Walla Walla Padres

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Walla Walla Padres
Walla Walla, Washington
PreviousShort-season A (1973–1982)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueNorthwest League (1973–1982)
Northwest League (1969–1972)
Western Tri-State League (1912–1914)
Island Empire League (1902, 1908)
DivisionNorth (1977–1982)
South (1975–1976)
East (1974)
Major league affiliations
PreviousSan Diego Padres (1973–1982)
Philadelphia Phillies (1969-1971)
Hawaii Islanders (1972)
Minor league titles
League titles 1973, 1976
Division titles 1972, 1973*, 1976, 1979
Team data
Previous names
Walla Walla Padres (1973–1982)
Walla Walla Bears (1983, 1969, 1912-1914)
Walla Walla Phillies (1970-1971)
Walla Walla Islanders (1972)
Walla Walla Walla Wallas (1891, 1902, 1908)
Previous parks
Borleske Stadium

The Walla Walla Padres was the primary name of a minor league baseball team in the northwest United States, located in Walla Walla, Washington. The Padres were members of the short-season Class A Northwest League for ten years, from 1973 through 1982. The franchise began play as a Phillies affiliate in 1969 after early Walla Walla teams played through the early 1900s. The modern teams played at Borleske Stadium..

Walla Walla won the league title in 1973[1] and 1976,[2] and were runners-up in 1979.[3][4][5]

The team relocated back to the Tri-Cities after the 1982 season and became the Triplets, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers;[6] the San Diego Padres moved their affiliation to Spokane, which had just lost its Triple-A team to Las Vegas.[6] The independent Blue Mountain Bears were the NWL team in Walla Walla for a season in 1983.

Previous teams[edit]

In 1972, the Bend Rainbows relocated to Walla Walla and became the Walla Walla Islanders, an affiliate of the Triple-A Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League, whose parent club was the San Diego Padres. The Padres also had a team in the NWL, the Tri-City Padres in Kennewick, Washington. The teams merged operations prior to the 1973 season and became the Walla Walla Padres.[7]

The Tri-City team became an independent for two seasons, known as the Triplets (1973) and the Ports (1974), and then folded.

The Ballpark[edit]

Walla Walla teams played at Borleske Stadium, located at 409 West Rees Avenue in Walla Walla, Washington. The stadium is still in use today.[8]

Notable players[edit]

Two future hall of famers played for the team: shortstop Ozzie Smith (1977) and outfielder Tony Gwynn (1981). Their NWL batting averages were .301 for Smith and .331 for Gwynn.

Other future major leaguers included Joe McIntosh (1974–1975), Eric Show (1978), Ron Tingley (1977–1978), Bob Geren (1979–1980), Mark Parent (1979), Greg Booker (1981), John Kruk (1981), Jimmy Jones (1982), Gene Walter (1982) and Mitch Williams (1982). Gene Walter (1982), and Mitch Williams (1982). Geren and Parent both became managers with different teams (Geren with the Oakland A's of MLB and Parent with the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League).

Notable alumni[edit]

Baseball Hall of Fame alumni[edit]

Other notable alumni[edit]

Yearly records[edit]

Northwest League

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1973 51–29 1st Cliff Ditto one division, no playoffs
1974 47–37 2nd East Cliff Ditto
1975 48–31 2nd South Cliff Ditto
1976 46–26 1st South Cliff Ditto defeated Portland Mavericks, 2-1 [2]
1977 41–27 2nd North Cliff Ditto
1978 45–24 2nd North Cliff Ditto
1979 40–30 1st North Curt Daniels lost to Central Oregon Phillies, 1-2 [5]
1980 35–34 3rd North Curt Daniels
1981 29–41 3rd North Bill Bryk
1982 32–38 3rd North Jim Skalen


  1. ^ "Northwest League standings: final". Ellensburg Daily Record. September 1, 1973. p. 4.
  2. ^ a b "Walla Walla wins NWL". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. September 7, 1976. p. 6C.
  3. ^ "Phils brace for shot at NWL title". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. staff and wire reports. August 31, 1979. p. 13.
  4. ^ Pritchett, John (September 1, 1979). "NWL season reduced to 3 games". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 12.
  5. ^ a b Welch, Bob (September 4, 1979). "Phillies win themselves a flag". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. 15.
  6. ^ a b Stewart, Chuck (January 8, 1983). "Koentopp leading baseball back to Spokane". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 15.
  7. ^ "Padres switch". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. September 14, 1972. p. 37.
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140819023027/http://wallawallasweets.com/stadium/history/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°04′37″N 118°20′10″W / 46.077°N 118.336°W / 46.077; -118.336