One-year wonders

Sometimes a team identity only exists for a single season. It’s a relatively rare phenomenon, but has happened several times in the vast annals of the minors, particularly during the era that has been called “the Subsistence Years” of the sixties and seventies. These days, a one-year wonder is almost unheard of, and as of this writing, the last was the Greenville Bombers in 2005.

There are several reasons that can explain a one-year wonder. Of the list that I have thus far compiled, a little over half are parent club-based identities; many of which existed in the aforementioned Subsistence Years of the minors. These days, PDCs signed between MLB teams and their farm clubs have a minimum of two years, but if you go back in time a few decades, PDCs could be signed year-to-year. This is why we see, for instance, the WCL Anderson franchise having four one-year wonder identities in four consecutive seasons. They simply took on a new parent-club identity each year. Another reason is when a team is a one-year placeholder team, with the identity expected to temporary from the get-go. In some cases, a team takes a new brand that doesn’t click with the fans, so they scrap it. Some teams are just plain weird, and being a one-year wonder is only part of their story.

This is a live and continuously-updating page, and not yet a comprehensive list of these teams. I am simply adding to it casually each time I uncover a relevant team. As of now, only teams that played from 1963-present are included. Because so many of these entries are a result of the mix of unstable PDCs and COTOB branding (especially in the ’70s and ’80s) the list is broken into two sub-categories: Unique and COTOB/DimDer.

 

Unique One-Year Wonder Identities

Auburn Americans (New York-Penn League, 1980)
Auburn Red Stars (New York-Penn League, 1979)
Auburn Sunsets (New York-Penn League, 1978)
Bend Timber Hawks (Northwest League, 1978)
Boise Buckskins (Northwest League, 1978)
Danville 97s (Carolina League, 1998)
Danville Suns (Midwest League, 1982)
Daytona Beach Admirals (Florida State League, 1987)
Deerfield Beach/Winter Haven Sun Sox (Florida State League, 1966)
DeLand Sun Caps (Florida State League, 1970)
Gastonia Jets (South Atlantic League, 1985)
Grays Harbor Ports (Northwest League, 1976)
Greensboro Patriots (Carolina League, 1968)
Greenville Bombers (South Atlantic League, 2005)
High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms (Western Carolinas League, 1968)
Idaho Falls Nuggets/Eagles (Pioneer League, 1985)
Idaho Falls Gems (Pioneer League, 1992)
Key West Sun Caps (Florida State League, 1971)
Lodi Lions (California League, 1973)
Lodi Orions (California League, 1972)
Madison Hatters (Midwest League, 1994)
New Westminster Frasers (Northwest League, 1974)
Peninsula Pennants (Carolina League, 1974)
Peoria Suns (Midwest League, 1983)
Pocatello Posse (Pioneer League, 1993)
Princeton Patriots (Appalachian League, 1990)
Queens Kings (New York-Penn League, 2000)
River City Rumblers (Appalachian League, 1995)
Rock Hill Wrens (Western Carolinas League, 1963)
Rocky Mount Pines (Carolina League, 1980)
Shelby Rebels (Western Carolinas League, 1965)
Sumter Flyers (South Atlantic League, 1995)
Tacoma Tugs (Pacific Coast League, 1979)
Thetford Mines Miners (Eastern League, 1975)
Tri-City Ports (Northwest League, 1974)
Tri-City Triplets (Northwest League, 1973)
Ventura County Gulls (California League, 1986)
Victoria Toros (Texas League, 1974)
Virginia Generals (Carolina League, 1988)
(Walla Walla) Blue Mountain Bears (Northwest League, 1983)
Wilmington Waves (South Atlantic League, 2001)

Also:

Winnipeg Whips (International League 1970-1971) a “one-and-a-half-year wonder”

 

COTOB/DimDer

Alexandria Mariners (Carolina League, 1979)
Anderson Giants (Western Carolinas League, 1972)
Anderson Mets (Western Carolinas League, 1974)
Anderson Rangers (Western Carolinas League, 1975)
Anderson Tigers (Western Carolinas League, 1973)
Berkshire Brewers (Eastern League, 1976)
Burlington (NC) Rangers (Carolina League, 1972)
Charleston (SC) Pirates (Western Carolinas League, 1978)
Columbus (GA) Indians (South Atlantic League, 1991)
Columbus (GA) White Sox (Southern League, 1969)
Elmira Royals (Eastern League, 1971)
El Paso (Sun) Dodgers (Texas League, 1972)
Fort Lauderdale Red Sox (Florida State League, 1993)
Gastonia Tigers (South Atlantic League, 1986)
Glens Falls Redbirds (New York-Penn League, 1993)
Grays Harbor Mets (Northwest League, 1979)
Greenville Rangers (Western Carolinas League, 1972)
High Point-Thomasville Royals (Western Carolinas League, 1969)
Jamestown Braves (New York-Penn League, 1967)
Jamestown Dodgers (New York-Penn League, 1966)
Key West Cubs (Florida State League, 1975)
Key West Padres (Florida State League, 1969)
Macon Redbirds (South Atlantic League, 1983)
Maine Phillies (International League, 1988)
Medicine Hat A’s (Pioneer League, 1977)
Middlesboro Cubsox (Appalachian League, 1963)
Monroe Pirates (Western Carolinas League, 1971)
Orangeburg Cardinals (Western Carolinas League, 1973)
Orangeburg Dodgers (Western Carolinas League, 1974)
Peninsula Astros (Carolina League, 1969)
Peninsula Senators (Carolina League, 1963)
Piedmont Phillies (South Atlantic League, 1995)
Pittsfield Astros (New York-Penn League, 2001)
Raleigh-Durham Mets (Carolina League, 1968)
Raleigh-Durham Phillies (Carolina League, 1969)
Rhode Island Red Sox (International League, 1976)
Rockford Reds (Midwest League, 1999)
Rocky Mount Senators (Carolina League, 1964)
Salinas Indians (California League, 1965)
Salisbury Senators (Western Carolinas League, 1968)
Santa Clara Padres (California League, 1979)
Shelby Senators (Western Carolinas League, 1969)
Shelby Yankees (Western Carolinas League, 1964)
Statesville/Monroe Indians (Western Carolinas League, 1969)
Stockton Mariners (California League, 1978)
Sumter Astros (Western Carolinas League, 1971)
Sumter Indians (Western Carolinas League, 1970)
Tacoma Yankees (Pacific Coast League, 1978)
Thetford Mines Pirates (Eastern League, 1974)
Tri-City A’s (Northwest League, 1969)
Vermont Mariners (Eastern League, 1988)
Waterbury Angels (Eastern League, 1984)
Waterbury A’s (Eastern League, 1979)
Winter Haven Mets (Florida State League, 1967)

Also:

Walla Walla Islanders (Northwest League, 1972) A COTOB affiliate of the Hawaii Islanders, a Pacific Coast League team

 

Teams from the Gulf States League–a one-year wonder league in 1976

Baton Rouge Cougars
Beeville Bees
Corpus Christi Seagulls
Rio Grande Valley White Wings
Seguin Toros
Victoria Cowboys

 

Teams from Lone Star League–a one-year wonder league in 1977

Beeville Blazers
Corpus Christi Seagulls
Harlingen Suns
McAllen Dusters
Texas City Stars
Victoria Rosebuds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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