With a month of baseball already in the books this season, the Tacoma Rainiers will go back in time with their 2017 Throwback Weekend promotion at Cheney Stadium. On May 6 and 7, players will don the uniforms of yesteryear in the first two games of a four-game series with the New Orleans Baby Cakes, Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, to honor two iconic eras of Tacoma baseball.
“Throwback Weekend is always a fan favorite, and we’re incredibly excited to once again showcase a pair of our most successful eras,” Rainiers Media and Communications Manager Brett Gleason said. “The Cubs and Yankees hats up for grabs this year will prove to be instant classics, both in design and in their connection to multiple league championships that were brought to the city of Tacoma.”
The Throwback Weekend celebration begins on Saturday, May 6, with the team flashing back to the 1960s when they were known as the Tacoma Cubs. Beginning in 1966, the Chicago Cubs used the Tacoma franchise as their Triple-A affiliate. The first four seasons were coached by Major League All-Star Whitey Lockman, one of the baserunners in Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World” walk-off homerun in game three of the 1951 National League pennant game – the first nationally televised baseball game. In those four years, Tacoma brought home a PCL championship in 1969 and Lockman became the franchise’s winningest manager until the record was broken in 2000 by Dave Myers. That year, the team boasted a 3.01 team ERA and a 86-60 record. The Tacoma Cubs remained in Tacoma until 1971.
Gates open at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will get a Tacoma Cubs hat – a rarity that’s sure to be a stand-out souvenir. In addition to throwback caps, the specialty throwback Cubs jerseys Rainiers players and coaches wear will be autographed and sold via digital auction prior to and during the game. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Metro Parks Tacoma.
Throwback Weekend will continue on Sunday, May 7, when the team jumps to that rather bizarre year in 1978 where Tacoma partnered with the New York Yankees, becoming the Tacoma Yankees for a single season. Due to obvious geographic challenges, the Tacoma team had to watch from afar as their major league affiliate stole the division title from the Boston Red Sox in dramatic fashion. However, this doesn’t mean that great baseball wasn’t being played in Tacoma as well. The team had a batting average of .290, with Garry Smith and Tommy Cruz hitting .325 and .319, respectively. After an 80-57 regular season campaign, the Tacoma Yankees were named co-champions with Albuquerque due to the entire championship series being cancelled due to rain and stadium conflicts.
Gates open Sunday at noon, where the first 1,000 fans will receive a Tacoma Yankees hat. Like Saturday’s jerseys, players and coaches will be autographing and auctioning off their jerseys in a digital auction prior to and during the game. Proceeds from this auction will benefit Puyallup Cal Ripken Baseball.
For tickets to this event, and any other home game, visit the Tacoma Rainiers website, call 1-800-745-3000, or head to the Cheney Stadium Box Office located at 2502 S. Tyler Street, Tacoma, WA, 98405. Individuals wishing to join in the digital auction of the Throwback Weekend specialty jerseys can do so at http://www.rainiersauctions.com/.