New Orleans Zephyrs
The New Orleans Zephyrs made news headlines by joining the Pacific Coast League in time for the 1998 season, but you could hardly call this franchise the new kid in town. The organization dates back to the 1901 and had stretches in the now-defunct Western League and American Association. At the time of its inception, the club was called the Kansas City Blues. That incarnation lasted through the 1954 season, when the club moved to Denver and became the Bears. The Denver team was renamed to the Zephyrs before the 1985 season, and the club moved to New Orleans before the 1993 season. When the American Association ceased operations following its 1997 campaign, the Zephyrs became members of the PCL. Through its long history, the team has been affiliated with nearly half the teams in Major League Baseball. Most recently, the Zephyrs have had a partnership with the Miami Marlins since 2009.
The Zephyrs play the home games on their schedule at Zephyr Field, which opened in 1997. The park has an official capacity of 10,000 and went through a major renovation project in 2006. The park's notable features include its two hot tubs, home run porch, a swimming pool and New Orleans-inspired menu items.
One Pacific Coast League Championship
A franchise that's been around as long as the Zephyrs should have a number of league championships under its belt, and the team has won its league 10 times, most recently in 2001. It's won titles in five decades, including two in the 1920s, three in the 1970s, two in the 1980s, two in the 1990s and one since 2000.
New Orleans Zephyrs Roster
Given the team's long history, many players have appeared on the Zephyrs roster -- or that of the Blues or Bears -- who went on to have success in Major League Baseball. These names include Greg Vaughn, Andre Dawson, Tim Wallach, Tim Raines, Graig Nettles and Terry Francona. More recently, names like Kevin Kouzmanoff, Jacob Turner, Cameron Maybin and Ricky Nolasco have appeared on the Zephyrs roster. Longtime MLB managers Felipe Alou and Billy Martin also began their managing careers with the Bears franchise.
During Spring Training, members of the Zephyrs share Roger Dean Stadium with other players from the Miami Marlins system. The park opened in 1998 and also serves as the Spring Training home of the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Ballpark Guide hasn't visited the New Orleans Zephyrs yet, but hopes to in the near future. If you're excited to read a fan guide to Zephyrs Field, check out the many ways you can support The Ballpark Guide on future baseball road trips.