Idaho Falls Chukars

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Idaho Falls Chukars
Founded in 1940
Idaho Falls, Idaho
IFChukars.PNG
Team logo
Minor league affiliations
ClassIndependent (from 2021)
Previous classes
LeaguePioneer League (1940–1942, 1946–present)
DivisionNorth Division
Major league affiliations
TeamIndependent (from 2021)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
League titles (8)
  • 1952
  • 1963
  • 1970
  • 1974
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2013
  • 2019
Division titles (8)
  • 1978
  • 1982
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2013
  • 2019
Team data
NameIdaho Falls Chukars (2004–present)
Previous names
  • Idaho Falls Padres (2000–2003)
  • Idaho Falls Braves (1993–1999)
  • Idaho Falls Gems (1992)
  • Idaho Falls Braves (1986–1991)
  • Idaho Falls Eagles (1985)
  • Idaho Falls A's (1982–1984)
  • Idaho Falls Angels (1966–1981)
  • Idaho Falls Yankees (1962–1965)
  • Idaho Falls Russets (1940–1942, 1946–1961)
ColorsBurgundy, silver, black[1]
     
MascotCharlie the Chukar
BallparkMelaleuca Field (2007–present)
Previous parks
McDermott Field (1978–2006)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Elmore Sports Group
General ManagerKevin Greene
ManagerBilly Gardner Jr.

The Idaho Falls Chukars are an independent baseball team of the Pioneer League, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB) but is an MLB Partner League. They are located in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and play their home games at Melaleuca Field.

They adopted the name the Chukars following a fan vote when the major league affiliation changed after the 2003 season. A chukar is a game bird found in the region.[2] The Chukars are the only professional sports team in Eastern Idaho.

In conjunction with a contraction of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Pioneer League, of which the Chukars have been members since 1940, was converted from an MLB-affiliated Rookie Advanced league to an independent baseball league and granted status as an MLB Partner League, with Idaho Falls continuing as members.[3]

Franchise history[edit]

After fielding the Idaho Falls Spuds in the Utah–Idaho League from 1926 to 1928, the franchise restarted in 1940 and were called the Russets, playing in the Pioneer League.[4] The team has played each season since then, under various major league affiliations and nicknames, except for three years that the Pioneer League suspended operation due to World War II. Some famous baseball alumni of Idaho Falls teams are Billy Martin, Joe Maddon, Jose Canseco, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler. The Chukars are the only professional sports team in Eastern Idaho. More than one million fans have attended Idaho Falls home games since the team moved into Melaleuca Field in 2007.

Roster[edit]

Idaho Falls Chukars roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 23 Derrick Adams
  • 51 Brad Bonnenfant
  •  0 Christian Cosby
  •  7 Brady Cox
  • 50 Cody Davenport
  • 52 Jonah Dipoto
  • 33 Grant Gambrell
  • 34 Bryar Johnson
  • 43 Joe Lienhard
  •  9 Austin Manning
  • 48 Alec Marsh
  • 41 Jose Ramirez
  • 29 Stephen Ridings
  • 24 Augie Sylk
  • 49 Anthony Veneziano
  • 31 Chih-Ting Wang
  • 30 Cole Watts
  • 35 Nathan Webb

Catchers

  • 19 Michael Emodi
  • 25 Wyatt Mascarella
  • 40 Paul Mondesi
  • 26 Stephan Vidal

Infielders

  • 21 Rhett Aplin
  • 20 Clay Dungan
  •  8 Jimmy Govern
  •  2 Tyler James
  • 13 Jose Marquez
  • 15 Brady McConnell
  •  1 Kember Nacero
  •  3 Hector Pineda
  • 46 Tyler Tolbert

Outfielders

  • -- Matt Feinstein
  • 22 Isaiah Henry
  • 12 Juan Carlos Negret
  •  6 Ismaldo Rodriguez
  • 45 Isaiah Smith


Manager

  • -- Billy Gardner Jr.

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Kansas City Royals 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated April 5, 2021
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • Pioneer League
Kansas City Royals minor league players

Broadcasting[edit]

All exhibition, regular season and postseason games can be heard on KSPZ (ESPN Radio affiliate) 980 AM - 105.1 FM and 94.5 FM throughout Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls and Pocatello. The signal also reaches part of Western Wyoming. John Balginy has been the "Voice of the Chukars" since 1985. For 2021, Tyler Petersen is the Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations, serving as the solo play-by-play voice for all road games and working in the booth with Balginy for all home games.

Notable alumni[edit]

Numerous Idaho Falls alumni advanced to Major League baseball, some alumni of note include:[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chukars Proudly Release New Logo". IFChukars.com. MLB Advanced Media. November 18, 2003. Archived from the original on January 4, 2004. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  2. ^ Hill, Benjamin (July 14, 2017). "On the Road: Idaho Falls' 'Mother Chukar'". MiLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  3. ^ "Pioneer League named MLB Partner League". Baseball America. November 30, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "Idaho Falls Russets". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  5. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/team.cgi?city=Idaho%20Falls&state=ID&country=US&empty=0
  6. ^ http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/the-strange-saga-of-clancy-smyres-and-why-his-autograph-is-more-valuable-than-babe-ruth/

External links[edit]