The Tacoma Rainiers have been a member of the Pacific Coast League since 1960, giving the team the distinction of being the longest-standing club in the league. The organization has been known as the Rainiers since 1995, taking their name from the nearby Mount Rainier volcano. Prior to taking its current name, the team was known as the Giants, Cubs, Twins, Yankees, Tugs and Tigers. Throughout its history, the organization has been affiliated with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics and, since 1995, the Seattle Mariners. With just a half-hour separating the Rainiers from their parent club, the two teams have the shortest geographical distance of any Triple-A team and its MLB parent team.
The Rainiers play the home games on their schedule Cheney Stadium, a 9,600-capacity park that opened in 1960. It's been the home park since the organization's first season, and is named for a local businessman, the late Ben Cheney, who was instrumental in bringing professional baseball to Tacoma. The park has gone through a number of renovation projects, including one as recently as 2011. The renovation included the addition of more suites, a kids' play area, updated concession stands and a restaurant.
Pacific Coast League Championships
The Rainiers were crowned the Pacific Coast League's best in 2001 and 2010. In 2001, the league canceled its championship after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, naming Tacoma and the New Orleans Zephyrs joint champions. In 2010, Tacoma swept the Memphis Redbirds to claim the league title. The Rainiers have also won three conference titles and four division titles since 2001.
Tacoma Rainiers Roster
The Rainiers organization has seen a number of future MLB stars appear on its roster. When the team was the Tigers, future sluggers Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and Jason Giambi wore the team's colors. In the Rainiers inaugural season in 1995, a 19-year-old Alex Rodriguez made news headlines by belting 15 home runs in 54 games and hit .360 for the club. After two games in Tacoma in 1996, he was called up to Seattle. Future Baseball Hall of Fame member Juan Marichal played for the Tacoma Giants in 1960, compiling an 11-5 record in 18 starts.
During Spring Training, members of the Rainiers share the Peoria Sports Complex with other players from the Seattle Mariners system. The park opened in 1994 and has an official capacity of 12,882. Peoria Sports Complex is also the Cactus League home of the San Diego Padres and one of the host parks of the Arizona Fall League.
The Ballpark Guide hasn't visited the Tacoma Rainiers yet, but hopes to in the near future. If you're excited to read a fan guide to Cheney Stadium, check out the many ways you can support The Ballpark Guide on future baseball road trips.