The Oakland Oaks of the 1950's

1950 Pacific Coast League Standings
Team
WL GB
Oakland Acorns11882---
San Diego Padres114 86 4
Hollywood Stars104 9614
Portland Beavers101 9917
San Francisco Seals10010018
Seattle Rainiers 9610422
Los Angeles Angels 8611432
Sacramento Solons 8111937

1950

Under manager Charlie Dressen, the Oaks will go on to capture another pennant in 1950. After playing only about .500 ball the first month of the season, they will start to close in on the season favorite Hollywood Stars by the end of May, and from July 12 they will lead the league, finishing four games ahead of the Padres, with the Stars fading to a 14 game deficit. The Acorns will lead the PCL in team batting that year, with Earl Rapp (.314, 24 Hr's, 145 RBI's), George Metkovich (.315, 24 Hr's, 141 RBI's), Loyd Christopher (.303), Don Padgett (.348), Ray Noble (.316), Artie Wilson (.312) and Billy Herman (.307). Allen Gettel (23-7) and Earl Harrest (18-8), both acquired in late 1949, and Hank Behrman (17-8) and George Bamberger (17-13), both provided by the Giants, will lead the pitching staff. But somehow the excitement of that magical 1948 season will never truly be recaptured. Despite a great season, with the best attendance (more than 500,000 fans) in the league for the third consecutive year, the seeds of decay will soon be planted with the advent of television, the saturation of major league radio broadcasts, and forced dependency on the major leagues for new players.

1951 Pacific Coast League Standings
Team
WLGB
Seattle Rainiers9968---
Hollywood Stars93 74 6
Los Angeles Angels 86 8113
Portland Beavers 83 8516
Oakland Acorns808819
San Diego Padres 798820
Sacramento Solons 759224
San Francisco Seals 749325

1951

In 1951, under manager Mel Ott, although still leading the league in hitting, the team will finish only fifth, due in large measure to a thin outfield and mediocre pitching. Although 8,640 fans (about 6,000 more than normal attendance for a weeknight) will attend Artie Wilson's first game back with the Oaks, overall attendance will drop to 193,822.

1952 Pacific Coast League Standings
Team
WLGB
Hollywood Stars10971---
Oakland Acorns104 76 5
Seattle Rainiers96 8413
Portland Beavers92 8413
San Diego Padres889221
Los Angeles Angels 879322
San Francisco Seals 78/td>10231
Sacramento Solons 6611443

1952

By essentially rebuilding the pitching staff, Ott will bring the team into second place in 1952. One of the season highlights will be a no-hitter thrown by Roger Bowman on July 3rd against the Hollywood Stars. Attendance will rise to 234,952, but the payroll will increase.

1953 Pacific Coast League Standings
Team
WLGB
Hollywood Stars10674---
Seattle Rainiers98 82 8
Los Angeles Angels93 8713
Portland Beavers92 8814
San Francisco Seals918915
San Diego Padres 889218
Oakland Acorns7710329
Sacramento Solons 7510531

1953

With Ott's former coach and star outfielder Augie Galan at the helm in 1953, despite the strong pitching of Allen "Two Gun" Gettel leading the PCL in victories (24-14) and the catching of Len Neal setting a league record of 100 consecutive games without an error, the team will drop to seventh place. A pitiful attendance of 135,784, the lowest in the league, will contribute to making the season a financial disaster for Oaks owner Brick Laws.

1954 Pacific Coast League Standings
Team
WLGB
San Diego Padres10267---
Hollywood Stars101 67 1
Oakland Acorns85 8216
San Francisco Seals84 8417
Seattle Rainiers77 8521
Los Angeles Angels 739227
Sacramento Solons 739428
Portland Beavers 719429

1954

Charlie Dressen is destined to return to Oakland and bring the team into third place. A Governor's Cup playoff will be introduced at the end of the season, and using his big league contacts to bring veteran replacements to Oakland on option and moving veterans who had lost their skills, Dressen will build a team which will beat San Diego and San Francisco to win the Governor's Cup title without a defeat. First baseman Jim Marshall will lead the league in home runs (31) and RBI's (123) in that year. But the old ball park will continue to deteriorate and fan attendance will continue to decline.

1955 Pacific Coast League Standings
Team
WLGB
Seattle Rainiers9577---
San Diego Padres92 80 3
Hollywood Stars91 814
Los Angeles Angels91 814
Portland Beavers86869
San Francisco Seals 809215
Oakland Acorns 779518
Sacramento Solons 769619

1955 through 1957

Owner Brick Laws will hire the Seals' long-time skipper, Lefty O'Doul to lead the Acorns in 1955. O'Doul would have brought a pennant to San Diego in the preceding year, and with experienced players at all positions the Oaks will become a pre-season favorite. But poor offensive play by the infield and disappointing pitching will contribute to a poor seventh place finish. Due to a variety of factors, including the condition of the park, the advent of television, and general fan malaise, the Oaks' attendance will drop to the lowest in the league (141,397). There will be no more Oakland Oaks after that. Sadly, at the end of the season, after 57 years in Oakland, the franchise will be moved to Vancouver, and the Emeryville ball park will be torn down in 1957 to make way for a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant.


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Copyright William B. Shubb, 1998-2003.