Monday, November 8, 2010


For Visalia die-hards, "1978" still holds a certain mystique. It was the greatest team the city has seen, and the last to win the California League championship. It dominated the league in nearly every statistical category, and won the title on a thrillingly climactic final day of the season...when they had to win twice.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Back in Black & White

Clever titles are optional, and feel free to supply your own. But after an exciting season (Visalia was in the playoff race until the final day), we're back with more semi-regular updates. We've also added a second page to the blog (see "Trophy Case" across the top of the page) with everything Visalia has won since entering the California League in 1946. Sure, the club has managed to win the league only twice, but you might be surprised by how many other times they've been agonizingly close. Individual award-winners are also listed, and you might recognize some of the names.

Also, there's this:
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We believe this was taken in the early 50s at the same baseball clinic that this picture is from. Unfortunately, we can't be sure. But it's definitely Rec Park in the old Wooden Grandstand Era. The batter gets points for style and effort; no points, however, for failing to rotate his hips on the swing (or make contact, for that matter). Hey, for all we know, it was a filthy pitch.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Where'd We Go? Nowhere!

If you're wondering why there've been no new blog posts in recent weeks, there's a very good's baseball season again! Since I have several dozen other things to attend to during the best time of the year, the blog naturally has to shift to the backburner over the Summer months.

Fear not, however; come late September, we'll be back with more Visalia baseball, local, and, uh, early-breaking.

Until then, please tune in to KJUG AM 1270 for broadcasts of every Rawhide game in the Visalia area, or listen from anywhere in the world at

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Sporting Life

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This was one of many local amateur teams that sprung up in the early 1880s after the first baseball game in Visalia. It's a shame that modern teams don't still pose like these distinguished gentlemen did (especially the two guys in front). Also, we've got to find some excuse to bring the candycane hats back. And the high socks...well, they're just classy.

This photo (found in the 1982 team program) also proves the incredible heritage of the Simpson family in Visalia baseball lore. John Simpson (top row, far left) was the great-great grandfather of Stan Simpson, who owned the Visalia Oaks during the 1980s and has been a passionate supporter of local sports his entire life.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Random Gems: Buy Ticket, Win Car

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You just can't buy $1 raffle tickets and win a car anymore. Those were the good old days, I guess.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Love the 80s

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Well, with posters like this, who wouldn't?

I highly recommend clicking on this brilliant image and enjoying it in full, large format. Make sure to take note of every little detail* (including the late-80s "Flying Acorn" logo, which is one of my favorite Visalia logos of all time).

Then, read how the two pitchers in this classic shot fared after the jump.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Programs from the Past: 1951

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This was the cover of the Visalia Cubs' 1951 official program. It's interesting to contemplate the fact that baseball was already celebrating 75th anniversaries in the early 1950s. While it may be initially unclear why they chose 1876 as the beginning of baseball (the sport had been evolving since a few decades prior), it's likely that they were referencing the formation of the National League, which was indeed founded in 1876 after the old National Association had folded. Major League Baseball still considers 1876 to be its founding year (even though the American League wouldn't join forces to create the familiar two-league system until 1901).

Full contents of the '51 program are viewable after the jump.