Eau Claire Bears
|Eau Claire Bears|
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
The Eau Claire Bears were a minor league baseball team from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. From 1933 until 1942 and 1946 until 1953, the team was a member of the Northern League. The Class C team was affiliated with the Chicago Cubs until 1939, and re-affiliated with the Boston Braves in 1947. The team played its home games at Carson Park in Eau Claire.
Originally named the Eau Claire Cardinals, the team adopted its most enduring nickname when new owners bought the team in July of its first season. Beginning in 1954, the Eau Claire Bears were renamed the Eau Claire Braves after the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee.
The Bears, along with the rest of the Northern League, did not play the 1943-45 seasons due to World War II.
The most famous player in the team's history was Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who made his professional début with the team in 1952. Clint Hartung played well for the Bears in 1942, but had a lackluster career in the majors.
In 1998, an amateur team in Eau Claire began using the Bears name and has been a member of the Chippewa River Baseball League ever since. Along with many league titles, they also won the Wisconsin Baseball Association (WBA) state championship in 2005, 2008, and 2009.
- Northern League Chronicles, 1933 Northern League Notes
- City of Eau Claire website, "History of Eau Claire Baseball" (PDF file)
- Northern League team history
- Eau Claire Bears - BR Bullpen
- Eau Claire Braves - BR Bullpen
- Official site of "Henry Aaron’s Summer Up North", documentary on Hank Aaron and the 1952 Bears
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