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The Mission Reds were a minor league baseball team located in San Francisco, Californiamarker that played in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) from 1926 through 1937.

Original Missions

In 1914, a failed Sacramento Solons team moved to San Francisco midway through the season and began calling itself the San Francisco Missions. The team took its name from San Francisco's Mission Districtmarker. It played home games five blocks from Mission San Francisco de Asismarker, at Recreation Park, located at Valencia and 14th Streets (now the site of a housing project). After one season, however, the San Francisco Missions moved to Salt Lake Citymarker, where they became the Salt Lake Bees. Nevertheless, the Missions succeeded in planting the idea that San Francisco, then the largest city on the West Coast, could support two professional baseball teams (the San Francisco Seals had been playing in the City since 1903).

Origins in Los Angeles

The Mission Reds were born in Los Angelesmarker in 1909, where they played under the name the Vernon Tigers. The team won two Pacific Coast League pennants during its 18-year stay in Southern California. Declining attendance forced owner Edward Maier to put the team up for sale after the 1925 season. A group of San Francisco businessmen led by Herbert Fleischaker purchased the Tigers, moved the team to San Francisco for the 1926 season, and called the team the Mission Reds.

History in San Francisco

San Francisco's second baseball team, the Mission Reds, were rivals to the well-established San Francisco Seals. Fans seldom referred to the team by its full name "Mission Reds", preferring instead "the Missions." More often than not, the PCL standings in newspapers listed the team as the "Missions" or "Mission".

Like its short-lived predecessor, the Mission Reds were supposed to represent San Francisco's Mission District. From 1926 to 1930, the team played home games at Recreation Park, also home to the Seals. When the Seals moved to their own ballpark, Seals Stadiummarker (at 16th and Bryant Streets), in 1931, the Missions followed suit.

The Mission Reds were unable to establish a fan base during their 12-year stay in San Francisco, nor was the team able to replace the Oakland Oaks as the Seals' main rival. To most San Francisco baseball fans, the Missions were the team to watch only when the Seals were on the road.

The Missions finished first in the Pacific Coast League just once, in 1929; they lost the post-season series to the Hollywood Stars. The team had a 1,088-1,117 (.480) overall record.

In 1938, two years after the Hollywood Stars' moved to San Diegomarker, owner Fleischaker, facing mounting losses on the field and at the gate, moved the Mission Reds back to Los Angeles. He renamed the team the Hollywood Stars.

References

  • O'Neal, Bill. The Pacific Coast League 1903-1988. Eakin Press, Austin TX, 1990. ISBN 0-89015-776-6.
  • Snelling, Dennis. The Pacific Coast League: A Statistical History, 1903-1957 McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC, 1995. ISBN 0-7864-0045-5.



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