San Francisco, California
|Minor league affiliations|
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 District. It played home games five blocks from Mission San Francisco de Asis, 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 City, where they became the Salt Lake Bees. During this time period San Francisco supported 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 Angeles 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 Fleishhacker 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 during this time period, 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 Stadium (at 16th and Potrero 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 Diego, 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.