|Founded in 2005
|Owner(s)/Operated By: Katz Baseball Corp.|
|General Manager: Patrick LaForge (Governor)|
|Manager: Gordon Gerlach|
|Media: CFRN Radio
The Edmonton Capitals are a professional baseball team based in Edmonton, Alberta. Known originally as the Edmonton Cracker-Cats, they began play in the Northern League in 2005 before switching to the Golden Baseball League in 2008. The team was sold to Daryl Katz in 2009, after which the team was renamed. The Capitals are not affiliated with Major League Baseball.
The team last played in 2011. Since then, the owners have been seeking a new league to play in.
Northern League (2005–2007)
The Cracker-Cats began as an expansion team in 2005 as a member of the Northern League. The name "Cracker-Cats" is derived from the oil industry term fluid catalytic cracking ("cat cracking" for short), which is part of the process of refining crude oil into gasoline by converting high boiling hydrocarbons into smaller molecules. They played the first game of their inaugural season on May 20, 2005, on the road against the Kansas City T-Bones. Their first home game did not take place until one week later when they hosted the Sioux Falls Canaries in front of 7,894 fans.
On June 13, 2006, a string of bean balls in the first two innings touched off two major brawls between the Cracker-Cats and their provincial rivals, the Calgary Vipers. After Edmonton's Greg Morrison was hit by a Calgary pitch for the fourth time in five games, the Cracker-Cats responded by throwing at two Calgary players. The resulting melee was so violent that the umpires sent both teams off the field, and suspended the game for over an hour to consult with league officials. When the Cracker-Cats refused to return to the field afterward, the game was declared a forfeit and the Vipers were awarded a 9–0 victory even though Edmonton was leading 1–0. As a result of the suspension, Cracker-Cats manager Terry Bevington resigned. The league came down hard on both teams, as both managers and seven players were suspended a total of 79 games. Morrison blamed Calgary manager Mike Busch for the incident, believing that Busch held a grudge after both Morrison and another former Viper, J.P. Fauske defected to the Cracker-Cats after leaving the Vipers after a falling out with the Calgary manager late in the 2005 season.
On July 18, 2006, Stubby Clapp was named Most Valuable Player of the Northern League All-Star Game. On September 3, 2006, the 'Cats finished their second season six games back in the wild card race and missed the playoffs.
The 2007 season was a major disappointment. Al Coates, a sports broadcaster, was named general manager of the Edmonton Cracker-Cats for the 2007 season, and despite adding three former Major Leaguers, Ryan Radmanovich, Mike Johnson, and Lou Pote, the 'Cats finished 38–58 and last in the league.
Golden Baseball League (2008–2010)
After three years in the Northern League, the Cracker-Cats joined the Golden Baseball League on October 24, 2007. This occurred just after the rival Vipers jumped to the league. On June 30, 2008, The 'Cats set a new attendance record of 8,676 fans against the Vipers.
On August 22, 2008, the Cracker-Cats clinched a playoff spot by defeating the Orange County Flyers 13–4 and won the second half. They faced the Vipers, who won the first half, in the first-ever North Division Championship Series, but were swept by Calgary 3 games to 0.
On February 4, 2009, the Cracker-Cats were purchased for $400,000 by Katz Baseball Corp. led by Daryl Katz who also owns the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers. A new name was drawn from a contest, renaming the franchise the Capitals.
North American League (2011)
The Capitals were one of six former GBL teams to join the newly formed North American League in 2010 and began play in 2011. The Capitals won the league championship in the inaugural season of the NAL. On February 21, 2012 the Katz group announced that the Edmonton Capitals have withdrawn from the North American League, citing that only four teams had registered for the 2012 season. They also went dark for the 2013 season after being unable to find a new league to plan in. They are exploring options for the 2014 baseball season.
|First Half||Second Half||Overall|
|2005||NL||North||22–26||5th||25–22||3rd||47–48||.495||Did not qualify|
|2006||NL||North||21–27||3rd||23–25||T-3||44–52||.458||Did not qualify|
|2007||NL||North||19–29||4th||19–29||4th||37–58||.389||Did not qualify|
|2008||GBL||North||22–21||2nd||29–15||1st||51–36||.586||Lost North Division playoff 0–3 to Calgary|
|2009||GBL||North||23–18||2nd||21-20||2nd||44-38||.537||Lost North Division playoff 1–3 to Calgary.|
|2010||GBL||North||29–16||2nd||22-22||4th||51-38||.573||Did not qualify|
|2011||NAL||North||56-32||1st||N/A||N/A||56-32||.636||Won Championship 4-1 over Rio Grande Valley|
- NLFan.com: Edmonton Cracker-Cats
- Winnipeg Sun: Battle of Alberta, Baseball Style 15 June 2006
- Edmonton Sun: Basebrawl 15 June 2006
- "Cracker-Cats owner wants you!". Edmonton Sun. December 18, 2007. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- Our Sports Central: Cats Lose Heartbreaker in Front of 8676 1 July 2008
- Edmonton Journal: Edmonton Cracker-Cats sold to Edmonton Oilers 4 February 2009
- "Edmonton Capitals withdraw from baseball league". Edmonton Journal. February 21, 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- Daum, Evan (14 February 2013). "Capitals to remain off Telus Field in 2013". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- NLFan: 2005 Northern League Standings Retrieved on 10 April 2009
- NLFan: 2006 Northern League Standings Retrieved on 10 April 2009
- NLFan: 2007 Northern League Standings Retrieved on 10 April 2009
- 2011 North American League standings