Baseball 1926-29

Unfinished History


Starting pitchers of the Vernon Tigers (aka the Missions) (1935).

Photo: San Francisco History Room, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA

1926--A second team comes to San Francisco, formerly the Vernon (S. California) Tigers franchise, led by former PCL President Bill McCarthy. During its tenure in San Francisco, the nickname was alternately the Missions Bells, Reds, Monks and simply Missions. The team was consistently outdrawn at the gate by the Seals. It tended to associate itself with the Mission district, generally acknowledged as a lower class area, until it moved back to Southern California in 1937.

1920s--A golden decade of San Francisco Seals baseball, as the team dominated the Pacific Coast League, winning pennants in 1922, 1923, 1925 and 1928. Hall of Famer Paul Waner first plays for the Seals in 1923. The 1925 team featured Lefty O'Doul and Tony Lazzeri, with Paul Waner hitting .401, then sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates after the season.

Seals playing at Big Rec 1927 AAC-5412.jpg

San Francisco Seals playing at Big Rec, 15th and Valencia, in 1927.

Photo: San Francisco History Room, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA

In 1927 Lefty O'Doul, sent back to the minors by the Boston Red Sox, is the Pacific Coast League's Most Valuable Player. He is afterwards drafted by the New York Giants. In 1928 the Seals' Frank Jolley wins the Triple Crown and Most Valuable Player Award. The Cleveland Indians offer to trade outfields with the Seals, but the offer is turned down. Seals' Dutch Reuther is the league's Most Valuable Pitcher.

1929--The Seals sell Lefty Gomez to the New York Yankees.

by Daniel Steven Crafts


Brass band at Big Rec Field, 15th and Valencia, c. 1920s.

Photo: Private Collection, San Francisco, CA

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