Lively Tales About Dead Teams

1955-1963 Boise Braves

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Boise BravesPioneer League (1955-1963)

Born: 1955 – Affiliation change from Boise Pilots
Folded: 1963

Stadium:

Major League Affiliation: Milwaukee Braves

Owners: Capital City Baseball Inc. (Sib Kleffner, et al.)

Pioneer League Champions: 1956, 1958 & 1960

 

The Boise Braves were a Class C farm club of the Milwaukee Braves from 1955 until 1963. (The Idahoans were Class A for their final season following the 1963 re-organization of Minor League Baseball).

Notable players who came through Boise during this era included Sandy Alomar Sr. (Boise ’62), Clay Carroll (Boise ’62), Tony Cloninger (Boise ’59), Lee Maye (Boise ’55) and Bob Uecker (Boise ’56 & ’58).

In 1960, a 24-year old infielder named Bill Lucas hit .311 for Boise in 123 games. Lucas never made the Majors as a player. But in 1976 he became the first African-American general manager in Major League Baseball with the Atlanta Braves. Technically, Lucas’ title was Director of Player Personnel, as Braves owner Ted Turner retained the General Manager title, if not the duties, for himself. Tragically his time with the Braves was short. Lucas died of a massive heart attack on May 4th, 1979 at the young age of 43.

The team encountered financial problems by the early 1960’s. In August 1963 local shareholders known as Capital City Baseball Inc. notified the Pioneer League that the franchise planned to disband at the end of the 1963 season.  A few months after the Braves final campaign ended, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game purchased the Braves’ former ballpark and demolished it. Boise went without professional baseball for more than a decade until the formation of the Pioneer League’s Boise A’s in 1975.

 

In Memoriam

Bill Lucas (Boise ’60) died of cardiac arrest and cerebral hemorrhage on May 4, 1979 at age 43. New York Times obituary.

Al Unser, who managed Boise in 1962, passed on July 7, 1995 at the age of 82.

Lee Maye (Boise ’57) passed away of pancreatic cancer at age 67 on July 17, 2002.

 

Links

Pioneer League Media Guides

Pioneer League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

June 4th, 2017 at 2:28 pm

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