- Fresno Grizzlies
name = Fresno Grizzlies
founded = 1998
city = Fresno, California
class level = Triple-A (1998–present)
past class level=
current league =
Pacific Coast League(1998–present)
conference = Pacific Conference
division = South Division
past league =
San Francisco Giants(1998–present)
nickname = Fresno Grizzlies (1998–present)
Pete Beiden Field(1998–2001)
owner = Fresno Baseball, LLC
gm = The Fresno Grizzlies are a
minor league baseballteam based in Fresno, California. The team, which plays in the Pacific Coast League(PCL), is the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giantsmajor league club. The Grizzlies play in Chukchansi Park(capacity 12,500), located in downtown Fresno and built in 2002. The Fresno Grizzlies' colors are black and orange, designed to mirror the colors of their parent club. All games are broadcast on 790 AM ESPN radio, with Doug Greenwald handling the play-by-play.
Professional baseball first came to Fresno in 1898 when it had a team in the original
California League. The team dropped out of the league after that year, but returned in 1905. In 1906, the Tacoma Tigersof the Pacific Coast League moved to Fresno, playing as the Fresno Raisin Eatersfor one season before moving to Sacramento for the 1907 season. In the intervening years before the arrival of the Grizzlies, Fresno fielded teams in the California State League in 1910 and 1913, and in the current California League from 1941 through 1988, including the Fresno Cardinals(1941–1956), Fresno Sun Sox (1957), Fresno Giants (1958–1987), and Fresno Suns (1988).
Arizona Diamondbacksexpansion franchise was awarded to Phoenix by Major League Baseball with a start date of 1998, the existing Phoenix FirebirdsPCL team, at the time the Giants' Triple-A affiliate, was forced to relocate. In a complicated series of events, the owners of the Firebirds moved their team to Tucson and became the Tucson Sidewinders, dropping their affiliation with the Giants in favor of the expansion Diamondbacks. The owners of the existing Tucson Torosthen moved their franchise to Fresno, thus ending a 92-year hiatus of PCL baseball in Fresno. The transplanted Toros, renamed the Grizzlies, became the Giants' new PCL affiliate. From 1998 through 2001 the Grizzlies played at Pete Beiden Fieldat California State University, Fresno, before moving to Chukchansi Park.
During the team's 11 year history in Fresno, it has had a number of different owners. In October 2005, the team was sold again, this time to Fresno Baseball LLC, headquartered in
The team hosted such promotions as K-Fed Night in 2006, "
The Price Is Right" Night in 2007, and Totally Rad 80s Night featuring " The Karate Kid" star Billy Zabka in May 2008. Parker, the Grizzlies mascot, was named Best Mascot of 2007 by GameOps, beating out all other major and minor league mascots. Chukchansi Park is also home to the Drag Kings, the Grizzlies' dancing grounds crew who were given an honorable mention by GameOps as Best Entertainment act. The Grizzlies won the Minor League Baseball Promotion of the Year award in 2008 for their "Mascot Showdown" featuring Parker and the Phillie Phanatic.
* [http://www.fresnogrizzlies.com/ Official website of the Fresno Grizzlies]
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