Tri-City Dust Devils
|Tri-City Dust Devils
Founded in 2001
|Current||Class A-Short Season (1979–present)|
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Northwest League (1979–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||San Diego Padres (2015–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (1)||1997|
|Division titles (5)||
|Nickname||Tri-City Dust Devils (2001–present)|
|Ballpark||Gesa Stadium (2001–present)|
|George Brett / Northwest Baseball Ventures|
|General Manager||Derrel Ebert|
The Tri-City Dust Devils are a minor league baseball team in the northwest United States, based in Pasco, Washington. The team's first season was in 2001, moving up the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.
A member of the short-season Class A Northwest League, the Dust Devils are a farm team of the San Diego Padres. The Devils play their home games at Gesa Stadium, which opened in 1995 and has a seating capacity of 3,654. The games are carried on the radio on Newstalk 870 AM KFLD and on their website.
The club had a long affiliation with the Colorado Rockies, which ended after the 2014 season.
The Dust Devils were founded in 1979 in Bend, Oregon, as the Central Oregon Phillies; they replaced the Bend Timber Hawks, an Oakland Athletics affiliate. After just one season in Bend in 1978, owner Doug Emmans relocated the Timber Hawks south to Medford and they became the Medford Athletics (or A's) in 1979.
Central Oregon won the league title in their first season in 1979, finishing with the best regular season record at 43–28 (.606), and winning the league championship series over Walla Walla, taking the deciding third game by a run at home in Bend.
The team was renamed three times while in Bend, first after an ownership change, it was simplified in 1981 to Bend Phillies for six additional seasons. Owner Jack Cain had contemplated changing the nickname to "Beavers" in December 1985, but didn't. Following the 1986 season, the Phillies decided to move its minor league teams closer to the East Coast; they had previously announced they were ending their Triple-A affiliation with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, moving to Maine in the International League. The Phillies had just one short season A affiliate in 1987, Utica in the New York–Penn League.
Without a parent club, Cain's Bend team was renamed the Bucks in a local contest in January 1987, and chose navy blue and red as its colors. It operated as a co-op team for three of its five seasons as the Bucks; in 1987, they received half of their players and manager Mel Roberts from the Phillies, and also included prospects from the Dodgers, Padres, Pirates, and Rangers. The California Angels moved their NWL affiliation from Salem to Bend in in 1988 and the Bucks set attendance records. After the second season in 1989, the Angels left with a year remaining on their contract and went to Boise, an independent team in 1989 in a larger market with a new stadium. The Bucks became a co-op again in 1990, with players from several organizations, including the Athletics, Phillies, and Giants. Nine organizations were represented on the 1991 roster, managed by Bill Stein.
The team became the first affiliate of the expansion Colorado Rockies and was renamed the Bend Rockies for the 1992 season. Now clad in purple and black, manager Gene Glynn's Rockies opened the season at home on June 16 with a win with over Boise in front of more than 3,100 spectators at Vince Genna Stadium; the game was heavily covered by the Denver media and televised live by the regional sports network Prime Sports Northwest. The 1992 Rox won the southern division and tied with northern division champion Bellingham for the best record at 43–33 (.566), but were swept by them in two games in the championship series.
The team, still owned by Cain, relocated to Portland in 1995 and became the Portland Rockies, filling the void after the departure of the Portland Beavers of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Owner Joe Buzas moved the Beavers after the 1993 season to Salt Lake City, and they became the Salt Lake Buzz (later the Stingers, now the Bees). When the Beavers left, Portland was without a baseball team in 1994 for the first time since 1899.
The Portland Rockies logo mimicked the mountain theme of the Colorado Rockies logo, even though Portland is not located in the Rocky Mountains. A rose was added to the team's cap logo to signify city's nickname, the "Rose City."
The Rockies had success in Portland, including a league championship in 1997. Although few Class A teams play in cities as large as Portland, the Rockies were able to maintain local interest in baseball. The team served an important role for the city, whose demand for a major league team was growing. While based in Portland, the Rockies played at Civic Stadium through the 2000 season and produced future major leaguers such as Chone Figgins, Juan Pierre, Clint Barmes, Brad Hawpe, Jake Westbrook, and Garrett Atkins.
With the city's support for the Portland Rockies, Civic Stadium was renovated in 2000 to regain Triple-A baseball and was successful. The Albuquerque Dukes moved from New Mexico to Portland and became a new incarnation of the Triple-A Beavers for the 2001 PCL season. The NWL Rockies relocated up river in 2001 to Pasco, one of the Tri-Cities, and were renamed the Tri-City Dust Devils.
The Dust Devils' front office is headed up by president Brent Miles and vice president / general manager Derrel Ebert. Prior to Ebert taking over as VP/GM in September 2009, Monica Ortega held the position from 2008–2009 as the only female general manager in the Northwest League. The principal owner of the team is hall of famer George Brett, with Miles as a minority owner.
Since arriving in 2001, the team played has played its home games at Gesa Stadium, formerly known as Tri-City Stadium (1994–2004) and Dust Devils Stadium (2005–2007). It was renamed in 2008 in a ten-year naming deal with a local financial institution.
Before the Dust Devils
The Tri-Cities in southeastern Washington, which include Kennewick and Richland along with Pasco, have fielded a number of teams in the Northwest League and its predecessor, the Western International League. The Tri-City Braves were a member of the WIL from 1950 to 1955, when the team became a charter member of the new Northwest League. The Tri-Cities were continually represented through 1974 under various names (Braves 1955–60, 1962; Angels 1961, 1963–64; Atoms 1965–68; A's 1969; Padres 1970–72; Triplets 1973; Ports 1974).
In 1974, the Ports were an independent team and went 27–57 (.321) and drew just 21,611 in home attendance for the season. The team was managed by owner Carl W. Thompson, Sr. before folding.
From 1950 through 1974, home games were held at Sanders-Jacobs Field in Kennewick, located at the northeast corner of Clearwater Avenue and Neel Street ( ). The field was aligned to the northeast and named for Harry Sanders, a Connell farmer, and Tom Jacobs, a former manager and the general manager of the Atoms at the time of his death at age 64 in 1968. The ballpark was demolished in the mid-1970s, shortly after the Ports folded.
The Tri-Cities were without baseball until 1983 when the Tri-Cities Triplets (an homage to the 1973 name) formed, though they only lasted until 1986. The Triplets had relocated from Walla Walla and were an affiliate of the Texas Rangers for the first two years, independent for the final two. They played their home games at Richland High School baseball field, adjacent to the Bomber Bowl football stadium. The team was bought by the Brett brothers in February 1986, then sold that autumn to Diamond Sports, a group headed by the general manager, Mal Fichman. The Triplets relocated to southwestern Idaho for the 1987 season and became the Boise Hawks.
The Tri-Cities was also home to the Tri-City Posse of the independent Western Baseball League from 1995 to 2000. The Posse were founded in the WBL's first year in 1995, won the league title in 1999, but folded after the 2000 season.
|43–28||1st||Tom Harmon||League Champions|
|1980||31–39||7th||P. J. Carey|
|1981||31–39||5th||P. J. Carey|
|1982||30–40||5th||Roly de Armas|
|1985||39–35||3rd (t)||P. J. Carey|
|38–38||5th (t)||Don Long|
|43–33||1st (t)||Gene Glynn||League finals|
|1993||35–41||6th (t)||Howie Bedell|
- The 1979 & 1980 teams were the Central Oregon Phillies
- Bend Bucks was the team name from 1987 through 1991
|41–34||3rd||P. J. Carey|
|1997||44–32||3rd||Jim Eppard||League Champions|
|1998||34–42||5th (t)||Jim Eppard|
|1999||39–37||4th||Alan Cockrell||League semifinals|
|Tri-City Dust Devils seasons|
|Year||MLB team||Wins||Losses||Win %||Result|
|39||36||.520||2nd Northern Division|
|2002||40||36||.526||2nd Eastern Division|
|2003||33||43||.434||3rd Eastern Division|
|2004||50||36||.526||3rd Eastern Division|
|2005||36||40||.474||2nd Eastern Division|
|2006||38||38||.500||2nd Eastern Division|
|2007||37||39||.487||Eastern Division Champions|
|2008||36||40||.474||3rd Eastern Division|
|2009||47||29||.618||Eastern Division Champions|
|2010||30||46||.395||4th Eastern Division|
|2011||44||32||.579||Eastern Division Champions|
|2012||32||44||.421||3rd Eastern Division|
|2013||34||42||.447||4th Northern Division|
|2014||33||43||.434||3rd Northern Division|
- 2007: Lost to Salem-Keizer 2-1 in finals.
- 2009: Lost to Salem-Keizer 2-1 in finals.
- 2011: Defeated Boise 2-0 in semifinals; lost to Vancouver 2-1 in finals.
- 2015: Defeated Everett 2-0 in semifinals; lost to Hillsboro 2-1 in finals.
|This article needs to be updated. (July 2016)|
Tri-City Dust Devils roster
- Withers, Bud (June 23, 1978). "Bend baseball bounces back". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. p. 1D.
- "Emmans clears final hurdle in Medford". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. February 15, 1979. p. 14.
- Welch, Bob (November 14, 1978). "Farewell to the Timber Hawks?". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 18.
- Welch, Bob (January 31, 1979). "Public says yes in survey". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 18.
- Welch, Bob (July 4, 1979). "Seeing too much red at Genna". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 12.
- "Phils brace for shot at NWL title". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. staff and wire reports. August 31, 1979.
- Pritchett, John (September 1, 1979). "NWL season reduced to 3 games". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 12.
- Welch, Bob (September 4, 1979). "Phils win themselves a flag". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 15.
- Pritchett, John (August 20, 1989). "'79 Phils remember special season". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. F1.
- Francis, Mike (June 18, 1981). "New team, management to open Phillies' season". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 19.
- Francis, Mike (June 23, 1981). "Starving baseball fans dine out tonight". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 10.
- Pritchett, John (June 15, 1986). "Phillies' boss soured by high rent for Bend stadium". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. E1.
- "No Phooling! Phils may switch to Bend Beavers". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. December 11, 1985. p. D1.
- "Phillies officially dump Bend". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. September 17, 1986. p. D1.
- "Bend club nicknamed the Bucks". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. January 15, 1987. p. D1.
- Pritchett, John (December 21, 1989). "A '10' rating won't come easy for the co-op Bucks". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. D1.
- Pritchett, John (September 14, 1989). "Bucks' fans not happy with team". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. D1.
- "Bye-bye Bend Bucks; hello Bend Rockies". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. December 9, 1991. p. D1.
- Pritchett, John (September 14, 1989). "Angels moving team out of Bend". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. D1.
- Pritchett, John (October 5, 1986). "Bucks will be back in Bend next year, likely as a co-op". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. D1.
- "Bucks land 11 players; more coming". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. March 22, 1990. p. D1.
- "Bucks take shape for season opener". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. June 16, 1991. p. D1.
- "Colorado Rockies select Bend as teams 1st minor league club". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. December 10, 1991. p. 2D.
- Wilson, Mike (June 16, 1992). "New Bend Rox are ready to roll". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. D1.
- Creib, Bill (June 17, 1992). "Rox ride Will-power to landmark victory". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. A1.
- Wilson, Mike (June 17, 1992). "Rockies' debut thrusts Bend into spotlight". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. A1.
- Creib, Bill (September 2, 1992). "At long last, Bend finishes in first". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. D1.
- "Northwest League: final standings". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. September 6, 1992. p. 8E.
- Creib, Bill (September 9, 1992). "Rox get Lowe-balled in Bellingham". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. D1.
- "Bows clobber Dodgers in home opener". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. June 24, 1970. p. 10.
- "Rainbows take lead in NW standings". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. June 26, 1970. p. 7.
- "Park name change leaves Genna mum". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. June 22, 1972. p. 1.
- Maben, Scott (September 5, 1993). "Will the Rockies hit the road?". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. A-1.
- "Bend Rockies baseball moves over to Portland". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Idaho-Washington. Associated Press. September 14, 1994. p. 3B.
- "Calgary still holding key to Rockies' possible move". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. August 5, 1993. p. D1.
- "Portland claims first NWL title after trailing series 0-2". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. September 11, 1997. p. C7.
- MILLIKIN, JACK (April 19, 2007). "Miles acquires ownership". Tr-City Herald. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-19.
- "Tri-City stadium for sale". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. October 18, 1968. p. 24.
- "Tri-City's leader taken by death". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. July 27, 1968. p. 8.
- Morrow, Jeff (March 22, 2013). "Charlie Petersen, Tri-Cities' first professional baseball manager, still kicking at 100". Tri-City Herald. Pasco, Washington. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
- ballparkreviews.com – Bomber Bowl – Richland, WA – accessed 2011-10-19
- "Bretts purchase Tri-Cities team". Spokane Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. February 19, 1986. p. C2.
- "Trebelhorn to manage Tri-Cities team". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Idaho-Washington. November 24, 1994. p. 2D.
- "Tri-City Dust Devils Statistics." The Baseball Cube. Retrieved on 24 July 2009.
- Official website
- Tri-City Herald coverage of Dust Devils
- Tri-City Herald Dust Devils writer Jack Millikin's Dust Devils blog, "Dusting off the Dish"
- Baseball Reference – minor league teams – Pasco, Washington (Tri-Cities)