On Twitter yesterday, there was Discussion between Graham Womack and Ace of MLB Stats about the Pacific Coast League (of course I interjected tidbits), this discussion came started with Johnny Frederick who played for the Portland Beavers from 1936-1940.
I managed to find the logo and uniform from the last year that Frederick played for the Beavers
Here we have Lindsey Brown, who played for the Beavers from 1940-1942. Brown, like Frederick, was a career minor leaguer posting a .216 career ERA with 2,088 hits with the Beavers. He did manage to play 48 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in ’37 batting .270.
The Beavers implored the striped design that many teams of that era used, albeit in a different manner than the usual pinstripe style. They also a P for their uniform showing that sometimes the simpler the better.
The Beavers have had several incarnates throughout their history. The first was in 1903, as a founding member of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), they were called the Portland Browns. In 1905, they were renamed to the Portland Giants after former professional baseball player Walt McCredie and former U.S. House Member Judge William Wallace McCredie purchased the team. Then again in 1906, they were renamed to the Portland Beavers after a newspaper contest was created to help rename the team. World War I saw travel restrictions enacted and the Beavers withdrew from the PCL and joined the Class-B PCL playing for just one year as the Portland Buckaroos in 1918.
The Beavers came back to the PCL in 1919 after Portland was offered an expansion franchise, playing in the PCL until after the 1972 season when principal owner Bill Cutler moved the Beavers to Spokane and Portland was given the gift of the independent team Portland Mavericks (owned by b-actor Bing Russell). If you have Netflix haven’t seen the Battered Bastards of Baseball it focuses on the Mavericks and is worth a watch.
The Beavers returned to Portland in 1978 when the PCL again expanded and added a new team to Portland(this also collapsed the Portland Mavericks) and they would stay in Portland until 1993.
Beavers owner Joe Buzas moved the Beavers to Salt Lake City, Utah once again ending Beavers baseball in Portland. The Beavers would make their final return to Portland in 2001, playing as affiliates of both the Dodgers and Padres. The Beavers stopped playing in 2010 but were revived in El Paso, Texas as the El Paso Chihuahuas a Triple-A Affiliate of the Padres.
Photo Courtesy of baseballprosepectus.com
Frederick, played only six seasons in the MLB, all for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1929-1934 hitting .308 with 85 home runs and 377 RBIs. Frederick then retreated to the PCL where seasons were longer, travel was shorter and the weather was warmer.
Frederick’s first season in the PCL was with the Sacremento Solons in 1935, then he moved to the Portland Beavers where he played for five more seasons, hitting over .300 in each of those seasons. In 6 years in the majors, Frederick had 954 hits, in the PCL he had nearly three times as many hits, 2467 to be exact. Before I started looking into Frederick I had no idea whom he has, or that he was such a great ball player. The other unfortunate note of Frederick is that he didn’t play ten seasons in the majors, thus disqualifying him from being in Cooperstown, which looking at how phenomenal he played (career BA over .300 in 11 seasons in the majors and minors) it’s a shame that he’ll never be there.