Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How Wallace Almost Beat The Yankees

Baseball was king, and the excitement in large and small towns and cites alike was contagious as teams and leagues were springing up all over the nation. MLB as we know it today was in the infant stage, and numerous leagues were rising to challenge it.The Pacific Northwest also had the fever, and in 1890, potential owners  forming a new league met in Portland to lay the foundation.. 4 teams were formed and began play with the following teams.

Portland Webfeet-(seriously)
Seattle Hustlers-( I hope the name referred to the way that they played)
Spokane Bunchgrassers-(whatever that means)
Tacoma Daisies ( no comment)

The league lasted into 1892 and then folded, but the dye as cast, baseball was big in the PNW.

In 1896, a new and better version of the league was formed, and included the teams of:

Portland Gladiators( a little more fearsome than Webfeets, don't you think?)
Seattle Yannigans/later the Rainmakers
Tacoma Rabbits-come on, it's an upgrade from the Daisies
Victoria Chappers-( I say old chap)

So, what does all of this have to do with Wallace you ask? Well, then, I will tell you. In 1892, the league voted to expand with teams in Walla Walla, Salem, and either drum roll please---------
Wallace or Wardner Idaho.This could have been the start of something big because this league was reborn again a few years later as what is now known as the Pacific Coast Leagues , and teams were added in LA and San Francisco. At that time, the PCL was considered the third Major League of baseball, but now of course, is the AAA minor league. So, what happened? The expansion to Wallace never happened, and the league that later became the PCL folded. Wallace was never again a candidate, although baseball was huge in the area for years with the mines all having teams, and traveling teams like the Kansas City Monarchs and the House of David played exhibition games at the Burke Ball Park. As a matter of fact, Satchel Paige pitched in Burke and said that Burke was the prettiest park that he had ever played in.

So, you see, Wallace almost had a professional team in a league that later became the PLC which was once considered on par with the Major Leagues. However, when the the Dodgers moved to LA and the Giants moved to San Francisco, that was the death of the PCL as a Major League. But that is a story for another day.

With a little imagination, Ok, a whole of of imagination, maybe Wallace would have become part of the PCL, and the PCL became a Major League and played in the World Series, and , well, you know where I am going with this, right? Wallace beats the Yankees in the WS. Yep, well, got to go now, I am late for my psychiatrist appointment. But the part about Wallace being a potential team site was true. Really.





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2 comments:

Go Figure said...

John Bardelli has some great photographs of the park with full stands.

Cedar Street Kid said...

gosh, I would love to see them. My Dad told me all about it too, and that is was really special.