Edmonton Capitals

The Edmonton Capitals, originally the Edmonton Cracker-Cats, were a Canadian professional independent minor league baseball team that played between 2005 and 2011 in several leagues.

Edmonton Capitals
Team logo Cap insignia
LeagueNorth American League (2011)
LocationEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
BallparkTelus Field
Year founded2005
League championships2011
Division championships2011
Former name(s)
  • Edmonton Capitals (2009–2011)
  • Edmonton Cracker Cats (2005–2008)
Former league(s)
ColoursNavy Blue, Orange, Silver, White
OwnershipKatz Baseball Corp.
ManagerGordon Gerlach
General ManagerPatrick LaForge (Governor)
MediaCFRN Radio
Edmonton Sun
Edmonton Journal

The Capitals are based in Edmonton, Alberta, and are currently inactive as they do not belong to any league. The team was founded in 2005 as the Edmonton Cracker-Cats and, with their provincial brethren the Calgary Vipers, joined the Northern League as part of that league's attempt to expand its footprint in Canada.

The Cracker-Cats moved to the Golden Baseball League in 2008 and were sold to Daryl Katz, the owner of the Edmonton Oilers, in 2009. The team adopted the name Capitals after Katz's purchase and also adopted the same colors as their corporate sibling.

The team last played in 2011 as a member of the North American League.

Team history

Northern League (2005–2007)

The Cracker-Cats began as an expansion team in 2005 as a member of the Northern League. The name "Cracker-Cats" is derived from the oil industry term fluid catalytic cracking ("cat cracking" for short), which is part of the process of refining crude oil into gasoline by converting high boiling hydrocarbons into smaller molecules. They played the first game of their inaugural season on May 20, 2005, on the road against the Kansas City T-Bones. Their first home game did not take place until one week later when they hosted the Sioux Falls Canaries in front of 7,894.[1]

On June 13, 2006, a string of bean balls in the first two innings touched off two major brawls between the Cracker-Cats and their provincial rivals, the Calgary Vipers. After Edmonton's Greg Morrison was hit by a Calgary pitch for the fourth time in five games, the Cracker-Cats responded by throwing at two Calgary players. The resulting melee was so violent that the umpires sent both teams off the field, and suspended the game for over an hour to consult with league officials. When the Cracker-Cats refused to return to the field afterward, the game was declared a forfeit and the Vipers were awarded a 9–0 victory even though Edmonton was leading 1–0. As a result of the suspension, Cracker-Cats manager Terry Bevington resigned.[2] The league came down hard on both teams, as both managers and seven players were suspended a total of 79 games. Morrison blamed Calgary manager Mike Busch for the incident, believing that Busch held a grudge after both Morrison and another former Viper, J.P. Fauske defected to the Cracker-Cats after leaving the Vipers after a falling out with the Calgary manager late in the 2005 season.[3]

On July 18, 2006, Stubby Clapp was named Most Valuable Player of the Northern League All-Star Game. On September 3, 2006, the 'Cats finished their second season six games back in the wild card race and missed the playoffs.

The 2007 season was a major disappointment. Al Coates, a sports broadcaster, was named general manager of the Edmonton Cracker-Cats for the 2007 season,[4] and despite adding three former Major Leaguers, Ryan Radmanovich, Mike Johnson, and Lou Pote, the 'Cats finished 38–58 and last in the league.

Golden Baseball League (2008–2010)

After three years in the Northern League, the Cracker-Cats joined the Golden Baseball League on October 24, 2007. This occurred just after the rival Vipers jumped to the league. On June 30, 2008, The 'Cats set a new attendance record of 8,676 fans against the Vipers.[5]

On August 22, 2008, the Cracker-Cats clinched a playoff spot by defeating the Orange County Flyers 13–4 and won the second half. They faced the Vipers, who won the first half, in the first-ever North Division Championship Series, but were swept by Calgary 3 games to 0.

On February 4, 2009, the Cracker-Cats were purchased for $400,000 by Katz Baseball Corp. led by Daryl Katz who also owns the National Hockey League's Edmonton Oilers.[6] A new name was drawn from a contest, renaming the franchise the Capitals.

North American League (2011)

The Capitals were one of six former GBL teams to join the newly formed North American League in 2010 and began play in 2011. The Capitals won the league championship in the inaugural season of the NAL. On February 21, 2012, the Katz group announced that the Edmonton Capitals have withdrawn from the North American League, citing that only four teams had registered for the 2012 season.[7] They also went dark for the 2013 season after being unable to find a new league to play in. They were exploring options for the 2014 baseball season but it never happened.[8]

Year-by-year record

            First Half   Second Half   Overall      
Season League Division W-L Finish W-L Finish W-L Win% Playoffs
2005[9] NL North 22–26 5th 25–22 3rd 47–48 .495 Did not qualify
2006[10] NL North 21–27 3rd 23–25 T-3 44–52 .458 Did not qualify
2007[11] NL North 19–29 4th 19–29 4th 37–58 .389 Did not qualify
2008 GBL North 22–21 2nd 29–15 1st 51–36 .586 Lost North Division playoff 0–3 to Calgary
2009 GBL North 23–18 2nd 21-20 2nd 44-38 .537 Lost North Division playoff 1–3 to Calgary.
2010 GBL North 29–16 2nd 22-22 4th 51-38 .573 Did not qualify
2011[12] NAL North 56-32 1st N/A N/A 56-32 .636 Won Championship 4–1 over Rio Grande Valley

See also

  • List of baseball teams in Canada


  1. NLFan.com: Edmonton Cracker-Cats
  2. Winnipeg Sun: Battle of Alberta, Baseball Style 15 June 2006
  3. Edmonton Sun: Basebrawl 15 June 2006
  4. "Cracker-Cats owner wants you!". Edmonton Sun. December 18, 2007. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  5. Our Sports Central: Cats Lose Heartbreaker in Front of 8676 1 July 2008
  6. Edmonton Journal: Edmonton Cracker-Cats sold to Edmonton Oilers 4 February 2009
  7. "Edmonton Capitals withdraw from baseball league". Edmonton Journal. February 21, 2012. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  8. Daum, Evan (14 February 2013). "Capitals to remain off Telus Field in 2013". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  9. NLFan: 2005 Northern League Standings Retrieved on 10 April 2009
  10. NLFan: 2006 Northern League Standings Retrieved on 10 April 2009
  11. NLFan: 2007 Northern League Standings Retrieved on 10 April 2009
  12. 2011 North American League standings
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