Southern Oregon Timberjacks

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Southern Oregon Timberjacks
19791999
Medford, Oregon
Southern Oregon Timberjacks Main Logo.png Southern Oregon Timberjacks Cap Insignia 1.png
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Previous Class A-Short Season (1979–1999)
Minor league affiliations
League Northwest League (1979–1999)
Division Southern
Major league affiliations
Previous Oakland Athletics (1979–1999)
Minor league titles
League titles 1981, 1983
Division titles 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989
Team data
Previous names
  • Southern Oregon Timberjacks
    (1996–1999)
  • Southern Oregon Athletics
    (1988–1995)
  • Medford Athletics
    (1979–1987)
  • Bend Timber Hawks
    (1978)
Previous parks
Miles Field (1979–1999)
Vince Genna Stadium (Bend, 1978)

The Southern Oregon Timberjacks were a minor league baseball team in the northwest United States, based in Medford, Oregon. The team played in the short-season Class A Northwest League and were an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics for 21 seasons. They played their home games at Miles Field in south Medford from 1979 through 1999.

Team history[edit]

The Timberjacks came to Medford to fill the void left by the departed Medford Giants (1967–1968) and Rogue Valley/Medford Dodgers (1969–1971), both of the Northwest League. Originally known as the Bend Timber Hawks for a season in 1978,[1] owner Doug Emmans relocated the team south and it became the Medford Athletics (or A's) in 1979.[2][3][4][5]

A name change to Southern Oregon Athletics (or A's) came in 1988,[6] and then a new nickname of Timberjacks in 1996 for their last four seasons. They were six-time southern division champions (1981–1984, 1988–1989) and won the league championship twice (1981 and 1983).

In 1982, former minor league pitcher Fred Herrmann was named the team's general manager and then became the team's majority owner in 1985.[7]

As a minor league baseball franchise, the A's and Timberjacks had featured future major league players such as Greg Cadaret, José Canseco, Rod Beck, Scott Brosius, Jason Giambi, Tim Hudson, Terry Steinbach, Jason Windsor, Miguel Tejada, and Eric Byrnes.

Relocation controversy and stadium demise[edit]

In 1997 and 1998, Herrmann had announced that the team would relocate to Vancouver, Washington.[8][9][10] However, the plans fell through on both occasions and the team remained in Medford.[11]

Finally on October 26, 1999, Herrmann announced that the franchise would relocate to Vancouver, British Columbia, and in 2000, they completed their move and were renamed the "new" Vancouver Canadians.[12][13] The previous Canadians franchise was the Athletics' Class AAA Pacific Coast League affiliate, which was sold and moved to California and became the Sacramento River Cats. Both teams continued to be affiliated with the Oakland A's until 2011, when the Canadians changed to the Toronto Blue Jays. The current Canadians do not show any history or records of the Timberjacks at their official website, though their relocation is mentioned one time on the media guide page.[14]

Herrmann did attempt to bring a Western Baseball League team to Medford to replace the Timberjacks (Despite long standing rules that prohibited affiliated owners having a financial interest in independent baseball teams). However, those plans fell through when the potential owners, including Herrmann, failed to come up with the money necessary to establish a team.[15] After four years without a professional team and despite efforts to rebuild and restore historic Miles Field, the city of Medford ordered the deteriorating stadium be torn down in 2004 to make way for a new Wal-Mart SuperCenter.

In 2004, the city council of Medford orchestrated an agreement with the new Harry & David Field that a professional team will not be allowed to play at the new ballpark which currently hosts the collegiate wood bat Medford Rogues, the American Legion baseball Medford Mustangs and youth baseball. Despite previous efforts to bring pro baseball back to Medford, the decision stands to this day.

Year-by-year record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1979 38–33 5th Rich Morales
1980 22–48 8th Brad Fischer
1981 42–28 1st Brad Fischer League Champs
1982 53–17 1st Dennis Rogers Lost playoffs
1983 50–18 1st Dennis Rogers League Champs
1984 45–29 2nd Dennis Rogers Lost playoffs
1985 33–41 6th (t) Grady Fuson
1986 43–31 3rd Dave Hudgens
1987 31–45 6th Dave Hudgens
1988 46–30 1st Lenn Sakata Lost in finals
1989 45–30 1st Grady Fuson Lost in finals
1990 40–36 2nd Grady Fuson
1991 40–36 3rd Grady Fuson
1992 39–37 3rd Chris Pittaro
1993 37-39 3rd Dick Scott
1994 38-38 2nd Tom Dunton
1995 33–43 4th Tony DeFrancesco
1996 29–47 4th Tony DeFrancesco
1997 41–35 2nd John Kuehl
1998 43–33 2nd Greg Sparks
1999 38–38 2nd Greg Sparks

Former players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Withers, Bud (June 23, 1978). "Bend baseball bounces back". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1D. 
  2. ^ "Emmans clears final hurdle in Medford". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. February 15, 1979. p. 14. 
  3. ^ Welch, Bob (November 14, 1978). "Farewell to the Timber Hawks?". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 18. 
  4. ^ Welch, Bob (January 31, 1979). "Public says yes in survey". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 18. 
  5. ^ Welch, Bob (July 4, 1979). "Seeing too much red at Genna". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 12. 
  6. ^ "Ems rank 22nd in attendance". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. April 17, 1988. p. 2B. 
  7. ^ Fred Herrmann's Linfield College Hall of Fame biography
  8. ^ "Timberjacks owner wants to move team". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. April 2, 1997. p. 6B. 
  9. ^ "Medford minor league team moving". Ellenburg Daily Record. Washington. Associated Press. October 16, 1998. p. 11. 
  10. ^ Medford Mail Tribune: Timberjacks' move gains steam (March 16, 1998)
  11. ^ Medford Mail Tribune: TJ's: 1 more year (October 16, 1998)
  12. ^ "Timberjacks will make move to Vancouver, B.C.". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. October 27, 1999. p. 6F. 
  13. ^ Medford Mail Tribune: Timberjacks go north; owner courts replacement (October 27, 1999)
  14. ^ Vancouver Canadians media guide page
  15. ^ Medford Mail Tribune: Herrmann shut out on new team (March 30, 2000)

External links[edit]