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The Iowa Cubs are a Triple-A minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Chicago Cubs, that plays in the Pacific Coast League. Their home games are played in Des Moines, Iowamarker, at Principal Parkmarker.

Franchise history

Triple-A baseball came to Iowa's capital city in 1969, as the Iowa Oaks of the American Association began play. The Oaks were affiliates of the Oakland Athletics (1969–1973), the Chicago White Sox (1973–1974 and 1976–1980), and the Houston Astros (1975). In 1981, the team affiliated with the Chicago Cubs and adopted the nickname of the parent team, although it is often shortened to "I-Cubs" by fans and media to avoid confusion with the major league team. The team became part of the Pacific Coast League in 1998 after the dissolution of the American Association. The current Player Development Contract (PDC) with the Chicago Cubs runs through 2012, ensuring that the I-Cubs remain the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs through that date.

Their home ballpark is Principal Parkmarker (formerly Sec Taylor Stadium), located at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. The franchise attendance record of 576,310 was set in 2007. As of 2008, the I-Cubs are owned by Raccoon Baseball, Inc., an ownership group led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Gartner. Sam Bernabe serves as the team's president and general manager.

The mascot of the Iowa Cubs is "Cubbie Bear," a lovable brown bear, who is often the Iowa Cubs' unofficial ambassador to schools and charitable events throughout central Iowa.

Notable former players

Many future Cubs stars have played in Des Moines before they were called up to Wrigley Fieldmarker. Some notable I-Cubs alumni include Greg Maddux, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark Grace, Doug Glanville, Joe Carter, Corey Patterson, Carlos Zambrano, Kyle Farnsworth, Kerry Wood, Steve Trachsel, Tuffy Rhodes, Bruce Kimm, Shawon Dunston, Hector Villanueva, Mark Prior, and Rod Beck. Wood and Prior both made rehabilitation starts for the I-Cubs in 2004 and 2005 before returning to the Chicago Cubs' active roster, and many Cubs players such as Derrek Lee, Daryle Ward, Alfonso Soriano, and Ryan Dempster have also made stops in Des Moines for rehab purposes. The Iowa Oaks hosted many future Major League Baseball stars such as sluggers Bill McNulty, Harold Baines, Pat Tabler, and 1971 Cy Young and MVP Award winning left-handed pitcher Vida Blue.

Rod Beck gained national attention while pitching for Iowa during his comeback for living in a mobile home behind the team's Sec Taylor Stadium (now Principal Park) in Des Moines. Beck warmly welcomed fans to drop by and visit, use his restroom, and have some Coors Light from his refrigerator.

In 1993, Tuffy Rhodes hit an extra-inning home run to win the American Association championship for the Iowa Cubs. After failing to latch on to a major league team, in 1995, Rhodes went on to a successful career playing in Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, where he currently is the career NPB home run leader by a non-Japanese player with 430 home runs.

Current Iowa pitcher Neal Cotts was the only relief pitcher to earn a win in the 2005 World Series when he pitched with the Chicago White Sox. Cotts pitched in all four games of the World Series and was the winning pitcher Game 2. That year, he was named "Setup Man of the Year Award" by Major League Baseball.

In addition to these players, Mike Quade, later third base coach for the Chicago Cubs, managed the Iowa Cubs from 2003 to 2006. Former Chicago Cubs manager Bruce Kimm is an Iowa native who managed the Iowa Cubs from 2001 to 2002. St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa managed the Iowa Oaks in 1979 prior to becoming manager for the Chicago White Sox.

Season-by-season record

Season W L Win % Finish Playoffs
1969 62 78 .443 t-4th in AA Out of Playoffs
1970 70 68 .507 2nd in East Out of Playoffs
1971 71 61 .538 2nd in East Out of Playoffs
1972 62 78 .443 3rd in East Out of Playoffs
1973 83 53 .610 1st in East Lost in Finals
1974 74 62 .544 2nd in East Out of Playoffs
1975 56 79 .415 4th in East Out of Playoffs
1976 68 68 .500 2nd in East Out of Playoffs
1977 61 75 .449 4th in East Out of Playoffs
1978 66 70 .485 4th in East Out of Playoffs
1979 69 67 .507 3rd in East Out of Playoffs
1980 59 77 .434 3rd in East Out of Playoffs
1981 53 82 .392 4th in East Out of Playoffs
Season W L Win % Finish Playoffs
1982 73 62 .541 t-2nd in East Out of Playoffs
1983 71 65 .522 2nd in East Lost in Semis
1984 80 74 .520 2nd in AA Lost in Semis
1985 66 75 .468 4th in West Out of Playoffs
1986 74 68 .521 2nd in West Out of Playoffs
1987 64 74 .464 6th in AA Out of Playoffs
1988 78 64 .549 2nd in West Out of Playoffs
1989 62 82 .431 3rd in West Out of Playoffs
1990 72 74 .493 2nd in West Out of Playoffs
1991 78 66 .542 2nd in West Out of Playoffs
1992 51 92 .357 4th in West Out of Playoffs
1993 85 59 .590 1st in West American Association Champions
1994 68 76 .472 5th in AA Out of Playoffs
1995 69 74 .483 5th in AA Out of Playoffs
1996 64 78 .451 3rd in Western Out of Playoffs
1997 74 69 .517 1st in Western Lost in Finals
1998 1 85 59 .590 1st in Midwest Lost in Semis
1999 65 76 .461 4th in Central Out of Playoffs
2000 56 86 .394 4th in Central Out of Playoffs
2001 83 60 .580 1st in Central Lost in Semis
2002 71 73 .493 3rd in Central Out of Playoffs
2003 70 72 .493 3rd in Central Out of Playoffs
2004 79 64 .552 1st in Central Lost in Finals
2005 64 75 .460 4th in American North Out of Playoffs
2006 76 68 .528 2nd in American North Out of Playoffs
2007 79 65 .549 2nd in American North Out of Playoffs
2008 83 57 .593 1st in American North Lost in Semis


1 Joined PCL in 1998


Roster

References

  1. "Chicago Extends Contract with Iowa." Minor League Baseball. 11 December 2007. Retrieved on 26 September 2008.
  2. http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/fans/page.jsp?ymd=20070912&content_id=302481&vkey=fans_t451&fext=.jsp&sid=t451
  3. Des Moines Register.
  4. Drehs, Wayne. "The place to go where no one knows your name." ESPN. 16 May 2003. Retrieved on 7 March 2009.
  5. http://www.japanesebaseball.com/players/player.jsp?PlayerID=905
  6. http://www.hickoksports.com/history/tyibawrards.shtml


External links




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