Phoenix Firebirds

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Phoenix Firebirds
19581997
(19581959, 19661997)
Phoenix, Arizona
PhoenixFirebirdsLogo.PNG PhoenixFirebirdsCapLogo.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Previous AAA (1958–1959, 1966–1997)
Minor league affiliations
League Pacific Coast League (1958–1959, 1966–1997)
Major league affiliations
Previous San Francisco Giants (1958–1959, 1966–1997)
Minor league titles
League titles 1959, 1977
Division titles 1977, 1985, 1996, 1997
Team data
Previous names
  • Phoenix Firebirds (1986–1997)
  • Phoenix Giants (1958–1959, 1966–1985)
Previous parks

The Phoenix Firebirds, formerly the Phoenix Giants, were a Minor League Baseball team that played in Phoenix, Arizona, USA from 1958–1959, and 1966 until 1997.

The franchise was a member of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League (PCL), and were the top minor league affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The Firebirds were forced to leave Phoenix following the 1997 season, as the new National League expansion team, the Arizona Diamondbacks would begin play in Phoenix the following year. In a complicated series of events, the owners of the Firebirds moved their team to Tucson, Arizona and became the Tucson Sidewinders, dropping their affiliation with the Giants in favor of the expansion Diamondbacks. The owners of the existing Tucson Toros then moved their franchise to Fresno, California, thus ending a 92-year hiatus of PCL baseball in Fresno. The transplanted Toros, renamed the Fresno Grizzlies, became the Giants' new PCL affiliate.

History[edit]

The Firebirds were known as the Phoenix Giants until the 1986 season. They were affiliated with the San Francisco Giants for their entire existence, now a rarity in the minor leagues. The Giants' still have spring training facility in the Phoenix area, but in Scottsdale where the Firebirds played from 1992 to 1997.

The Giants first came in 1958 but moved to Tacoma, Washington after the 1959 season. In 1966 the franchise returned to the Phoenix area until their move to Fresno.

Further information: Tacoma Rainiers

The Firebirds played their home games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium until moving to Scottsdale Stadium upon its reopening in 1992. Their final regular season game in 1997 was played at the old ball park known locally as Phoenix Muni, which is also the spring training home of the Oakland Athletics. The team made the 1997 PCL playoffs their final year, which extended their existence by a couple weeks. The Firebirds defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 3-0 in the first round but lost the championship series 3 games to 1 to the Edmonton Trappers.

Championships[edit]

The Phoenix Giants won two PCL championships in 1959 and 1977. The franchise never won a championship title under the Firebirds name.

The franchise's final game was September 11, 1997, a 7-1 loss handing the Edmonton Trappers the 1997 PCL Championship played at Scottsdale Stadium.

Playoff history[edit]

Alumni[edit]

Several Giants alumni like Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Bobby Bonds, Matt Williams and Kirt Manwaring played in Phoenix. Some of the Phoenix alumni went on to San Francisco, to take part in two of the Giants' National League titles (1962 and 1989).

External links[edit]