St. Paul Saints
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St. Paul Saints
St. Paul Saints
StPaulSaints.png STP Saints.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
LeagueAmerican Association (North Division)
LocationSt. Paul, Minnesota
BallparkCHS Field
Year founded1993
League championships4 (NL: 1993, 1995, 1996, 2004) 1 (AA: 2019)
Division championships6 (NL: 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005) 3 (AA: 2015, 2016, 2019)
Former league(s)
ColorsBlue and white    
OwnershipGoldklang Group
ManagerGeorge Tsamis
General ManagerDerek Sharrer
Websitesaintsbaseball.com

The St. Paul Saints are an American professional baseball team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Saints are members of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. From their founding in 1993 to 2005, they competed in the Northern League. The team has played their home games at CHS Field since 2015.[1] They previously played at Midway Stadium from 1993 to 2014.

Before the arrival of the Minnesota Twins in 1961, there was a long history of minor league baseball teams called the St. Paul Saints, as well as their crosstown rivals the Minneapolis Millers. One incarnation of the Saints participated in the Union Association, a short-lived major league, in 1884. A second incarnation was active in the Western League from 1894 to 1899, and became a forerunner of the modern Chicago White Sox. The third and most long-lived incarnation of the Saints was active in the American Association from 1915 to 1960.

History

St. Paul Saints (1894-1899)

As described in Lee Allen's book, The American League Story (Putnam, 1962), the team began as the Sioux City franchise in a minor league called the Western League. This circuit had reorganized itself in November 1893, with Ban Johnson as president. Johnson, a Cincinnati-based reporter, had been recommended by his friend Charles Comiskey, former major league star with the St. Louis Browns in the 1880s, who was then managing the Cincinnati Reds. After the 1894 season, when Comiskey's contract with the Reds was up, he decided to take his chances at ownership. He bought the Sioux City team and transferred it to St. Paul, where it enjoyed some success over the next five seasons.

In 1900, the Western League changed its name to the American League. It was still officially a minor league, a part of the National Agreement and an underling of the National League. The National League gave permission to the American League to put a team in Chicago, and on March 21, 1900, Comiskey moved his St. Paul club to the South Side, where they became the Chicago White Sox.

St. Paul Saints (1901-1960)

Joe Riggert accumulated 1,639 hits over 12 seasons with the American Association Saints from 1912 to 1924.

Another team called the Saints played Minor League Baseball in the American Association from 1901 to 1960. The Saints finished first in the American Association nine times, and won the Little World Series in 1924. During this period, the Saints were a farm club of the Chicago White Sox (1936-1942), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1944-1957), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (1958-1960). The Saints played streetcar home and away double headers with their local rivals, the Minneapolis Millers. When the Minnesota Twins came to town in 1961, the Saints became the Omaha Dodgers while the Millers ceased operations and their role as affiliate to the Boston Red Sox was filled by the Seattle Rainiers. Lexington Park served as the Saints' home stadium for most of those years.

During the six decades of the original American Association minor league, the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints engaged in vigorous rivalry known as the Streetcar Series. This series has been documented in a book by Rex Hamann entitled The Millers and the Saints, Baseball Championships of the Twin Cities Rivals (2014).

Current franchise (1993-present)

In a tradition started in the team's first year, the Saints' pig brings out game balls and receives a snack between innings.

The current inception of the St. Paul Saints was formed in 1993 in the Northern League, one of several independent leagues not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Saints are known for promotions that are sometimes over-the-top even by the standards of Minor League Baseball. In this regard, Mike Veeck, formerly the team's principal owner and still owner of a large interest in the team, is seen as following in the footsteps of his father Bill Veeck, who was famous for conceiving outlandish promotions as an owner of the major league St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago White Sox. The current majority owner, Marvin Goldklang, also owns a stake in four other Minor League Baseball teams: the Fort Myers Miracle, Sioux Falls Pheasants, Hudson Valley Renegades, and Charleston RiverDogs. Comedian and actor Bill Murray is also a part owner.

Despite the considerable naysaying at their inception, the Saints became one of the most successful teams in the Northern League and all of independent baseball. From 2002 to 2004, the Saints saw severely reduced attendance, owing partially to renewed interest in the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball, who won the 2002, 2003, and 2004 American League Central Division championships. In spite of an initially cool, if not outright hostile reception, the Saints and their major league neighbor (less than 10 miles (16 km) away) have worked together for several years to promote the sport of baseball.

The Saints have figured prominently in the creation of modern independent baseball. The team has been featured in books (Rebel Baseball by Steve Perlstein, 1993; Slouching Toward Fargo by Neal Karlen, 1998) and a cable network series (Baseball, Minnesota, FX Network, 1996-97). Mike Veeck wrote a book that covered the mantra "Fun is Good" (2005) and describes the business approach he has used for many years.

On May 31, 1997, the Saints became the first professional men's baseball team since integration to have a female on their roster. Ila Borders, a pitcher, played with the team out of the bullpen for a month before being traded.

On September 29, 2005, the Saints left the Northern League, along with the Lincoln Saltdogs, Sioux City Explorers, and the Sioux Falls Pheasants to start the American Association for the 2006 season.

Saints pitcher Mitch Wylie during a 2009 game wearing the uniform of the Homestead Grays in honor of Minnesota's contribution to African-Americans in baseball.

In June 2009, the Saints began a push to build a new stadium in Downtown Saint Paul. The proposed 7,500-seat stadium would be located in the Lowertown neighborhood near a planned maintenance facility for the METRO Green Line light rail. The city of Saint Paul requested $25 million in its 2010 bonding wish list to the Minnesota Legislature.[2][3][4][5]

In 2020, the Saints competed as one of six teams in a condensed 60-game season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[6] However, they did not play games at CHS Field, and were instead based at Sioux Falls Stadium (thus sharing a home field with the Sioux Falls Canaries).

Roster

Notable former players

Notable promotions

In an attempt to gain publicity in a metropolitan area that hosts four major pro sports teams and a major college program, the Saints have received media attention numerous times for their unique promotions.[7]

  • The Saints celebrated the 40th anniversary of Animal House on August 14, 2018, by staging the world's largest food fight after the completion of the fifth inning against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Approximately 8,000 fans participated.[8]
  • On August 22, 2017, the Saints held the world's largest Twister game, with over 56,000 dots painted on the outfield grass.[9]
  • On July 21, 2015, in an event sponsored by My Pillow, the world's largest pillow fight was held after the second inning, with 6,261 participants. The event was hosted by Stephen Baldwin.[10] Additionally, in honor of the 40th season of Saturday Night Live, former cast member Joe Piscopo performed the national anthem in his impression of Frank Sinatra, and made other appearances throughout the game.[11]
  • A May 11, 2013, exhibition game between the Saints and Gary SouthShore Railcats was played without umpires. The team instead had a judge, in a judicial robe, call balls and strikes from behind the pitcher. Calls at first and third bases were made by a "jury" of 12 Little League players, with the judge able to overrule any calls.[12]
  • In August 2012, as part of a regional conference held by the Minnesota Atheists, the Saints held "A Night of Unbelievable Fun", where the team wore alternate jerseys branding themselves as the "Mr. Paul Aint's". The promotion was reprised in subsequent seasons.[13][14][15][16]
  • On July 23, 2011, the Saints celebrated National Hot Dog Day and parodied Anthony Weiner and his first sexting scandal. The first 1,501 fans age 18 or older received "Tweeting Wiener Boxer Shorts", depicting a blue bird taking a picture of a hot dog, or "wiener". The bird was deliberately drawn to resemble the logo of Twitter, the social media site that Weiner used to send links to indecent photos.[17]
  • The Saints announced a giveaway for their May 23, 2009, game against the Sioux Falls Pheasants of 2,500 bobblehead dolls dressed as the Sesame Street character Count von Count, supposedly celebrating the 40th anniversary of the series. The Saints' version of this doll, however, had the face of Al Franken on one side and Norm Coleman on the other and was named "Count von Re-Count"--referring to the prolonged recount in the 2008 U.S. Senate election between the two men. The Saints made further jabs at the race:[18]
    • The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Dean Barkley, who ran in that election as a third-party candidate.
    • Fans were asked during the game to spin the heads of their dolls to either Coleman or Franken. Attorneys were present to count the "votes" from this process, poking fun at the extensive involvement of attorneys in the recount process. The team's website stated that fans could challenge the "results" at the team's Fan Services booth during the game.
    • The team also facetiously stated on its site that it would not make the results of that night's game official until mid-June--around the time that the entire Minnesota Supreme Court was scheduled to rule on Coleman's appeal of a panel ruling that Franken had won. (The Court issued its ruling in Franken's favor on June 30, with Coleman then conceding.)
  • In May 2008, the Saints announced the giveaway of 2,500 bobble foot dolls, ostensibly to celebrate National Tap Dance Day. The dolls, which featured two feet visible beneath the door of a bathroom stall, have been covered in the national news for their reference to Senator Larry Craig, notorious for soliciting sex in a Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport restroom in August 2007.[19]
  • In August 2007, the Saints announced that rubber dog toys would be given out as a jab to the federal dogfighting case involving Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.[20]
  • In April 2006, the Saints announced that rubber boats would be given out during a May 27, 2006, game, to honor the 30th anniversary of the television show The Love Boat. However, details of the promotion indicate that it was intended as a jab at the 2005 boat scandal involving the Minnesota Vikings, where several members of the team were allegedly involved in illicit behavior on a private cruise. The promotional rubber boats used the same color as the Vikings uniforms (purple and yellow) and were named Minnetonka Queen (a reference to Lake Minnetonka, where the cruise took place).[7]
  • In August 2004, the Saints held a Bobblehead Election to tap into the campaign buzz around the election year. Fans were told to select either a John Kerry or George Bush bobblehead as their "vote." The stunt was capped off with a speech by the winning bobblehead. A real donkey and a donkey dressed like an elephant (the Saints were unable to obtain a real elephant) added to the atmosphere.[21]
  • In August 2003, the Saints held "Randy Moss Hood Ornament Night", poking fun at Randy Moss, then a wide receiver for the Vikings. Earlier that year, Moss was involved in an incident where he bumped a traffic control officer with his car while he attempted to make a turn.[7]
  • During the 2002 Major League Baseball labor negotiations, the Saints gave away seat cushions with pictures of commissioner Bud Selig on one side and player's association Executive Director Donald Fehr on the other.[7]
  • In 2002, in response to Selig's controversial decision to end the MLB All-Star Game in a 7-7 tie, the Saints gave out neckties (or "ties") with Bud Selig's image.[7]

Fast facts

Cap logo design: "StP" script similar to the St. Paul Colored Gophers
Uniform colors: Home: Cream with blue "Saints" on front with name (black) and number (blue) on back; Away: Grey with blue "ST. PAUL" on front, Alternate/Sunday: Blue jersey with cream "StP" logo on player's lower left shoulder and cream number on back
Uniform design: "Saints" in script (1993-2002; was similar to original American Association version)
Mascot: Muddona
Current radio station: ALT 93.3 FM, Shoreview, Minnesota[22]

Season-by-season records

Year Regular Season Playoffs Result
Wins Losses Win % Finish Record Win %
Northern League
1993 42 29 .529 1st - N/A 3-1 .750 Won championship vs Rochester, 3-1
1994 43 36 .544 3rd - N/A 0-0 .000
1995 53 31 .631 1st - N/A 3-1 .750 Won championship vs Winnipeg, 3-1
1996 45 40 .529 1st - East Division 5-0 1.000 Won semifinals vs Madison, 2-0
Won championship vs Fargo-Moorhead, 3-0
1997 45 39 .536 1st - East Division 2-3 .400 Lost semifinals vs Duluth-Superior, 3-2
1998 40 46 .465 1st - East Division 3-5 .375 Won semifinals vs Thunder Bay, 3-2
Lost championship vs Fargo-Moorhead, 3-0
1999 38 47 .447 2nd - East Division 0-0 .000
2000 43 43 .500 1st - East Division 2-3 .400 Lost quarterfinals vs Duluth-Superior, 3-2
2001 37 53 .411 6th - North Division 0-0 .000
2002 39 50 .438 8th - North Division 0-0 .000
2003 52 38 .578 2nd - East Division 2-3 .400 Lost semifinals vs Winnipeg, 3-2
2004 61 34 .642 1st - North Division 6-3 .667 Won semifinals vs Fargo-Moorhead, 3-1
Won championship vs Schaumburg, 3-2
2005 55 40 .579 1st - South Division 2-3 .400 Lost semifinals vs Gary, 3-2
American Association
2006 54 42 .563 2nd - North Division 5-4 .556 Won semifinals vs Lincoln, 3-1
Lost championship vs Fort Worth, 3-2
2007 57 39 .594 2nd - North Division 5-3 .625 Won semifinals vs Lincoln, 3-0
Lost championship vs Fort Worth, 3-2
2008 42 53 .438 5th - North Division 0-0 .000
2009 49 47 .510 2nd - North Division 0-0 .000
2010 45 51 .469 5th - North Division 0-0 .000
2011 56 44 .560 2nd - North Division 5-5 .500 Won semifinals vs Winnipeg, 3-2
Lost championship vs Grand Prairie 3-2
2012 52 48 .520 3rd - North Division 0-0 .000
2013 47 53 .470 3rd - North Division 0-0 .000
2014 48 52 .480 2nd - North Division 0-0 .000
2015 74 26 .740 1st - North Division 1-3 .250 Lost semifinals vs Sioux City, 3-1
2016 61 39 .610 1st - North Division 2-3 .400 Lost semifinals vs Winnipeg, 3-2
2017 48 52 .480 3rd - North Division 0-0 .000
2018 59 41 .590 2nd - North Division 4-4 .500 Won semifinals vs Gary, 3-1
Lost championship vs Kansas City, 4-1
2019 64 36 .640 1st - North Division 6-2 .750 Won semifinals vs Fargo-Moorhead, 3-2
Won championship vs Sioux City, 3-0
2020 30 30 .500 3rd - N/A 0-0 .000
Totals 1379 1180 .546  - 56-46 .549 4 Northern League championships
1 American Association championship

References

Specific
  1. ^ "Lowertown ballpark FAQs". Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ Havens, Chris (June 26, 2009) "Wish list: New home for Saints" Star Tribune. Retrieved on June 27, 2009
  3. ^ Orrick, Dave (June 25, 2009) "Now batting for the Saints: Bill Murray" Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved on June 27, 2009
  4. ^ Kimball, Joe (June 25, 2009) "Bill Murray shows his stripes; pushes stadium, skips mayor" MinnPost.com Retrieved on June 27, 2009
  5. ^ McClure, Jane (July 1, 2009) "City Unveils 2010 bonding requests" Villager
  6. ^ "American Association unveils plans for 2020 season". americanassociationbaseball.com. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e Rovell, Darren (April 17, 2006). "Another last laugh for the St. Paul Saints". ESPN.com. Retrieved .
  8. ^ https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-lifestyle/animal-house-turns-40-saints-are-throwing-a-food-fight-to-celebrate
  9. ^ https://www.mlb.com/cut4/st-paul-saints-plot-massive-on-field-twister-game-c249978870
  10. ^ "Saint Paul Saints hold world's largest pillow fight". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ "St. Paul Saints Baseball, Fun, & Pillows". Twins Daily. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ Townsend, Mark (April 27, 2013). "St. Paul Saints to replace umpires with judge and jury during May 11 exhibition game". Big League Stew. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2014.
  13. ^ Gryboski, Michael. "Minn. Baseball Team Changes Name From Saints to 'Aints' for Atheist Event". Christian Post. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ Jayne, Eric (29 July 2013). "Atheists and the 'Aints' -- seeking to dispel preconceived notions about our (non)beliefs". MinnPost. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ Block, Melissa (8 August 2013). "Minn. Minor League Baseball Team Goes Atheist For One Night". NPR. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ Shaw, Bob (4 August 2014). "St. Paul's atheists are coming out of the closet". Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2014.
  17. ^ Chin, Richard (June 17, 2011). "St. Paul Saints go ahead with 'Tweeting Wiener Boxer Shorts' giveaway despite congressman's resignation". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2014.
  18. ^ "Saints' gimmick jabs at Senate race". ESPN.com. Associated Press. 2009-05-23. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Minn. team's promotional giveaway features 'bobble foot' in toilet stall". USA Today. 2008-05-22. Retrieved .
  20. ^ "Saints Continue to Slide at Home Lose 7-3". 2007-08-20. Retrieved .
  21. ^ http://www.bobble--heads.com/bobbleheads/bobbleheads-election.html
  22. ^ http://saintsbaseball.com/team/news/saints-getting-new-home-radio-all-100-games-playoffs-broadcast-ihearts-alt-933-fm
General
  • aabfan.com - yearly league standings & awards (American Association)
  • nlfan.com - yearly league standings & awards (Northern League)

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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