Updated: Oct 11, 2020
In 2001, in a tribute to its first 100 years, Minor League Baseball listed 100 of the greatest minor league teams. The San Francisco Seals have four teams on that list. While each of these teams dominated the competition, they have been lost to history. The names on the rosters have long been forgotten. These are their stories.
Led by manager Danny Long, the Seals went 132-80 on their way to the PCL title. Only two other minor league teams have won more games than the 1909 Seals. The Seal’s first championship season was dominated by pitching. Incredibly they had two 30 game winners; Frank Browning won 32 and lost 16, setting a PCL record which has stood the test of time by winning 16 straight games. The other 30 game winner on the team was Cack Henley who won 31 and lost 10. With this being the Dead Ball era, it is only fitting that their most potent offensive weapon was Ping Bodi who lead the team with 10 home runs, an impressive number in those days. The entire team only hit 28 home runs the whole season. They led the PCL in doubles (292), hits (1,685), runs (836) and stolen bases (349). The team was ranked 71st on the 100 Best Minor League Teams list.
Dots Miller led this team to a 127-72 record. While they did not win as many games as the 1909 squad, the Seals featured three 20 game winners. Jim Scott won 25 and lost nine, Ollie Mitchell won 24 and lost seven while Bob Geary won 20 and lost nine. Willie Kamm led the team with 20 home runs and the rest of the team hit 58. The Seals led the league in batting (.298), runs (1,085) and triples (79). The team was ranked 44th on the 100 Best Minor League Teams list.
Herbert Ellison led the Seals to a 128-71 record and the PCL championship. The team had four 20 game winners; Guy Williams won 21 games while Doug McWeeny, Ollie Mitchell and Bob Geary each won 20 games. They were explosive on offense like never before; Frank Bower hit an incredible 36 home runs, Babe Ellison hit 22 home runs and Pete Kilduff and Sam Agnew each hit 20 home runs. The team led the league in hits (2,059), runs (1,129), total bases (3,053) and RBI (1,019). They were considered the best team in the first quarter century of the league and are ranked 10th on the 100 Best Minor League Teams list.
Nick Williams managed this team to the PCL championship with a 120-71 record. Dutch Ruther won 29 games, Elmer Jacobs won 22 and Duster Mails won 20 in the championship season. Smead Jolley led the club with 46 home runs and Earl Averill was second with 36; the team led the PCL with 182 home runs. The Seals also led the league in batting average (.308), hits (2,059), runs (1,129), total bases (3,053) and RBI (1,019). The team was ranked 50th on the 100 Best Minor League Baseball Teams list.