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New Orleans Zephyrs

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New Orleans Zephyrs

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New Orleans Zephyrs</br>Founded in 1900
in [[{{{founding city}}}]]
Based in [[{{{present city}}}]] since [[{{{based}}} in baseball|{{{based}}}]]

100px</br> Team Logo 100px</br> Cap Insignia
Minor league affiliations
Major league affiliations
  • New Orleans Zephyrs (1993–Present)
  • Denver Zephyrs (1985–1992)
  • Denver Bears (1955–1984)
  • Kansas City Blues (1904–1954)
  • Kansas City Cowboys (1900–1903)
Minor league titles
Class titles 1998
League titles 1923, 1929, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2001
Conference titles 1998, 2001, 2007
Division titles 1998, 2001, 2007
Owner(s)/Operated by: Donald Beaver
Manager: Edwin Rodriguez
General Manager: Mike Schline

</noinclude> The New Orleans Zephyrs are a minor league baseball team based in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. The Zephyrs play in the Pacific Coast League and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins.[1] The Zephyrs play their home games at Zephyr Field.

The Zephyrs joined the PCL after the 1997 season, when the American Association (AA) was disbanded. The Zephyrs were one of five clubs from the AA to join the PCL, with three joining the International League. Triple-A baseball was also expanded to 30 teams at that time, concurrent with the expansion of Major League Baseball.

The Zephyrs won the 1998 Pacific Coast League championship and went on to win the Triple-A World Series against the Buffalo Bisons, 3–1. The Zephyrs were also slated to participate in the 2001 championship series with the Tacoma Rainiers, but the season was cancelled in the wake of the September 11 attacks, and both teams were named co-champions.

The Zephyrs finished the 2005 season three days before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and though Zephyr Field sustained moderate damage,[2] the team was able to open the 2006 season at home, making them the first professional team in New Orleans to do so after the hurricane.[3]

On May 5th and 6th, 2006 a game that became known as the Music City Marathon, the Zephyrs play 24 innings in Nashville, ultimately defeating the Sounds 5-4 the next day on a Wiki Gonzalez RBI single. The Z’s score once in the eighth and once in the ninth, and the teams remain tied through 18 innings before curfew is called. The 24 innings matches the longest game in PCL history, set in 1909, and the Z’s set 12 franchise records, including striking out a league-record 29 times.

In 2008, the Zephyrs' season ended three days early due to the approach of Hurricane Gustav. When it became apparent that Gustav would hit the Gulf Coast on September 1, the Zephyrs cancelled their games of August 30 through September 1.[4]

History Edit

The Zephyrs franchise history spans 100 years, three cities, and affiliations with 14 of the present 30 Major League teams, including the Astros, White Sox, Braves, Senators/Rangers and Expos/Nationals on more than one occasion. The New Orleans Zephyrs started in Kansas City in 1900 before moving to Denver, Colorado in 1955 and then to New Orleans in 1993.[5] After moving to Denver, the Triple-A Bears played in the American Association (1955–1962 and 1969–1984) and the Pacific Coast League (1963–1968) until the team name was changed to the Denver Zephyrs in 1985. The Triple-A Bears were affiliated with the New York Yankees at the outset, with Ralph Houk managing many players who would reach the majors and play in the World Series.

The team played at what became known later as Mile High Stadium, but was originally known as Bears Stadium, after the team. This stadium was one of the largest venues in history to host minor league baseball on a routine basis. For many years, the biggest crowds were on 4th of July fireworks nights, and every year the American Association scheduled the Bears for a home game. Crowds of 45,000 and more watched the fireworks game, easily the biggest crowds most of the minor leaguers had ever played in front of. The Bears name has been used for other sports teams in Denver in the past several years as well.

In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, the Bears' repeat opponents were the Wichita Aeros, the Iowa Cubs, the Oklahoma 89ers, the Omaha Royals, and the Tulsa Oilers (baseball). Except for the Aeros, who moved to Buffalo, New York in 1984, those teams continued to be regular opponents until the American Association dissociated in 1997. This includes the Oilers, who became the Louisville Redbirds. The Nashville Sounds and Indianapolis Indians were also among the last teams in the American Association.

In the mid-1960s, the Bears included notables such as Cesar Tovar (who later had the distinction of playing all nine positions in one game for the Minnesota Twins) and Ted Uhlaender. The Denver Bears had some good teams from the 1970s to the mid-1980s, producing such players as Tim Wallach, Warren Cromartie, Tim Raines, Graig Nettles, Terry Francona, Patt Rooney, and Bill Gullickson. Billy Martin and Felipe Alou both began their managing careers with the Denver Bears. In 1980, the Bears finished with the 37th best record of all-time (92–44) and won the American Association pennant.

In 1985, the team name was changed to the Denver Zephyrs, after the famous passenger train. Notable players included current broadcaster Orestes Destrade.

The Zephyrs arrived in New Orleans in 1993, having been forced out of their previous home, by the Colorado Rockies expansion team of the National League. This was the second time the team had been pushed out by a major league team. When the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1955, the Yankees' Triple-A club, the Kansas City Blues, became the Denver Bears. The Bears later changed their nickname to the Zephyrs. The New Orleans lawyer/business promoter Robert E. Couhig, Jr. led the effort to relocate the team to New Orleans.

The team kept the Zephyrs name after the move to New Orleans. The Zephyr Roller Coaster was a popular ride at the Pontchartrain Beach amusement park.

After the end of the 2008 season, the PDC contract with the New York Mets expired, and on September 22, 2008 the Mets signed a new two year agreement with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League. On that same date, the Zephyrs became the new Triple-A Affiliate of the Florida Marlins, who moved their Triple-A team from Albuquerque, New Mexico.[6][7]


Template:New Orleans Zephyrs roster


  1. "Zephyrs Reach Agreement With Florida Marlins." Minor League Baseball. 20 September 2008. Retrieved on 26 September 2008.
  2. The Times-Picayune.
  3. New Orleans Zephyrs.
  4. "Zephyrs alter schedule ahead of Gustav." Minor League Baseball. 29 August 2008. Retrieved on 26 September 2008.
  5. Sports History - Kansas City Sports Commission
  6. Frisaro, Joe. "Mudcats to have new home, new name." Florida Marlins. 18 September 2008. Retrieved on 26 September 2008.
  7. Phillips, Mike. "Triple A team moving to New Orleans." Fish Bytes. 16 September 2008. Retrieved on 26 September 2008.

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