San Diego Surf Dawgs

The San Diego Surf Dawgs were an independent professional baseball team representing San Diego, California, that played for two seasons in the Golden Baseball League, based out of San Ramon, California, and then later in the short-season instructional Arizona Winter League and Arizona Summer League, based out of Yuma, Arizona, which was not affiliated with either Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball. They were owned by Diamond Sports & Entertainment, previous owners of the GBL and primary investors in the North American League.

San Diego Surf Dawgs
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
League
LocationSan Diego, California
BallparkDesert Sun Stadium (Yuma, Arizona)
Year founded2005
Year folded2011
League championships1 (GBL, 2005; ASL, 2010)
Division championships1 (GBL California, 2005)
Former name(s)
  • San Diego Surf Dawgs (2005–06, 2008–present)
  • Sonora Surf Dawgs (2007, AWL)
Former league(s)
Former ballparks
ColorsColumbia blue, navy blue, gold, white
                   
OwnershipDiamond Sports & Entertainment
MediaThe San Diego Union-Tribune, Yuma Sun
Websitewww.goldenbaseball.com/sandiego

Their home stadiums included Tony Gwynn Stadium, named after former Padres great Tony Gwynn and located on the campus of San Diego State University, and then Desert Sun Stadium in Yuma, Arizona, as part of the AWL and ASL. They were the inaugural GBL Champions in 2005 managed by current Tucson Padres manager Terry Kennedy. They were awarded the 2010 ASL Championship.

Team history

Golden Baseball League (2005–2006)

The Surf Dawgs were one of the eight original GBL charter teams that began play in 2005 along with the Chico Outlaws, Fullerton Flyers and Long Beach Armada in California; Mesa Miners, Surprise Fightin' Falcons and Yuma Scorpions in Arizona and the traveling Japan Samurai Bears. They were known for playing in the same city as a Major League Baseball team, the National League's San Diego Padres.

The signing of Rickey Henderson gave the team national exposure. (Henderson had also played for the Padres from 1996 to 1997 and in 2001.) Former first-round draft pick Matt Wheatland is among five San Diegans on the roster.

The 2005 team won the first ever GBL California Division title, and on Labor Day weekend 2005 they won the inaugural GBL Championship tournament, coming back on the last day to win two games.

The team again made news in June 2006 by signing former Major League player José Canseco. He made his debut on July 3, 2006 and struck out 4 times. Prior to the game, the Juiced author looked like the Bash Brother of old during batting practice, knocking multiple pitches out of the park. After playing in one game with the Surf Dawgs, Canseco requested to be traded to a team closer to his home in Los Angeles[1] and was sent to the Long Beach Armada.

Arizona Winter League (2007–present)

The team joined the Arizona Winter League as the Sonora Surf Dawgs in January 2007,[2] but reverted to San Diego for the 2008 season. During the AWL regular season, they are managed by Cory Snyder, who also manages the GBL's St. George RoadRunners. In 2008, they were placed in the new American Division for the 2009 season along with the Blythe Heat, Palm Springs Chill and Yuma Scorpions.

The Surf Dawgs participated in a Lucha & Baseball exhibition game on June 25, 2009, along with some professional wrestlers against the Tucson Toros, which they won 8-3.[3]

Arizona Summer League (2009–2011)

The Surf Dawgs became a charter team of the new Arizona Summer League in June 2009. They played alongside the El Centro Imperials and Canada Miners in 2009 and then the Long Beach Armada and Bisbee Miners in 2010. They replaced the San Luis Atleticos and Yuma Scorpions, who were originally scheduled to play in the league, but were dropped prior to the start of the inaugural season. They began play on July 2. The Surf Dawgs, instead of the Scorpions, have become the first team to have played in all three leagues within the GBL system. They were awarded the ASL Championship in 2010 and 2011.

Possible GBL return

The GBL has mentioned the possibility of the Surf Dawgs return to the league for 2010. The team still does not have a suitable ballpark to play on, but the league website is saying that it should change by 2010.[4] The team's official website was temporarily shut down in late June 2009, possibly for revamping as the team is expected to return according to the league. But the website returned in August. It is uncertain whether or not the team is up for sale.

Defunct

The Surf Dawgs finally went dormant and eventually folded after the Arizona Winter League and Arizona Summer League ceased operations following the folding of the North American League in 2011.

Season-by-season records

Golden Baseball League:

Season W L Win % Place Playoff
20055238N/A1st, California DivisionWon California Division
Defeated Mesa in the Championship Series.
200635 (16/19)45 (24/21)N/A4thDid not qualify.

Arizona Winter League:

Season W L Win % Place Playoff
2007 (as Sonora)1011.4763rdDid not qualify.
2008109.5263rdLost to Canada in Playoffs.
2009713.3504th, American DivisionDid not qualify.

Arizona Summer League:

Season W L Win % Place Playoff
200959.3573rdNo playoffs.
201063.6501stAwarded Championship.

References

  1. Canseco seeks, receives trade for personal reasons (ESPN.com, July 5, 2006)
  2. Yuma Zone AWL baseball
  3. Toros Wrestle Surf Dawgs In Exhibition, Tucson Toros website, June 26, 2009
  4. GBL Cities Archived 2009-04-24 at the Wayback Machine, Golden Baseball League website
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