Rock Island Islanders

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Rock Island Islanders
(37 Seasons)
Rock Island, Illinois
Previous Class A (1934–1937, 1894)
Class D (1922–1932, 1914)
Class B (1933, 1920–1921, 1916–1917, 1902–1911, 1899)
Minor league affiliations
Previous leagues
Western League (1934-37)
Mississippi Valley League (1922-33)
Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League (Three-I League) (1920-21, 1916-17, 1901–1911)
Central Association (1914)
Western Association (1894, 1899)
Eastern Iowa League (1895)
Illinois–Iowa League (1892)
Major league affiliations
Minor league titles
League titles 1907, 1909, 1932
Team data
Previous names
  • Rock Island/Moline Twins (1892)
Previous parks
Douglas Park

The Rock Island Islanders were a minor league baseball team based in Rock Island, Illinois, one of the Quad Cities. The Islanders played on and off from 1883 to 1937 for 37 seasons.[1] The Islanders played their home games at Douglas Park.[2]

Rock Island Islanders Home: Douglas Park, 1920 - Historical Society

Early Quad City Baseball History[edit]

Tracing back to 1879, Quad City professional baseball includes Minor League teams in Davenport, Moline and Rock Island. The 1879 Davenport Brown Stockings played one season in the Northwestern League.[3] In 1901, play began in the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League (Three-I) with Davenport and Rock Island as charter members, along with Terre Haute, Bloomington, Cedar Rapids, Rockford, Evansville and Decatur. The Davenport team set the foundation of the Quad Cities River Bandits franchise that exists today.[4]

The Quad Cities area was able to support two teams in this era, Davenport and the Rock Island Islanders. In 1914, a third Quad City team was added, when the Moline based Moline Plowboys were established. Moline would have success, winning Three-I Championships in 1915, 1921 and 1937. The Moline Plowboys were affiliates of the Detroit Tigers (1922), St Louis Browns (1931–32), Chicago Cubs (1937–40) and the Philadelphia A's (1947–48). The Rock Island slanders were Class D affiliates of the St. Louis Browns (1932) and Cincinnati Reds (1933).

Islanders History[edit]

The Islanders first played 1883 as an Independent League team . Later, in 1894, Rock Island began as a consistent franchise, eventually becoming a member of the Western Association (though one source claims they were the Rock Island-Moline Islanders that season).[5] In 1901, they joined the new Class D Three-I League. They moved to the Central Association in 1914 as a Class-D team, before returning to the Three-I league from 1916 to 1917 and from 1920 to 1921. They were members of the mostly Class-D Mississippi Valley League from 1922 to 1933 and the Class-A Western League from 1934 to 1935 and in 1937. They were affiliated with the St. Louis Browns in 1932 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1933. The Islanders disbanded on July 7, 1937 at the end of the first half of the Western League season. [6]

Notable players included Si Johnson, who won 101 games at the major league level and pitched for the 1928 Islanders and[7] Baby Doll Jacobson, who hit .311 with over 1,700 major league hits, was with the team from 1909 to 1911.[8]

They Islanders captured league championships in 1907, 1909 and 1932.

Douglas Park[edit]

The Islanders played their home games at Douglas Park, located at 18th Avenue and 10th Street Rock Island, Illinois 61201. The historic park still has a ball field today and was the site of the first National Football League game in 1920, hosted by the Rock Island Independents.[2][9][10]

Arndt Jorgens 1934Goudeycard

Notable Islanders MLB Alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

Rock Islanders and Douglas Field Photos: