The Edmonton Trappers of Edmonton, Alberta, played 24 seasons in the Pacific Coast League. Over that time, they served as the Triple-A affiliate of six different MLB teams. The Trappers began when notorious businessman and Edmonton Oilers’ owner Peter Pocklington purchased the Ogden A’s after their 1980 season and moved the franchise north of the border.
The Trappers took to the field in 1981 wearing red and white uniforms with the team name spelled out in cursive across the cap. They also introduced a very memorable logo of a bearded trapper wearing a coonskin cap, Hudson Bay wool coat, and snowshoes. The trapper was squatting and holding a mitt, giving the vague impression of a baseball catcher. By ’82, this mountain man was squatting on bright red caps.
Edmonton was affiliated with the White Sox for their first two seasons. Considering that they were a Triple-A team, this was a fairly quiet time on the diamond, with Ron Kittle being the most notable alum. In 1983, they latched on with the Angels, and this affiliation would last for ten consecutive years. Though they kept the same color scheme, they wore uniforms that were similar to California’s of the time, with the mountain man now on navy blue caps–a look that would last through the Angels days. Notable alums from this fruitful period include Gary Pettis, Dick Schofield, Wally Joyner, Devon White, Dante Bichette, Bryan Harvey, Gary Disarcina, Chad Curtis, Jim Edmonds, Damion Easley, and Tim Salmon.
1993 was certainly a year of change for the Trappers. They parted ways with the Angels and signed on with the fresh Florida Marlins. They adapted elements of Florida’s red-hot branding scheme, including a switch of team colors to black and teal. The Marlins era lasted only two short years, and the team’s roster was stocked with players from the expansion draft, some of whom could still be considered prospects. Of that category, the biggest name is probably Carl Everett.
In ’95, the Trappers signed on with the Oakland Athletics. Though they kept the teal and black, they changed their logo for the first time. The squatter was out and a new mountain man took his place. This new coonskin cap-wearer was leaner and more stern-looking, with a giant handlebar mustache. Edmonton and Oakland were partners for four good years, and players included Jason Giambi, Tony Batista, Ben Grieve, and Miguel Tejada.
Following the A’s days, Edmonton reconnected with the Angels–who were now in their Anaheim time. David Eckstein is the only alum worth mentioning from this two-year period, though the era is also notable for another redesign of the Trappers brand. Teal wasn’t as hip as it was in the previous millennium, and the team opted for a rustic, woodsy forest green and tan combo. They also dropped the mountain man completely, and their new cap logo was a capital letter E, intentionally rough-looking and stretched out. In the lower left corner of the letter was the classic Canadian maple leaf.
After the second Angels stint came two more two-year affiliations. In ’01 and ’02, it was the Minnesota Twins, and future big-leaguers to wear the green and tan included Grant Balfour, Kyle Lohse, and Michael Cuddyer. In 2003, the Canadian connection kicked up, as Edmonton linked with The Montréal Expos. There aren’t really isn’t much to note from this period, other than that it was the last gasp for both the parent club and the Trappers.
After the 2003 season, the franchise was sold to Nolan Ryan’s family, and these Texans had no intention of keeping the team in Alberta. Edmonton set their last trap at the end of a lame duck season in 2004. The franchise was moved to Round Rock, Texas, where they now play as the Round Rock Express.