The San Francisco Seals were a San Francisco professional baseball team that played in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) from 1903 through 1957, when the New York Giants moved to San Francisco. During this time, the PCL was made up of teams up and down the Pacific Coast, from Seattle in the north to San Diego in the south. The Seals, their cross-bay rivals the Oakland Oaks, and all other PCL teams were successful financially (at least until the early 1950s) because back then there were no televised major league games, or any major league teams west of St. Louis. In fact in 1948, the Seals set a season attendance record of 670,000, a minor league record that stood for almost 40 years. Many future major leaguers got their start playing with the Seals or other PCL teams from the league's beginnings through the 1950s. Players liked playing in the relatively cooler West Coast weather and at times could make more money playing in the PCL than in the majors.
The Seals and the Oaks had quite a rivalry through the years. They would play Sunday doubleheaders, with one game in the morning at Seals Stadium (shown here in a mid 1950's photo), then the afternoon game played across the bay in Emeryville at the Oaks' home park. Both parks of course are long gone now; a Safeway shopping center (Potrero Center) now stands at the site of the old Seals Stadium. Funny how I'm now married to a woman who shops at that Safeway! :)
In April, 1994, I attended a SF Giants-Oakland A's exhibition game where they wore the uniforms of the Seals and Oaks, reviving this old rivalry. As I was watching the pre-game warmups, I remembered the stories my granddad had told me about the Seals. I also remembered my dad's best friend, Ed Greenhood who was a part-time batboy for the 1927 Oaks. His granddad helped organize the very first Bay Area professional baseball team, the Greenhoods and the Morans in the 1880's. Those stories made me wish all three of them were there with me that day watching these new players bring back memories of the Seals and the Oaks.
Listed on the left column are links to other site pages. If you're looking for additional information (other than what appears on this site) about former Seals or other ex PCL players, try contacting either the SF Chronicle or Examiner.
If you have old PCL memorabilia (baseball cards, pictures, autographs, etc.) and want to know how much it might be worth, contact Mark Macrae at mark_macrae at comcast dot net. He is a SF Bay Area man who sells PCL-related memorabilia.
SFGate recently did a photo tribute to the Seals and Seals Stadium.
Lefty O'Doul was inducted into the The Shrine of Eternals at the Baseball Reliquary in 2013. The Baseball Reliquary is a nonprofit, educational organization located in Southern California that is dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history.
This page is dedicated to my dad, granddad and Ed, plus all those who played for the Seals. Thanks for stopping by!
Page last updated July 7, 2014.
© Copyright Todd Hawley 1999-2014 all rights reserved