Lodi Crushers

From BR Bullpen

Team History[edit]

The Lodi Crushers began play in the California League in 1966, helping smooth a rough spot in the Cali's history.

The circuit, founded in 1941, has been one of the minors' more volatile in terms of franchise movements. After the 1965 campaign, when it operated with six rather than its usual eight clubs, the Salinas Indians folded. Leagues that play almost daily and in series need an even number of teams, and eight makes a much better schedule than six. So the loop reactivated recently dormant franchises in Modesto, CA, and Reno, NV - but what to do for Team #8?

Then a group from Lodi, CA, stepped forward with all of $2,500 and scored the vacant Salinas franchise to balance the league. It began and ended a 19-season run playing as the Crushers, with other usually parent-based alternatives mixed in.

The run ended ignominiously. Following the 1983 season, their parent Dodgers dropped them after eight years. The Chicago Cubs picked them up, but after just one season they decided to consolidate all their farm teams east of the Mississippi River. "Inactive" in 1985, the club - which at this point was essentially again just a vacant franchise - was sold and moved to Ventura County. Unable to get a suitable stadium there, it played the 1986 season as the Ventura County Gulls at Ventura College's lightless, no-alcohol field. Not surprisingly, it was then sold and moved again - becoming the San Bernardino Spirit in 1987.

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1966 59-81 7th Don Elston (25-42) / Ray Perry (37-39)
1967 63-77 6th Walt Dixon
1968 75-65 3rd Jim Marshall / Al Heist
1969 57-83 8th Billy Klaus (43-62) / Warren Hacker (8-6) / Eli Grba (6-15)
1984 58-82 9th Junior Kennedy

Related Sites[edit]