365' to right, 360' to left, and 400' to dead center field.


     The 107-80 Seals won their 9th PCL pennant, won the 1st half of a split season, and then Swept the Hollywood Stars in 4 straight games to also capture the league championship.Sam Gibson, from King, N.C. led the PCL in wins (28-12), shutouts (5), ERA (2.48) and strikeouts (204). He'd spend a total of 17 seasons in the PCL (11 with SF), winning 270 games while losing 172 (.611 win%) with a 3.01 ERA and 5 seasons in the major leagues with the Tigers, Giants and Yankees (32-38, 4.28 ERA).

      Every so often, a young kid would show up in a San Francisco uniform, lead the Seals to a Pacific Coast League championship and later become a major league Hall of Famer. Harry Heilmann did it in 1915. It would happen again 21 years later and 1923 was no exception. Paul "Big Poison" Waner was born in Harrah, Oklahoma. He and his brother Lloyd hold the all-time combined record for most major league hits by brothers (5,611), out-pacing the 3 Alou brothers (5,094) and the 3 DiMaggio boys (4,853). Paul Waner was a 4-time major league all-star, 3-time NL batting champion (1927, '34, '36), led the NL in RBI's in 1927 and was also the NL's MVP in 1927.


     Paul Waner attended Oklahoma City's Central High School and East Central State Teachers College where he went 23-4 with a 1.70 ERA as a pitcher in 1922 before joining the San Francisco Seals a year later at age 20. Seals manager "Dots" Miller moved Waner to the outfield after he arrived with a sore arm. His .369 batting average (2nd in the PCL) led 9 other Seals who hit over .300 on their way to San Francisco's 5th PCL pennant and 2nd in a row. Waner would spend 3 years wearing a Seals uniform (1923-'25) batting .369, .356, and .401 before spending the next 20 seasons in the majors, including 15 (1926-1940) with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He averaged .333 over the course of his lengthy MLB career. He hit .380 with a .549 SLG for the 1927 Pirates and batted over .300 during 13 other seasons.


      Herbert "Babe" Ellison led the 1923 Seals in home runs (23), SLG (.564) and total bases (427). Although he only averaged .216 for his 5 years in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers, he did manage to hit .322 for his 11-year stint in the minors, including 7 seasons with San Francisco where hit over .300 for 6 consecutive seasons. In 1924, he led the PCL in hits with 307 while his .381 average, 33 homers, 68 doubles, and .616 slugging percentage were all 3rd best in the league. Outfielder Gene Valla led the Seals in hits with 277 (3rd in the PCL) and triples with 16 (5th most in the PCL). He was one of the few Seals from the 1923 team that never reached the major leagues.Harry Courtney's .760 win% (19-6) was the PCL's best while his 2.80 ERA was the league's 2nd lowest. A year earlier, Courtney was 5-2 with a 1.89 ERA for the champion Seals. His 2 years with San Francisco were his best as a professional. He spent 8 seasons in the minors (42-33), mostly at the "AA" level and 4 years in the majors (22-26, 4.91 ERA), mostly with the lowly Washington Senators.


 COURTNEY

RECREATION PARK l

RECREATION PARK ll

     In 1919, the year of the "Black Sox" scandal, Walter "Dutch" Ruether led the National League in winning percentage (.760) with his 19-6 record (NL's 4th best) for the World Series champion 96-44 Cincinnati Reds. His 1.82 ERA was 3rd best in the NL. The right-handed pitcher from Alameda, California who attended St. Ignatios High School, tossed a complete-game 9-1 victory over the White Sox in game one of the contested 1919 World Series. He started 2 games for the Reds with a 1-0 record and 2.57 ERA as Cincinnati won 5 games in the rare best-of-nine series. Ruether logged 23 years as a professional (1911-1935) including 11 seasons in the majors with a career 137-95 record and 3.50 ERA. He was 21-12 with a 3.53 ERA for the NL Brooklyn Robins in 1922. Ruether also spent 11 seasons in the Pacific Coast League with 8 different teams (career 76-65, 3.91 ERA) including a 14-9 season with the pennant-winning MIssion Reds in 1929.


    Walter Mails, born just outside the walls of San Quentin and noted as the most pompous, arrogant, and egotistical ballplayer ever to don a baseball uniform chipped in with a 20-12 record and 3.96 ERA. Mails self proclaimed himself "Duster" Mails as the mean-tempered left-hander often nailed, dusted, or brushed batters away from the plate. He was also known as "Walter the Great" and he was just that after the Cleveland Indians paid the Sacramento Senators $35,000 for his services during the 1927 season. That September, Mails won 7 games for the Indians without a loss including 2 shutouts with a 1.85 ERA as the Indians won the AL pennant and the World Series. Mails pitched 6-plus shutout innings in game 3 and followed with a 1-0, three-hit shutout over Brooklyn in game 6. Mails who attended Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento and St. Mary's College spent 7 seasons in the majors with a career 32-25 record and 4.10 ERA. He also spent parts of 22 years in the minors (7 with San Francisco) with a career 258-235 record.  In 1923, he logged 356 innings for the Oakland Oaks with a 23-18 record and 2.96 ERA.

HARRY HEILMANN

JOE KELLY

     During Joe DiMaggio's 13 years in New York, the Yankees won 10 pennants and 9 World Series championships, a dynasty unmatched, with Joe usually leading the way. Three times, Joe DiMag was named the American League's MVP (1939, 1941, and 1947). He won back-to-back AL batting titles in 1939 and 1940 (.381 and .352). In 1937 he finished 2nd in the MVP voting when he lead the American League in 4 major categories--Runs (151), Home Runs (46), Slugging % (.673) and Total Bases (418). In 1941, he hit safely in 56 straight games, a prized major league record that still stands today. He also led the AL in RBI's with 125 and Total bases with 348. More impressively, Joe D only struck out 13 times in 541 at bats. In 1948, he again finished 2nd in the MVP balloting and narrowly missed winning the triple crown by leading the AL in HR's with 39 and RBI's with 155. He led the league with 355 total bases and his .598 SLG was 2nd best in the AL as was his 127 runs scored. He hit .320, the AL's seventh best. He also led the AL by getting plunked 8 times. In 1950, at age 35, DiMaggio led the AL with his .585 SLG when he hit 32 home runs, 10 triples and 33 doubles. For his career, DiMaggio compiled a lifetime .325 batting average with 361 HR's, 131 triples, 389 doubles, 2,214 hits, and 1,537 RBI's with an incredible career .579 slugging percentage. He averaged 34 HR's, 12 triples, 36 doubles, and 143 RBI's per season while only striking out an average of 34 times each year (162 game averages). His stats would have been even greater had he not missed 3 years (age 28-30) due to military service during WWll. He rarely started a season healthy, often not joining the starting lineup til a month or more after opening day. He was a major league All-star 13 times (every year that he played) and was enshrined into MLB's Hall of Fame in 1955.

BABE ELLISON

SMEAD JOLLEY

GIBSON

     Native San Franciscan O'Doul attended Bay View High School before joining the Seals as a 20 year old pitcher in 1917. A year later, he won 12 games for the Seals while losing 8 with a 2.63 ERA. After a couple of years with the New York Yankees without recording a decision, O'Doul returned to San Francisco for the 1921 season where he won 25 games (2nd most in the PCL) while losing 9 (.735 win %, 2nd best in PCL) with a 2.39 ERA (also 2nd best in the PCL). "Lefty" couldn't hack it as a pitcher in the major leagues (career 1-1 record in 4 years with a 4.87 ERA) so he became an outfielder. In 1929, he led the National League in hits (254), batting average (.398), and on-base-percentage (.485) while with the Philadelphia Athletics. His 152 runs scored was the leagues' 2nd best and 32 homers 5th best, not bad considering that Hall of Famers  Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby, and Paul Waner led the league in the other major hitting categories. In 1932, O'Doul led the NL in hitting again with his .368 average, this time with the 1932 Brooklyn Dodgers. He hit .300 or better 8 times during his 11 years in the majors with a career .349 average (4th best in MLB history) which also included a .385 season with the 1930 Athletics.O'Doul managed the Seals for 17 seasons from 1935-1951).

SAN FRANCISCO SEALS

       HALL OF FAMERS

PAUL WANER

SEALS STADIUM--16TH & BRYANT--1931

O'DOUL

KEN ASPROMONTE

    It would take a decade before San Francisco won their 11th pennant but the Seals won 4 consecutive Governor Cups during the World War ll era. In 1943, San Francisco finished in 2nd place with an 89 and 66 record however topped Portland 4 games to 2 in the first round of the playoffs and then claimed the league championship by besting Seattle by the same margin in the finals. A year later, the 3rd-place Seals bested Oakland 4 games to 1 before claiming another Cup by topping the pennant-winning Los Angeles Angels in a 7-game series. In 1945, the 4th place Seals defeated Sacramento 4 games to 3 and then took the PCL championship by taking Seattle in the finals. Seal's pitcher Robert Joyce from Stockton, California topped the PCL in wins with 31 and ERA at 2.17.


     THE 1946 SAN FRANCISCO SEALS--Long gone were the days of the 1920's and '30's when the Seals murdered the ball and averaged better than .300 as a whole team. The 1946 squad hit .256 with only starters Ferris Fain (.301) and Ted Jennings (.303) barely topping the .300 mark. Fain hit 11 homers, the most of any Seal. No one else hit more than 5 and the whole team only hit 32. It was the pitching and most notably right-hander Larry Jansen that carried San Francisco to the pennant and the league playoff championship when the Seals swept Hollywood in the 1st round and defeated the Oakland Oaks 4 games to 2 in the finals. Jansen led the Pacific Coast League in victories (30-6), winning % (.833) and earned run average (1.57). He tossed 4 shutouts and K'd 171 batters. Jansen, from Verboort, Oregon, spent 4 seasons with the Seals, (1941, '42, '45, and 1946) with a 61-31 record and a total of 11 seasons in the PCL, (122-69, 2.77 ERA). He also logged 9 years in the major leagues, mostly with the New York Giants where he had a career MLB 122-89 record with a 3.58 ERA. He was 21-5 (.808 win% was best in the NL) with a 3.16 ERA for the 1947 NY Giants and 23-11 (3.04 ERA) for Leo Durocher's NL pennant-winning 1951 Giants. Jansen pitched in 3 games during the World Series (0-2, 6.30 ERA) to a Yankee team that included Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio.

    THE 1917 SAN FRANCISCO SEALS--The 118-89 Seals won their 3rd PCL pennant and 2nd in the past 3 years. They were led by the pitching of 25 year old Eric "Swat" Erickson from Vargarda, Sweden and Charles "Spider" Baum. Erickson logged the best season of his 12 years (1914-1925) as a professional by leading the PCL in victories (31-15) and ERA (1.93). He spent 7 years in the majors, mostly with Washington where he won 34 games and lost 57 with a career 3.85 ERA. He was nicknamed "Swat" even though he only mustered a .179 average  as a major leaguer. Charlie Baum won 24 games for the 1917 Seals while losing 17 with a 2.50 ERA. Chief Johnson from Winnebago, Nebraska attended Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania before going 25-23 with a 2.44 ERA for the '17 Seals. He also had spent 3 years (1913-'15) in the major leagues--Chief went 14-16 with a 3.01 ERA for the 1913 Cincinnati Reds and 17-17 with a 2.75 ERA for the Kansas City Packers of the 1915 Federal League.


     Mike Fitzgerald from San Mateo, California led the Seals in hitting with his .324 average. Fitzgerald hit .315 for the 1915 champion Seals and averaged .341 during his 11-year minor league career, mostly with San Francisco. He also spent part of the 1911 season with the New York Yankees (.270 in 16 games) and  hit .293 in 66 games for the 1918 Philadelphia Phillies.

     Jim Keasey led the '31 Seals in hitting with his .358 average followed by San Francisco native Frankie Crosetti at .343. Prince Oana from Waipahu, Hawaii hit .345 and led the team in homers with 23 and slugging percentage (.540). Shortstop Crosetti would spend 4 seasons with the Seals (career .320 average) before spending the next 17 years with the New York Yankees where he'd average .245 for his major league career.

ELMER JACOBS

1923 SEALS

PAUL WANER, of         .369

BABE ELLISON ,1b      .358

JOE KELLY, of              .348

DEE WALSH, 3b          .343

TIM HENDRYX, of        .339

GENE VALLA,of           .334

ED MULLIGAN, 3b       .329

PETE KILDUFF, 2b      .328

PETE COMPTON, of   .324

SAM AGNEW, c           .312

HAL RHYNE, ss           .296

H. COURTNEY, p         .289

ARCHIE YELLE, c        .281


H. COURTNEY           19 - 6

RED SHEA                  21-10

BOB GEARY               21-11

D. McWEENY             20-12

SHOVEl HODGE        18-15

JIM SCOTT                 11- 9

     The San Francisco Seals were Northern California's crown jewel of baseball for 55 years (1903-1957) until the New York Giants of the National League decided to relocate to San Francisco in 1958, sending the Seals packing and moving to Phoenix, Arizona. In 1903, San Francisco, along with the Los Angels Angels, Sacramento Senators, Oakland Oaks, Seattle Siwashes, and Portland Browns were charter members of the independent Pacific Coast League. A year later, the PCL joined the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues and received Class-A status, highest at that time for a minor league team. The Seals initially played their home games at Recreation Park at Harrison and 8th Streets until the great quake of 1906 destroyed the ballpark along with most of San Francisco. The team moved into their new park, Recreation Park ll, built a year later at 14th and Valencia Streets where they played until the construction of Seals Stadium (1931-1957). The lone exception was 1914 when the Seals moved to Ewing Field, however wind, fog, and poor attendance forced them back to Rec. Park ll a year later.


     The Seal's first winning season (2nd place, 125-100) occurred in 1905 when Jimmy Whalen led the PCL in victories with his 32-25 record (1.89 ERA). Pitcher Roy Hitt logged a 25-14 record (1.79 ERA) while Nick Williams went 25-23 with a 1.85 ERA. The ERA's were low and no Seal hit over .300 as 1905 was in the midst of the "Dead Ball Era". First baseman Joe Nealon led the team in hitting (.286), home runs (5), and slugging percentage (.403). Irv Waldron was next with his .278 batting average. Waldron split the 1901 season in the American League with the Washington Senators and Milwaukee Brewers where he combined to hit .311. The 20 year old Nealon advanced to the majors where he hit .255 and .257 respectively for the 1906 and 1907 Pittsburgh Pirates.

"SWAT" ERICKSON

JIM SCOTT

"DUTCH" RUETHER

IRV WALDRON

LEO KIELY