Hollywood Stars

From BR Bullpen


Team History[edit]

The Hollywood Stars were longtime members of the Pacific Coast League. They began play in 1926 when the Salt Lake City Bees relocated to Southern California. Despite the club's "Hollywood" name, they played their home games in Los Angeles at Wrigley Field, a park they shared with the Los Angeles Angels of the PCL. The team couldn't compete with the already popular Angels, and the Stars relocated to San Diego after the 1935 season and became the San Diego Padres.

A second club called the Hollywood Stars began play in 1938 when the San Francisco Missions moved south. The club was purchased by Bob Cobb, owner of the famous Hollywood dinner spot, The Brown Derby, and at various times many movie stars, including Gracie Allen, Gene Autry, George Burns, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Cecil B. DeMille, William Powell and Barbara Stanwyck, had an interest (Elizabeth Taylor was a batgirl in her teens).

For the club's first season, they shared Wrigley Field with the Angels, and in 1939, the team moved into Gilmore Field. The Stars proximity to Hollywood (CBS' Television City was next door to the park) meant that stars often filled the box seats, and also that the Stars broke some baseball-on-television ground. The Stars were first televised in 1939 and in the 1940s they were the first club to televise its home games.

The second incarnation of the Stars became one of the top PCL teams, winning pennants in 1949, 1952, and 1953, in part due to an arrangement they worked out with the Brooklyn Dodgers to receive Dodger prospects in exchange for Brooklyn having right of first refusal on Stars players. When Branch Rickey moved to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Stars became an official affiliate of Pittsburgh's during the team's last years.

The Brooklyn Dodgers' announcement that they were relocating to Los Angeles led to the Stars' demise. The club was sold to Utah businessman Nick Morgan for $175,000 after the 1957 season and relocated, ironically, to Salt Lake City.

Perhaps the two most notable things about the team historically are the team's adoption of shorts as part of the uniform for a short while in the 1950s, and the team's location - players often got the chance to associate with movie starlets, something lacking in other minor league towns.

70 years after the disappearance of the PCL stars, the name was revived by a team in the independent Pecos League. That team also played a schedule of games against members of the Canadian-American Association in 2018, taking over the games that the Dominican Republic Team was unable to play due to transportation issues.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1926 94-107 6th Oscar Vitt none
1927 92-104 6th Oscar Vitt none
1928 112-79 3rd Oscar Vitt
1929 113-89 3rd Oscar Vitt League Champs
1930 119-81 1st Oscar Vitt League Champs
1931 104-83 2nd Oscar Vitt Lost League Finals
1932 106-83 2nd Oscar Vitt none
1933 107-80 3rd Oscar Vitt none
1934 97-88 3rd Oscar Vitt
1935 73-99 8th Frank Shellenback
1938 79-99 7th Red Killefer
1939 82-94 6th Red Killefer
1940 84-94 6th Bill Sweeney
1941 85-91 4th Bill Sweeney Lost in 1st round
1942 75-103 7th Ossie Vitt
1943 73-82 5th Charlie Root
1944 83-86 6th Charlie Root
1945 73-110 8th Buck Fausett
1946 95-88 3rd Buck Fausett (66-65) / Jimmie Dykes (29-23) Lost in 1st round
1947 88-98 6th Jimmie Dykes
1948 84-104 6th Jimmie Dykes (65-88) / Lou Stringer / Mule Haas
1949 109-78 1st Fred Haney League Champs
1950 104-96 3rd Fred Haney none
1951 93-74 2nd Fred Haney Lost League Finals
1952 109-71 1st Fred Haney none
1953 106-74 1st Bobby Bragan none
1954 101-68 2nd Bobby Bragan Lost in 1st round
1955 91-81 3rd (t) Bobby Bragan none
1956 85-83 4th Clay Hopper none
1957 94-74 3rd Clyde King none
2017 20-39 4th Sean McNeil
2018 1-8 8th T.J. Zarewicz

Further Reading[edit]

  • Dick Beverage: The Hollywood Stars, Arcadia Publishers, Mount Pleasant SC, 2005.
  • Richard E. Beverage: "When the Angels and Stars Ruled Los Angeles", in Jean Hastings Ardell and Andy McCue, ed.: Endless Seasons: Baseball in Southern California, The National Pastime, SABR, Number 41, 2011, pp. 113-115.
  • Michael Clair: "Hollywood Stars beat White Sox to shorts: A long history of short shorts", mlb.com, February 7, 2022. [1]
  • Dan Taylor: Lights, Camera, Fastball: How the Hollywood Stars Changed Baseball, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2021. ISBN 978-1538138625