Fresno Grizzlies

The Fresno Grizzlies are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. They are located in Fresno, California, and play their home games at Chukchansi Park which opened in 2002 and has a capacity of 10,500, after previously playing at Pete Beiden Field from 1998 to 2001. The Grizzlies won the PCL championship in 2015, making it the only league title in franchise history. All games are broadcast on KRDU with Doug Greenwald handling the play-by-play.

Fresno Grizzlies
Founded in 1998
Fresno, California
Team logo
CurrentTriple-A (1998–present)
Minor league affiliations
LeaguePacific Coast League (1998–present)
ConferencePacific Conference
DivisionNorthern Division
Major league affiliations
CurrentWashington Nationals (2019–present)
Minor league titles
Class titles (1)2015
League titles (1)2015
Conference titles (2)
  • 2015
  • 2018
Division titles (3)
  • 1998
  • 2015
  • 2018
Team data
NicknameFresno Grizzlies (1998–present)
ColorsScarlet, black, beige, brown[1][2]
MascotParker T. Bear
BallparkChukchansi Park (2002–present)
Previous parks
Pete Beiden Field (1998–2001)
Fresno Sports and Events
ManagerRandy Knorr
General ManagerDerek Franks


Prior professional baseball in Fresno

Professional baseball first came to Fresno in 1898 when it had a team in the original California League. The team dropped out of the league after that year but returned in 1905. In 1906, the Tacoma Tigers of the Pacific Coast League moved to Fresno, playing as the Fresno Raisin Eaters for one season before moving to Sacramento for the 1907 season. In the intervening years before the arrival of the Grizzlies, Fresno fielded teams in the California State League in 1910 and 1913, and in the current California League from 1941 through 1988, including the Fresno Cardinals (1941–1956), Fresno Sun Sox (1957), Fresno Giants (1958–1987), and Fresno Suns (1988).

San Francisco Giants (1998–2014)

When Major League Baseball awarded an expansion team (the Arizona Diamondbacks) to Phoenix, Arizona, that would begin playing in 1998, the Phoenix Firebirds of the Pacific Coast League (the San Francisco Giants' Triple-A affiliate) were forced to move. The Firebirds moved to Tucson, Arizona and changed their name to the Tucson Sidewinders while changing their affiliation to the Diamondbacks. That prompted the Tucson Toros to move to Fresno, giving Fresno its first PCL team since 1906. The Toros were renamed the Grizzlies and became the Giants' new Triple-A affiliate.[3]

From 1998 through 2001 the Grizzlies played at Pete Beiden Field at California State University, Fresno, before moving to Chukchansi Park.

During the team's 11-year history in Fresno, it has had several different owners. In October 2005, the team was sold again, this time to Fresno Baseball Club LLC, headquartered in Delaware.

The team hosted such promotions as K-Fed Night and Second Chance Night in 2006; The Price Is Right Night in 2007; and Totally Rad 80s Night featuring The Karate Kid star Billy Zabka in May 2008.

Parker, the Grizzlies mascot, was named Best Mascot of 2007 by GameOps, beating out all other major and minor league mascots. The Grizzlies former mascot, Wild Thing, "retired" in 2006 after eight years as the team's mascot.[4] Chukchansi Park is also home to the Drag Kings, the Grizzlies' dancing grounds crew who were given an honorable mention by GameOps as Best Entertainment act. The Grizzlies won the Minor League Baseball Promotion of the Year award in 2008 for their "Mascot Showdown" featuring Parker and the Phillie Phanatic. The team's opening day catcher in 2010, Buster Posey, would be the San Francisco Giants' starting catcher for the World Series six months later (the Giants' starting catcher for most of their World Championship season, Bengie Molina, would start for their opponents, the Texas Rangers), resulting in his National League Rookie of the Year award that year.

Houston Astros (2015–2018)

In 2015, they became an affiliate of the Houston Astros.[5] That season, they won the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game by defeating the Columbus Clippers, 7–0, in El Paso, Texas.

Following the 2017 season, Grizzlies manager Tony DeFrancesco announced he would not return to the Houston Astros organization for the 2018 season. DeFrancesco led Fresno to a winning record in each of his three seasons at the helm, his clubs compiling a record of 234–194 (.547) from 2015–2017. The run marked the first time in franchise history (since 1998) the Grizzlies completed three consecutive winning seasons.[6]

On January 19, 2018, Rodney Linares was named the 10th manager in Grizzlies history.[7] The team was sold to Fresno Sports and Events, a group led by Ray and Michael Baker, part owners of the Colorado Rockies and Grand Junction Rockies, and Jim Coufos, a prior investor in the High Desert Mavericks, in a transaction that was made official on February 27, 2018.[8]

The Astros declined to renew their player-development contract with Fresno beyond the 2018 season.[9][5]

Washington Nationals (2019–present)

On September 18, 2018, the Fresno Grizzlies and Washington Nationals agreed to a player-development contract for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.[10]

The team unveiled new logos, colors, and uniforms on January 29, 2019. While retaining the Grizzlies name and grizzly bear imagery, the team switched to a red, black, beige, and brown color scheme with logos and uniforms that resemble the flag of California.[1]

The 2012 family film Parental Guidance features Billy Crystal as the radio voice of the Fresno Grizzlies. The Grizzlies gained national attention in summer 2015 for playing a game as The Fresno Tacos, which was done to celebrate the city of Fresno's annual Taco Truck Throwdown and came complete with a specially designed tacos uniform.[11]


Fresno Grizzlies roster
Players Coaches/Other







7-day injured list
* On Washington Nationals 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated November 3, 2019
→ More rosters: MiLB  Pacific Coast League
Washington Nationals minor league players

Notable alumni


  1. "Fresno Grizzlies unveil new color scheme, logos and uniforms". MLB Advanced Media. January 29, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  2. Heneghan, Kelise (January 29, 2019). "Fresno reimagines 'Growlifornia' dream". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  3. "Team History". Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  4. {{cite web|url= mascot retires|access-date=August 10, 2019|date=March 18, 2006|publisher=Milb
  5. "Fresno Grizzlies will have new Major League affiliate for 2019 season". Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  6. "Tony DeFrancesco will not return to Houston Astros/Fresno Grizzlies in 2018". Fresno Grizzlies. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  8. "New Fresno Grizzlies Owners Finalized; Chukchansi Park Lease Extended". Ballpark Digest. February 27, 2018. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  9. Reichard, Kevin (September 16, 2018). "Fresno Grizzlies: We'll Have a New MLB Affiliate". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  10. "Fresno Grizzlies and Washington Nationals agree to Player Development Contract for 2019 and 2020 seasons". Minor League Baseball. September 18, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  11. "Minor League Team to Play Game as Fresno Tacos". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-07-23.
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