Southern Oregon A's
The Southern Oregon Timberjacks were a minor league baseball team based in Medford, Oregon. The team played in the short-season single-A Northwest League from 1979 to 1999 and were an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. They played their home games at Miles Field in south Medford.
The Timberjacks came into the Northwest League to fill the void left by the departed Medford Giants (1967–1968) and Rogue Valley/Medford Dodgers (1969–1971). They were originally known as the Medford Athletics (or Medford A's) (1979–1987), then changed their name to the Southern Oregon Athletics (or Southern Oregon A's) (1988–1995), and then eventually to the Southern Oregon Timberjacks (1996–1999). They were 6-time Southern Division Champions (1981–1984, 1988–1989) and won the Northwest League Championship twice (1981 and 1983).
In 1982, former minor league pitcher Fred Herrmann was named the team's general manager and then became the team's majority owner in 1985.
As a minor league baseball franchise, the Timberjacks had featured future major league players such as Greg Cadaret, José Canseco, Rod Beck, Scott Brosius, Jason Giambi, Tim Hudson, Jason Windsor, Sean Triplett, Miguel Tejada and Eric Byrnes.
Relocation controversy and stadium demise
Finally on October 26, 1999, Herrmann announced that the franchise would relocate to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and in 2000, they completed their move and were renamed the "new" Vancouver Canadians. The "original" Canadians franchise from the triple-A Pacific Coast League was renamed the Sacramento River Cats following their move at the same time. Both teams continued to be affiliated with the Oakland A's until 2011, when the Canadians decided to re-affiliate with the Toronto Blue Jays. The current Canadians do not show any history or records of the Timberjacks at their official website, though their relocation is mentioned one time on the media guide page.
Herrmann did attempt to bring a Western Baseball League team to Medford to replace the Timberjacks (Despite long standing rules that prohibited affiliated owners having a financial interest in independent baseball teams). However, those plans fell through when the potential owners, including Herrmann, failed to come up with the money necessary to establish a team. After four years without a professional team and despite efforts to rebuild and restore historic Miles Field, the city of Medford ordered the deteriorating stadium be torn down in 2004 to make way for a new Wal-Mart SuperCenter.
In 2004, the city council of Medford orchestrated an agreement with the new Harry & David Field that a professional team will not be allowed to play at the new ballpark which currently hosts the collegiate wood bat Medford Rogues, the American Legion baseball Medford Mustangs and youth baseball. Despite previous efforts to bring pro baseball back to Medford, the decision stands to this day.
|1981||42-28||1st||Brad Fischer||League Champs|
|1982||53-17||1st||Dennis Rogers||Lost playoffs|
|1983||50-18||1st||Dennis Rogers||League Champs|
|1984||45-29||2nd||Dennis Rogers||Lost playoffs|
|1985||33-41||6th (t)||Grady Fuson|
|1988||46-30||1st||Lenn Sakata||Lost in finals|
|1989||45-30||1st||Grady Fuson||Lost in finals|
- Southern Oregon Timberjacks at Baseball-Reference
- Southern Oregon Timberjacks' original website (archive.org)
- Southern Oregon Timberjacks' profile at Minor League baseball website (1998) (archive.org)
- Southern Oregon Timberjacks year-by-year records, statistics and rosters at The Baseball Cube
- Northwest League Team History (1990-1997)
- Northwest League Team History (1998-2005)