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Portland Colts

Portland ColtsDescription : The Portland Colts were a minor league baseball team based in Portland, Oregon for five seasons (1909, 1911–14) in the Class B Northwestern League. The Colts served as an unofficial farm team for the Portland Beavers and the Cleveland Indians. The Colts and Beavers shared Vaughn Street Park. The franchise was established in 1909 by William Wallace McCredie, who was the owner of the Beavers and a sitting Congressman. The team was disbanded after their first season, with McCredie selling severa... Page:p

Portland Colts
19091914
(1909, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914)
Portland, Oregon
Portland Pippins, 1911.jpg
Cap insignia
Class-level
PreviousClass B
Minor league affiliations
League
  • Portland Beavers (unofficial) (1909, 1911–14)
  • Northwestern League (1909, 1911–14)
Major league affiliations
PreviousCleveland Indians (unofficial) (1911–14)
Minor league titles
League titlesNone
Team data
Previous parks
  • Vaughn Street Park (1909, 1911–14)
  • McKenna Park (hosted exhibition games in 1911)

The Portland Colts were a minor league baseball team based in Portland, Oregon for five seasons (1909, 1911–14) in the Class B Northwestern League. The Colts served as an unofficial farm team for the Portland Beavers and the Cleveland Indians. The Colts and Beavers shared Vaughn Street Park. The franchise was established in 1909 by William Wallace McCredie, who was the owner of the Beavers and a sitting Congressman. The team was disbanded after their first season, with McCredie selling several players to the Beavers. McCredie originally said he did not want to run two teams, but changed his mind in 1911 when he placed a bid for a Northwestern League franchise. The league penalized McCredie with a US$1,000 re-entry fee and adopted new rules when it came to selling players from your team.

In 1911, the Portland team was not officially named, but the "Colts" nickname returned at the start of the 1912 season. The Colts had two managers over their five seasons, Pearl Casey (1909) and Nick Williams (1911–14). Towards the end of the 1914 season, McCredie sold the team to timber mogul Quinn Farr who relocated the team to his native Ballard, Washington and changed their name to the Ballard Pippins. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum members Harry Heilmann and Dave Bancroft played for the Colts. Several other Major League Baseball alumni graced the Colts roster throughout their five seasons of existence. Aside from playing in the Northwestern League the Colts also played several exhibition games including one during the 1913 season against the Chicago American Giants of the Negro leagues.

History

Before the start of the 1909 season, the Colts held their training camp in Ashland, Oregon. The team toured several Oregon towns including Jacksonville and Grants Pass and played baseball teams composed of locals. The Colts first game was played on April 4, 1909 against the Seattle Turks at Dugdale Field in front of 8,000 attendees. Seattle defeated Portland, 5–2. The Colts home opener in Portland was held before the Portland Beavers home opener on May 11, 1909 at Vaughn Street Park. The games would be preceded by a parade for each teams. The Colts parade consisted of 60 automobiles. John F. Carroll threw out the ceremonial first pitch to district attorney George G. Cameron. The Colts won their home opener 3–2 against the Tacoma Tigers. The Northwestern League teams, including Portland, started attracting gamblers who made wagers on the games at local tobacco stores. In August 1909, the Colts traded Bill Chenault, Phil Cooney and Tom Murray to the Pacific Coast League (PCL) Portland Beavers in exchange for Charlie Armbruster and Dick Breen. For the entire 1909 season, Pearl Casey served as the Colts player-manager and led the club to a 79–88 record. In January 1910, the Colts owner William W. McCredie, who also owned the Beavers, decided to disband the team due to the strain of managing two teams playing on the same field. McCredie did claim that the Portland Colts turned a profit in their first season. The president of the league, William H. Lucas, said he was disappointing that Portland was abandoning its efforts to keep their second minor league team. He subsequently announced he was moving the league offices from the city of Portland to a city that housed a Northwest League team.

Despite giving the Northwestern League franchise up in 1910, William W. McCredie looked to return a second team to Portland for the 1911 season. It was agreed upon by the league after Portland paid a US$1,000 entry fee. To avoid conflicts with Pacific Coast League games played at Vaughn Street Park the Northwestern League agreed to let PCL games get higher priority if any scheduling errors arose. McCredie agreed to a waiver clause that stated if he was to disband his team again, other Northwestern League teams would be able to buy their players before an outside league. The reason for this rule was because McCredie dumped all of his players from the 1909 season, even adding some to his PCL team for discounted prices. The team held work outs at Columbia University before the start of the 1911 season. Due to conflicts with the PCL schedule, the Northwestern League team played 15 weeks in other cites as opposed to nine weeks at home in 1911. Portland played at McKenna Park in the University Park neighborhood on Sunday exhibition games during the season.

At the end of the 1912 Northwestern League season the Colts played an exhibition game against the Portland Beavers at Vaughn Street Park. An avid supporter of integration in baseball, the Colts owner William W. McCredie requested an exhibition game be played against the Negro league Chicago American Giants in 1913. Later, the Northwestern League scheduled every team in the league play an exhibition game against the Negro league team. In 1914, the Colts held their annual training camp in Santa Rosa, California. During the 1914 mid-season, McCredie sold the Colts to timber mogul Quinn Farr who announced his intention of relocation the team to Ballard, Washington. The reason for the sale of the team, McCredie claimed, was due to the fact Portland's franchise was going to be revoked for the 1915 season because opponents travel expenses to the city were too high.

Notable players

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum member Harry Heilmann played for the Portland Colts during the 1913 season
Dave Bancroft played three years in Portland, Oregon, one with the Colts.
Ed Pinnance, the first Native American to play in Major League Baseball, was a member of the Colts in 1909.
HOFIndicates a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
NamePositionYear(s)Ref
Dave Bancroft HOFShortstop1913
Jack BradleyCatcher1911
Ray CallahanPitcher1912
Al CarsonPitcher1913
Jack FournierFirst basemen1909
Howie HaworthCatcher1914
Harry Heilmann HOFOutfielder1913
Oscar JonesPitcher1914
Jack KibbleInfielder1912
Ed KinsellaPitcher1909
Fred LamleinPitcher1911
Chris MahoneyOutfielder1912
Carl MaysPitcher1913
Kid MohlerSecond baseman1913
Charlie MullenFirst basemen1909
Milo NetzelOutfielder1913–14
Ned PettigrewOutfielder1911
Ed PinnancePitcher1909
Tom SeatonPitcher1909
Buck StanleyPitcher1913
Jesse StovallFirst baseman1911

Records

Single-season records

This is a list of leaders of single-season statistics for the Portland Colts.

YearPlayerCategoryRecord
1913Harry HeilmannBatting average.305
1911Howard MundorffHits184
1912Edward FriesAt-bats660
1911Howard MundorffDoubles36
1912Bill SpeasTriples11
1912Lee StraitHome runs21
1909Ed KinsellaWins23
1909,
1914
Ed Pinnance,
Elmer Leonard
Losses18
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