California Tidals

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California Tidals
Founded in 1989
Los Angeles, California Usa.png
California tidals 2017.png
Team logo

Affiliations
League Bull League
Subleague Metropolitan League
Division West (1995-present)

East (1991-1994)

Team Info
Name California Tidals

Other nicknames The Waves


Colors Navy blue, white, aquamarine

              

Owner Adam Winsor

General manager Malik Saddler
Ballpark
Ballpark Tidals Ballpark
Former LAPark (1991-1993)
Titles
Bull Cup championships 2012—2013 (2)
League pennants 1993, 2000, 2012—2013, 2022 (5)
Division titles AEL East – 1993 (1)

AEL West – 2000—2001, 2006, 2010, 2012—2013 (6)

Playoff appearances (11) 1993, 2000—2001, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012—2014, 2020, 2022



The California Tidals are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The team competes in the Bull League playing in the Metropolitan League (ML) West division. They play their home games at Tidals Ballpark in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood.

The team was formed in 1989 as one of the Founding clubs of the original Bull League. They have remained in the same city and kept the same nickname for their entire history. They appeared in their first Bull Cup Championship Series in 1993, and lost to the Chicoutimi Cinquantes in five games. The team was somewhat successful but only made one further finals appearance, in 2010, before they returned to win two championships in a row in 2012 and 2013, becoming the fifth team to accomplish back-to-back Bull Cup wins.[1]

The team all-time win-loss record at the end of the 2019 season was 1038-1095 (.487).[2]

History

Pre-1995

The California Tidals were formed in 1989 as one of the original "Founding clubs" in the former Central League West division. When the league re-formed in 1991, they were moved to the American Eagle League's East division, despite being on the west coast.

Though the roster boasted the big-hitting Russian emigré, Yuri Yagaslov, who was selected as the Most Valuable Player in the American Eagle League in 1991 (together with Cola Classqiue of the Seattle Salts)

The California Tidals are another of the founding teams in the league, and were formed in 1989, originally in the Central League west division. When the league underwent its first major reorganization in 1991, the team was placed in the new American Eagle League's east division (despite being in one of the most westerly cities in the league). That season, the team went 13-17 (.433), and were 5 games behind the division pennant winners, Chicago Knights, who went on to win the Bull Cup championship.

Yagaslov led the AEL in home runs with 9 in that short, 30-game season. But there were few bright spots after the 1991 season, which was marked by terrible pitching. None of the starters on the roster at the end of the year had accumulated more than 2 wins.

In 1992, things went from bad to worse. The Tidals crashed to a 3-13 (.187) finish in the shortened half-length season. There was no league championship, and instead the team in each league with the best record moved on to the Bull Cup finals. That was the Seattle Salts that year, who had the exact opposite record to the Tidals, 13-3 (.812). It was a year marked by dominant pitching and absent offense all around the league, but the top hitter on the Tidals roster, Yagaslov again, still only managed a .171 average, with 1 homer and 2 RBIs.

Being in the weakest division helped California turn things around for 1993, however, and their 14-16 (.466) finish was good enough to take first place in the east. The Tidals, in their first-ever postseason, managed to squeeze out the Nevada Speeders in the AELCS, forcing a game 5 after a huge bounce-back 14-2 win in game 4. They won game 5 at home, in front of a sellout crowd of 49,913, by a one-run margin, 4-3.

California's luck ran out in the Bull Cup championships, however. The team fell to the Chicoutimi Cinquantes from the Lake League, in a series that went the distance again. It was a Cinquantes dream team, with future Hall of Fame names like Carl Simms and Iron Arm, and the very capable lefty Dandy Lundgren. But the real story of 1993 was that the Tidals were set to be disbanded after the season, and the players redistributed among the other teams in an off-season reorganization, in order to avoid having 4 west coast teams (with 1 always having to play in an east division). In their place, a new team called the Denver Highlanders would be created.

But the 1994 labor dispute put those plans on hold, and when the league reconvened in 1995, the Commissioner's office had decided to expand the league instead, keeping California but moving them into the more geographically correct west division. The Denver Highlanders were still added to the east, along with another expansion team, the Calgary Chinooks.

1995-1999: The Short Drought

Tidals logo 1995-2016
California Tidals logo (1995-2016)

The Tidals would fall back into irrelevance for the next few seasons, rising to 2nd place only once in five seasons, and recording their worst finish to date since the advent of the 80-game and longer seasons in 1995. In 1996, the club had a miserable 24-56 (.300) finish, which would stand as the record for many years to come.

Their poor showings earned them top draft picks, and some, like 1996 first-rounder Matthew Cross, were able to provide some big years, it would still be several seasons before the Tidals could compete again.

The closest they came was in 1998, when they placed 2nd behind the Richmond Ravens with a 43-37 (.537) record, just 6 games behind the leaders. California hurler Ricky Geraldo won the Sandy Koufax Award for his superb 10-3, 1.90 ERA season. Juan Bonito tied for the league lead in saves with 23, and two position players took home defensive awards. But the offense was still lacking, and they could not catch a hot Richmond team led by notables like Nick Dune and Ford Explorer, along with future Hall of Fame member Barry Bats.

2000-2004: George Slammer era

George Slammer in Tidals uniform
George Slammer played for the Tidals from 1999-2004

In 2000, the Tidals now had power coming from Matthew Cross and outfielder Ken Harrison, recent draftees, along with George Slammer, who had been acquired in free agency the year before, signing a massive (for the time) 6-year, $49.8 million contract. The six years he played with California would be some of his most productive, both for himself and for the team, leading to his eventual induction into the Hall of Fame years later in 2016.

As a Tidal, George hit .325, blasted 69 home runs, and drove in 240 runs, in addition to stealing 52 bases. Those offensive stats led to him winning three of his five Gold Crown Awards as a Tidal, and finishing 3rd in MVP voting in his best year as a Tidal, 2000, when he went .405 at the plate, over 76 games, hit 20 homers and drove in 64 runs, along with swiping a dozen bases.

He lived up to his name, "Slammer", hitting five during his career, including two in a California Tidals uniform. First came a Grand Slam homer against the San Diego Seagulls as part of a 4-for-5, 2-HR, 6 RBI game on July 9, 2000. Then it was an August 16, 2001 slammer off the Calgary Chinooks.

With Slammer in the lineup, the club made the playoffs in 2000 after a five-year absence (not including the labor-interrupted 1994 season). The Tidals were 45-35 (.563), and managed to eliminate the much stronger Calgary Chinooks, who had taken the Blue Rose Award for leading the league in team batting average and ERA. The Tidals took the Kingston Battlements the whole five games, but ultimately dropped the series 3-2. Eddie Clunker took home a Sandy Koufax Award, while future Hall of Fame closer Brian Peckham snagged the Woodchuck Trophy.

Led again by Slammer, the team returned to the playoffs the next year, but fell in a three-game sweep to the Carl Simms-led Nevada Speeders in the AELCS. Nevada was on fire, and went on to win the Bull Cup.

2005-2014: Back-to-back championship run

2015-Present: The long rebuild

General managers

California Tidals General Managers
Years Name Record Notes
2003–2007 Alex Gutierrez 197-203 (.493) Gutierrez oversaw the California Tidals for five seasons, bringing them to a playoff in 2006.
2012–2019 Jack Stinson 339-303 (.528) Stinson join the Tidals at the crest of their early 2010s successes, leading them to back-to-back Bull Cups in his first two seasons. After that, the aging roster and burgeoning payroll led to a collapse and the GM was replaced early in 2019.

Rivalries

The California Tidals have long-standing rivalries with two other AEL teams they have met frequently in the AELCS. The Tidals and the Calgary Inferno have met three times in the AELCS (2000, 2012 and 2013) with the Tidals defeating Calgary all three times. The club also has a rivalry with the Nevada Speeders going back to 1993, when the Tidals beat the Speeders in the AELCS and went on to win the Bull Cup. Nevada got revenge in 2001, sweeping the Tidals out of the AELCS and then going on to win their first Bull Cup. They met again in the 2006 AELCS when the Speeders swept the Tidals again.

Coast-to-Coast series

    See article: Coast-to-Coast series

The Tidals also have a long-standing and sometimes testy rivalry with the Miami Storm. Due to the teams being on opposing US coasts, the rivalry is dubbed the Coast-to-Coast series. The rivalry actually began much earlier, in 2000, when Miami was located in Kingston and named the Battlements and the two teams faced each other in the Bull Cup championships.

Retired Numbers

The California Tidals have retired two uniform numbers.

California Tidals Retired Uniform Numbers
California-7-retired.png

Ricky Geraldo
Pitcher
Retired 2012
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Brian Peckham
Pitcher
Retired 2010

Awards and Other Achievements

Player awards

Carl Simms MVP Award

    See article: Carl Simms MVP Award

Sandy Koufax Award

    See article: Sandy Koufax Award

Rookie of the Year Award

    See article: Rookie of the Year Award

Woodchuck Trophy

    See article: Woodchuck Trophy

Team records

For career hitting percentage records, 1,860 plate appearances are required. For career pitching percentage records, 500 innings pitched are required.

Statistic Single season record Career record
Player Record Year Player Record
Batting average Hiroki Omiya .287 2019 Carlos Mendoza .291
On base percentage Hiroki Omiya .410 2019 Tetsunosuke Ichimura .350
Slugging percentage Hiroki Omiya .611 2019 David Chinchilla .526
At bats Hiroki Omiya 578 2019 David Chinchilla 2,872
Runs Hiroki Omiya 96 2019 David Chinchilla 427
Hits Hiroki Omiya 166 2019 David Chinchilla 807
Doubles Hiroki Omiya 45 2019 David Chinchilla 175
Triples Carlos Mendoza 10 2009 Carlos Mendoza 36
Home runs Hiroki Omiya 46 2019 David Chinchilla 172
Runs batted in Hiroki Omiya 112 2019 David Chinchilla 534
Stolen bases Ron Berdahl 35 2019 Ken Harrison 99
Earned runs average Fernando Latorre 3.84 2019 Kyle Cahill 3.27
Wins Yutaka Muramoto 15 2019 Lien-ying Li 79
Losses 4 tied 13 Lien-ying Li 54
Saves Shi-min Chaim
Joe Niceley
28 2010
2013
Brian Peckham 153
Games pitched Shi-min Chaim 50 2019 Tommy Mallette 328
Games started Yutaka Morimoto 32 2019 Lien-ying Li 179
Complete games Lien-ying Li 9 2012 Lien-ying Li 39
Shutouts Lien-ying Li 3 2014 Lien-ying Li 8
Innings pitched Yutaka Morimoto 233.1 2019 Lien-ying Li 1,332.1
Strikeouts Yutaka Morimoto 160 2019 Lien-ying Li 1,111

Hall of Fame Players

The table below shows the players who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame who have played for the California Tidals. Players listed in bold were inducted wearing their Tidals uniform.

California Tidals Hall of Famers
Player Position Years as a Tidal Inducted
Iron Arm Pitcher 2007—2008 2014
Joe Balaski Center Field 2008—2011 2020
Chris Felix Third Baseman 1992—1995 2006
Ricky Geraldo Pitcher 1995—2003,
2009
2017
Mike Lapi Catcher 2009—2010 2017
Brian Peckham Pitcher 1999—2003,
2006—2009
2016
Bill Schaffer Right Field 2002 2009
George Slammer Left Field 1999—2004 2016
Paulo Tilano Third Baseman 2001—2002,
2004
2013

Championships

California-BC-2012-2013.png
Bull Cup champions
Preceded by:
Montreal Metros
20122013 Succeeded by:
Montreal Metros
Metropolitan League pennants
Preceded by:
Seattle Salts
1993 Succeeded by:
Richmond Ravens
(in 1995)
Preceded by:
Calgary Chinooks
2000 Succeeded by:
Nevada Speeders
Preceded by:
Richmond Ravens
20122013 Succeeded by:
Seattle Salts
Preceded by:
Calgary Inferno
2022 Current winners
Metropolitan League East division titles
Preceded by:
Chicago Knights
1993 Succeeded by:
Denver Highlanders
(in 1995)
Metropolitan League West division titles
Preceded by:
San Diego Seagulls
20002001 Succeeded by:
San Diego Seagulls
Preceded by:
Richmond Ravens
2006 Succeeded by:
Richmond Ravens
Preceded by:
Seattle Salts
2010 Succeeded by:
Richmond Ravens
Preceded by:
Richmond Ravens
20122013 Succeeded by:
Seattle Salts

Minor League Affiliations

California Tidals Minor League Affiliates
Level Team League Location
AAA Anaheim Pharaohs Cow League Anaheim, California
AA Wichita Joes Heifer League Wichita, Kansas
A Flagstaff Racers Calf League Flagstaff, Arizona
Short Season A Los Angeles Rage SoCal League Los Angeles, California
Rookie Orlando Tidals Florida Rookie League Orlando, FL

References

  1. California Tidals, Team Index. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/team_11_index.html. 2020/01/01. Accessed: 20 May 2019
  2. Bull Baseball League, Team Index. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/league_100_all_teams_index.html. 2020/01/01. Accessed: 20 May 2019