San Diego Surf Dawgs
|San Diego Surf Dawgs|
|Founded in 2005
San Diego, California
|Owner(s)/Operated By: Diamond Sports & Entertainment|
|Media: The San Diego Union-Tribune, Yuma Sun|
The San Diego Surf Dawgs are an independent professional baseball team representing San Diego, California, that play in the short-season instructional Arizona Winter League and Arizona Summer League, based out of Yuma, Arizona. They played for two seasons in the now-defunct Golden Baseball League, which was not affiliated with either Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball. They were the inaugural GBL Champions in 2005 managed by current Tucson Padres manager Terry Kennedy. Their now-former home stadium is named after former Padres great Tony Gwynn, and is located on the campus of San Diego State University. They have been owned by Diamond Sports & Entertainment, primary investors in the newly formed North American League, since 2005.
Golden Baseball League (2005-2006)
The Surf Dawgs were one of the eight original GBL charter teams that began play in 2005 along with the Chico Outlaws, Fullerton Flyers and Long Beach Armada in California; Mesa Miners, Surprise Fightin' Falcons and Yuma Scorpions in Arizona and the traveling Japan Samurai Bears. They were known for playing in the same city as a Major League Baseball team, the National League's San Diego Padres.
The signing of Rickey Henderson gave the team national exposure. (Henderson had also played for the Padres from 1996 to 1997 and in 2001.) Former first-round draft pick Matt Wheatland is among five San Diegans on the roster.
The 2005 team won the first ever GBL California Division title, and on Labor Day weekend 2005 they won the inaugural GBL Championship tournament, coming back on the last day to win two games.
The team again made news in June 2006 by signing former Major League player José Canseco. He made his debut on July 3, 2006 and struck out 4 times. Prior to the game, the Juiced author looked like the Bash Brother of old during batting practice, knocking multiple pitches out of the park. After playing in one game with the Surf Dawgs, Canseco requested to be traded to a team closer to his home in Los Angeles  and was sent to the Long Beach Armada.
Arizona Winter League (2007-present)
The team joined the Arizona Winter League as the Sonora Surf Dawgs in January 2007, but reverted to San Diego for the 2008 season. During the AWL regular season, they are managed by Cory Snyder, who also manages the GBL's St. George RoadRunners. In 2008, they were placed in the new American Division for the 2009 season along with the Blythe Heat, Palm Springs Chill and Yuma Scorpions.
Arizona Summer League (2009-present)
The Surf Dawgs became a charter team of the new Arizona Summer League in June 2009. They played alongside the El Centro Imperials and Canada Miners in 2009 and then the Long Beach Armada and Bisbee Miners in 2010. They replaced the San Luis Atleticos and Yuma Scorpions, who were originally scheduled to play in the league, but were dropped prior to the start of the inaugural season. They began play on July 2. The Surf Dawgs, instead of the Scorpions, have become the first team to have played in all three leagues within the GBL system. They were awarded the ASL Championship in 2010 and 2011.
Possible GBL return
The GBL has mentioned the possibility of the Surf Dawgs return to the league for 2010. The team still does not have a suitable ballpark to play on, but the league website is saying that it should change by 2010. The team's official website was temporarily shut down in late June 2009, possibly for revamping as the team is expected to return according to the league. But the website returned in August. It is uncertain whether or not the team is up for sale.
Golden Baseball League:
|2005||52||38||N/A||1st, California Division||Won California Division
Defeated Mesa in the Championship Series.
|2006||35 (16/19)||45 (24/21)||N/A||4th||Did not qualify.|
Arizona Winter League:
|2007 (as Sonora)||10||11||.476||3rd||Did not qualify.|
|2008||10||9||.526||3rd||Lost to Canada in Playoffs.|
|2009||7||13||.350||4th, American Division||Did not qualify.|
Arizona Summer League:
- Canseco seeks, receives trade for personal reasons (ESPN.com, July 5, 2006)
- Yuma Zone AWL baseball
- Toros Wrestle Surf Dawgs In Exhibition, Tucson Toros website, June 26, 2009
- GBL Cities, Golden Baseball League website
- San Diego Surf Dawgs official website
- The San Diego Kennel Club, the Surf Dawgs official booster club
- Arizona Summer League website
- Arizona Winter League website
- Golden Baseball League website