Missions’ gesture of respect humbles Biz Mackey’s family

Jerseys worn by the San Antonio Missions on Saturday harkened back to the early 20th century, when baseball was segregated and Biz Mackey played minor league ball for the San Antonio Black Aces. Mackey went on to become a big-time star player in Indianapolis and Philadelphia, and as a player-manager in Newark, in the Negro Leagues. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The oldest professional sport in San Antonio, the one with perhaps the deepest roots in the culture of the city, hit a home run on Saturday night in tying the past to the present.

On a day of celebration for the recently-declared national holiday of Juneteenth, the Missions baseball club commemorated the Negro Leagues and honored a black ball player with local ties whose magnificent career went all but unnoticed for decades.

Houston resident Ray Mackey III talks about the career of his great uncle, Biz Mackey, who was inducted in 2006 into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The Missions brought the family of the late James Raleigh “Biz” Mackey to Wolff Stadium so that they, and others connected to black baseball in the Alamo City, could get together and enjoy a ball game and a fireworks display.

It was a good feeling for Ray Mackey III and his two sons.

“This is really pretty extraordinary for me,” said Mackey III, the Hall of Fame catcher’s great nephew. “One of the things I share with my sons is that when you strive for excellence, it may not be rewarded right away. In Biz’s case, even during his lifetime.

“But excellence has a way of ultimately prevailing and sort of rising to the top. Like cream, it will rise to the top.”

Mackey was born in 1897 in Eagle Pass and grew up hoeing rows of cotton on a farm near Luling.

After playing a half-dozen years in semi-pro and minor-league circuits in Texas, including at least two with the San Antonio Black Aces, he joined the Indianapolis ABCs in 1920 in what was considered the first official season of the Negro Leagues.

His career spanned the so-called Roaring 20s, the Great Depression and World War II before it ended in 1947. Known for his defensive prowess and strong arm as a catcher, Mackey also played shortstop and pitched. He hit .327 for his career, according to a statistics page in “Biz Mackey, a Giant Behind the Plate,” by author Rich Westcott.

In nine of those years, Mackey also managed, leading the Newark Eagles to a 1946 Colored World Series championship against the Kansas City Monarchs.

Mackey III, a Houston-based church pastor, attended ceremonies in Cooperstown in 2006 when his great uncle was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But coming back to San Antonio felt different.

“This means so much because this is where my family’s roots are,” he said. “You know, we’re from the Luling area. In fact, we just left Luling (where we were) eating barbeque near Prairie Lea, Lockhart, all around that area. So, that’s home to us.

“A lot of Mackeys moved to San Antonio, sort of migrated from Luling, for job opportunities and things.

“More importantly, the San Antonio Black Aces were (where he got) his start. So this is the foundation. This is where everything began for him. So, to look back in retrospect is just really meaningful. It’s really exciting. For him to have this honor, it’s just, it’s really heartfelt.”

The celebration had been in the planning stages for nearly a year and a half.

Last spring, Missions assistant general manager Bill Gerlt took on the project, trying to organize a day to honor the Negro Leagues’ centennial (1920-2020) in a meaningful way for South Texas.

Originally, he wanted to hold the event on June 20, 2020, but the minor league season was canceled because of the pandemic. Still, Gerlt persisted, arranging for the jerseys to be made with a San Antonio Black Aces logo on the front and a Negro Leagues centennial logo on one sleeve.

The logo, incidentally, is an image of Biz Mackey.

Gerlt also invited several former ball players, including Cliff Johnson, formerly of the Houston Astros, and members of the South Texas Negro Leagues ex-players association.

Missions’ shortstop CJ Abrams (left) and second baseman Eguy Rosario confer during Saturday night’s game against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The Missions rallied with three runs in the seventh for a 6-5 victory. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Jerseys were to be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Texas Kidney Foundation.

“We were going to do this last year to celebrate the 100th anniversary but had to cancel it because of the Covid thing,” Gerlt said. “But, anyway, the timing worked out with Juneteenth becoming a national holiday. So, we’ve had a year and half of planning for this one event.”

Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., said in an interview last year that Mackey’s likeness was chosen for the centennial logo because of his reputation as a dignified leader in the game.

“Biz is a very important player in regard to Negro League history,” Kendrick said. “He’s arguably the greatest defensive catcher of all time. If … Roy Campanella (were) still alive, he’d tell you that Biz Mackey is the greatest defensive catcher that he had ever seen.

“And, again, as we were trying to convey what we wanted this centennial to reflect, and how important the Negro Leagues were, I think the entire dignified persona (was) something that we wanted.”

Kluber on short list of former S.A. minor leaguers with no hitters in the majors

Right-hander Corey Kluber on Wednesday night became at least the seventh former San Antonio minor leaguer to throw a no-hitter in the majors.

In his first season with the New York Yankees, Kluber fired the first no-hitter of his career in downing the Texas Rangers 2-0 in Arlington.

It was the sixth no hitter in baseball this season and the second in two nights, raising eyebrows around the country. Spencer Turnbull of the Detroit Tigers did it in Seattle late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.

The MLB record for a season is seven.

Coming up in the minor leagues, Kluber, from Coppell High School in the DFW MetroPlex, pitched for the Missions in 2009 and 2010 as a San Diego Padres prospect.

He went on to win Cy Young Awards for the Cleveland Indians in 2014 and 2017 before an injury derailed him last season when he was with the Rangers.

Here’s a list of former San Antonio minor leaguers (that I know of) who have thrown no hitters in the majors. We’ll update this information if others come to our attention:

Corey Kluber, May 19, 2021, for the Yankees against the Rangers. With the Missions: 2009, 2010.

Felix Hernandez, Aug. 15, 2012, for the Seattle Mariners. He beat the Tampa Bay Rays (perfect game). With the Missions: 2004

Ramon Martinez, July 14, 1995, for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He beat the Florida Marlins 7-0 at Dodger Stadium. With the Missions: 1988.

Fernando Valenzuela, June 29, 1990, for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-0, at Dodger Stadium. With the San Antonio Dodgers: 1980.

Dave Stewart, June 29, 1990, for the Oakland A’s. He beat the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome in Toronto. With the San Antonio Dodgers: 1978.

Dennis Eckersley, May 30, 1977, for the Cleveland Indians. He beat the California Angels, 1-0. With the San Antonio Brewers (an Indians affiliate), 1974.

Joel Horlen, Sept. 10, 1967, for the Chicago White Sox. He beat the Detroit Tigers, 6-0. With the San Antonio Brewers (an Indians affiliate), 1973.

RoughRiders win 1-0 to spoil Missions’ home opener

One-hit pitching usually wins. Not tonight. The Frisco RoughRiders spoiled the Missions’ home opener on Tuesday, scoring the only run of the game on a wild pitch in a 1-0 victory at Wolff Stadium.

The RoughRiders broke through with the only run they would need in the seventh inning to win the opener of a six-game series. First, Frisco put runners at first and second base on a Diosbel Arias leadoff single and a one-out walk to Jordan Procyshen. At that point, Missions lefty Sam Williams was promptly lifted for right-hander Henry Henry.

Henry found more trouble when he walked Matt Whatley to load the bases, but he looked like he might escape unscathed when he made a good pitch to force a pop up for the second out. On the next batter, Henry’s breaking pitch got away from catcher Juan Fernandez for a wild pitch, allowing Arias to score the only run of the game.

Frisco used five pitchers to hand the Missions their first shut-out loss of the season. After starter Hans Crouse pitched the first inning, he was followed by left-hander Jake Latz, who allowed only two hits in four and two thirds. Blake Bass, A.J. Alexy and Cole Uvila finished the game.

For the Missions, starter Caleb Boushley enjoyed his best outing of the season. Boushley, from Wisconsin, pitched no-hit ball for five scoreless innings. He struck out two and walked two.

Records

Frisco 8-4
San Antonio 6-7

Coming up

Frisco at San Antonio, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday

Notable

The Missions were playing a home game for the first time since August 2019. Last season was canceled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Frisco is the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The Missions are now linked with the San Diego Padres. On the opening 12-game road trip, the Missions survived some adversity to finish with a couple of victories at Midland. During the trip, their roster was shuffled in a big way as leading hitter Robbie Podorsky was called up to Triple-A El Paso. Going into Tuesday night, the Missions had suffered three losses during games in which they scored only one run.

Missions’ bullpen solid in early going of new season

Sometimes, it seems that a minor league baseball team is only as good as its bullpen.

It might be hard to argue about such a theory with the Missions, who roll into Midland today on a three-game winning streak, highlighted by another streak — 14 consecutive scoreless innings by relief pitchers.

The Missions’ bullpen hasn’t been charged with a run since the eighth inning last Friday night, in Game 4 of a six-game road series against the Corpus Christi Hooks.

The run scored when C.J. Stubbs singled to drive in Marty Costes against Missions lefthander Tom Cosgrove. Since then, the Missions’ pen has worked 14 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and five walks over that span.

After falling behind 5-1 in the series finale Sunday afternoon, manager Phillip Wellman and pitching coach Pete Zamora called on left-hander Jerry Keel and righty Jose Quezada to put out the fire.

Keel struck out four in four innings to get the win and Quezada closed in the ninth for his first save to nail down a 7-5 victory.

In six games to start the season, the bullpen hasn’t been invincible. It has given up three home runs. But, for the most part, it’s been very reliable with a 3-1 record, a save and a 2.32 earned run average. Not to mention a 1.00 WHIP.

Individuals standing out from a statistical standpoint include five players who have yet to allow an earned run — Fred Schlichtolz, Quezada, James Reeves, Carlos Belen and Pedro Avila.

Notable

After a day off Monday, the San Diego Padres-affiliated Missions (4-2) will play the Rockhounds (2-4) in the opener of a six-game series tonight in Midland. The Rockhounds are affiliated with the Oakland A’s. The Missions return for their home opener on May 18 against the Texas Rangers-affliated Frisco RoughRiders.

Caleb Boushley gets his chance to shine in Double-A

Wisconsin native Caleb Boushley will get the ball for the Missions Thursday night as they try to rebound from their first loss. In the Missions’ third game of the season, set for Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Boushley is expected to start against lefty Jonathan Bermudez of the Hooks.

It’s a big day for Boushley, 27, a 33rd-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2017, who has won an opening-day roster spot at the Double-A level of the minors for the first time in his career.

He has pitched almost entirely at the Class A level since he was drafted in 2017 out of NCAA Division III Wisconsin-LaCrosse. In his last full season, pre-pandemic, Boushley was named a midseason all star at Lake Elsinore in the Class A California League.

Boushley went on to finish the season 5-4 with a 3.61 earned run average. Last year, he thought he would get a chance to pitch for the Padres in Double-A Amarillo. But that day never came as the season was scrapped by the pandemic.

Instead, he returned home to Hortonville, Wis., to live with his parents. During the summer, he played catch on a tennis court with a teammate to try and stay sharp, according to the LaCrosse Tribune.

J.P. France fanned 11 in a 17-strikeout showing by the Hooks Wednesday night, leading to a 4-2 victory over the visiting Missions.

After France worked six innings, Enoli Paredes and Hunter Peck finished off a dominant performance. Together, the three allowed only four hits.

The Missions produced 13 hits in winning the opener, 8-3, on Tuesday night.

Grae Kessinger, the grandson of former Cubs star Don Kessinger, bashed a two-run homer off Missions left-hander Jerry Keel in the bottom of the sixth for a 3-2 Hooks lead. They added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI double by Corey Julks, formerly of Clear Brook High School and the University of Houston.

Louisiana native Robbie Podorsky slapped a two-run single, his fifth hit in in two games, to give the Missions a 2-1 lead in the fifth.

It’s the first series of the season between the Hooks, affiliated with the Houston Astros, and the Missions, who are linked this year with the San Diego Padres. The series is six games and will run through Sunday.

Records

Corpus Christi 1-1
San Antonio 1-1

Coming up

Caleb Boushley pitching for San Antonio at Corpus Christi, with lefty Jonathan Bermudez, Thursday, 6:35 p.m.

Missions call on Adrian Martinez to start in Game 2

San Antonio Missions shortstop CJ Abrams playing against the Corpus Christi Hooks in the season opener on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. - photo by Joe Alexander

Shortstop CJ Abrams went 2 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI in his Missions debut Tuesday night. – Photo by Joe Alexander

The Missions have been blessed with standout play at shortstop over the past several years. In 2018, it was Fernando Tatis, Jr. In 2019, Mauricio Dubon. This year, they’ll have CJ Abrams, the No. 2 prospect in the San Diego Padres organization.

Abrams slapped a couple of doubles in his Double-A debut as the Missions opened the new season by beating the Corpus Christi Hooks 8-3 on the road Tuesday night.

The Missions and Hooks will continue with the season-opening, six-game series Wednesday night at Whataburger Field. Right-hander Adrian Martinez is scheduled to start for San Antonio against righty J.P. France for Corpus Christi, a Houston Astros affiliate.

In Game 1, the Missions backed starting pitcher Reiss Knehr with 13 hits, including four by Robbie Podorsky and three by Juan Fernandez. Knehr limited the Hooks to two runs on three hits in five innings.

Notes

Among the Missions standouts in the opener, Podorsky (Baton Rouge, La.) is the oldest at 26. Knehr (Glen Head, N.Y.) is 24. Fernandez (Valencia, Venezuela) is 22 and Abrams (Roswell, Ga.) 20.

CJ Abrams headlines Missions’ opening-day roster

Shortstop CJ Abrams, the sixth overall pick in the 2019 baseball draft, will begin the season with the San Antonio Missions.

In announcing their initial roster, the Missions say they will start the season Tuesday in Corpus Christi with five of the parent-club San Diego Padres’ top 30 prospects.

The 20-year-old Abrams is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the second-best Padres prospect and No. 8 in all of minor league baseball. A 6-foot-2 shortstop, he was selected sixth overall by San Diego in the 2019 draft out of Blessed Trinity Catholic High in Roswell, Ga.

He appeared in 25 games in Padres’ major league spring training in Arizona, batting .240 with two home runs, 11 RBI and three stolen bases.

On March 17, when the Padres made their first roster cut, Abrams and Tucupita Marcano remained with the major league club. Explaining the decision to allow the two young ball players to remain, Padres manager Jayce Tingler told AJ Cassavell of MLB.com that it was a reward for their play to that point.

“Marcano has got the ability to play seven different positions out there, and I think he’s performed really well,” Tingler said. “He stays for that reason, and CJ has performed and played extremely well, also. We’ll see where we’re at in a couple weeks, but we definitely wanted to keep those guys around.”

The Missions are preparing to play their first game in 20 months following the pandemic-related cancellation of last season. They’ll play six games in Corpus Christi through May 9. They’ll play six more on the road starting May 11 at Midland. After that, the Missions will return for the home opener May 18 against Frisco.

Other Missions players ranked among the top 30 in the Padres’ organization include:

–(13th) Reiss Knehr, 24 years old, a right-handed pitcher from Glen Head, N.Y.
–(18th) Eguy Rosario, 21, an infielder from Juan Baron, in the Dominican Republic.
–(22nd) Mason Fox, 24, a right-handed pitcher from Canton, N.C.
–(29th) Osvaldo Hernandez, 22, a left-handed pitcher from Havana, Cuba.

Phillip Wellman returns as Missions’ manager. The Madison High School graduate managed the Missions for three years from 2016-18, leading the team to the playoffs in both ’17 and ’18.

Roster breakdown

Pitchers (15): RHP Pedro Avila, RHP Carlos Belen, RHP Caleb Boushley, LHP Tom Cosgrove, RHP Mason Fox, RHP Henry Henry, LHP Osvaldo Hernandez, LHP Jerry Keel, RHP Reiss Knehr, LHP Aaron Leasher, RHP Adrian Martinez, RHP Jose Quezada, LHP James Reeves, LHP Fred Schlichtholz, LHP Sam Williams

Catchers (3): Juan Fernandez, Kyle Overstreet, Chandler Seagle

Infielders (6): CJ Abrams, Matt Batten, Chris Givin, Taylor Kohlwey, Eguy Rosario, Brad Zunica

Outfielders (4): Jose Azocar, Robbie Podorsky, Esteury Ruiz, Jack Suwinski

Missions notebook

Kyle Overstreet and Matt Batten both played for the Missions in 2018. Overstreet hit .272 with nine home runs and 46 RBI. Batten hit .260 and filled in at shortstop when Fernando Tatis, Jr., was injured late in the season … Robbie Podorsky is a career .327 hitter in the minor leagues … Undrafted out of Northern Kentucky, pitcher Sam Williams is in Double-A for the second straight season after spending 2019 at Amarillo … Dominican Republic-born Henry Henry has made all-star teams in his last three seasons, starting in 2017 and 2018 at (short-season, A) Tri-Cities and in ’19 at (full-season, A) Fort Wayne.

Missions president revels in ‘special time of year’ for baseball

Wolff Stadium, the home of the San Antonio Missions. — Photo by Jerry Briggs

The return of professional baseball to San Antonio looms in only a few days, and Missions president Burl Yarbrough on Tuesday admitted to feeling some extra adrenaline after having the entire 2020 season canceled because of the pandemic.

Last summer, Yarbrough and his staff kept the turnstiles at Wolff Stadium spinning by fielding a team in the Texas Collegiate League. But for the first time in San Antonio since the 1960s, there were no pro games to watch.

The game’s return, for the faithful, will be like a three-course meal at a favorite eatery.

Fans will get an appetizer on Thursday and Friday night at Wolff Stadium, with a pair of exhibitions between teams from the Mexican League. The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos will play the Acereros de Monclova each night.

Next up will be a main course, so to speak, when the Missions open their season on May 4 on the road against the Corpus Christi Hooks. Finally, dessert will be served on May 18 when the Missions open at home against the Frisco RoughRiders.

Yarbrough is ready for it all to start.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and still get very excited … probably a little moreso this time because of the fact that we missed last year,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s a special time of year, knowing that our season starts a week from today. After missing a year, it makes it that much more special.”

Schedule at a glance

Home games at Wolff Stadium

Mexican League exhibitions — Two games, Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos vs. Acereros de Monclova, Thursday and Friday (both at 7:05 p.m.)

Missions’ season — 120 games, 60 at home, 60 on the road, May 4 through Sept. 19

Texas Collegiate League season — 44 games, 22 at home, 22 on the road, May 28 – Aug. 1

Mexican League flair

The Tecos and the Acereros will be playing exhibitions as part of their preseason schedules, a pair of games set up between Yarbrough and one of his former employees, Acereros president Jose Melendez.

Initially, Yarbrough tried to work out a deal to bring Monclova to San Antonio to play the Missions. But it couldn’t be done because of health-related protocols, and so the Tecos and Acereros games were booked.

It should be an interesting show with Monclova featuring players such as Bartolo Colon, Addison Russell, Erick Aybar and Chris Carter.

“They do things the right way,” Yarbrough said of the 2019 Mexican League champions.

It’s the first time a pro team from south of the border will play in San Antonio since 1994, when Wolff Stadium opened and hosted an all-star game between the Mexican and Texas leagues.

Colon is expected to start on Friday night.

Franchise in transition

The Missions are a franchise in transition, having linked up in 2019 with the Milwaukee Brewers, with a move from Double-A to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. As it turned out, the team played only one season in the PCL.

A cascading series of unfortunate events started in March of 2020 with a suspension of spring training and later a delay on the start of the season because of the virus.

By mid-summer, officials decided to scrap the minor league season at all levels.

In the fall, Major League Baseball started a reorganization of the minors, which ultimately resulted in the Missions being placed back in Double-A. Given the age of Wolff Stadium, the move was expected, but it was still painful.

Earlier this year, the Padres became the Missions’ parent-club once again.

The Tatis factor

Yarbrough said he thinks that the Missions’ history with former Padres prospect Fernando Tatis, Jr., now regarded as perhaps the most exciting young player in the game, could help his ball club this summer in terms of fan recognition.

“He had a pretty good weekend last weekend, didn’t he?” Yarbrough said.

Tatis, who played for the Missions in 2017 and 2018, electrified the fans by leading the Padres to three victories in four road games against the defending world champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

“For us, we went off and played Triple-A for one year,” Yarbrough said. “With the new arrangement with major league baseball, and us going back to Double-A, it’s very exciting to re-affiliate with the Padres. Because, we had 12 great years with them (from 2007-18). They always treated us like partners from Day One. Just (had) good relationships (with) good people who worked for ’em.

“When anybody says, ‘Oh, you’re back in Double-A.’ I can say, ‘Fernando Tatis.’ “That’s who we had on our team when we were in Double-A in our last year. (Also) Chris Paddack on that team. Let me tell you. Fernando Tatis is the most exciting player in baseball right now, and he was on this field just a few years ago, and he probably has as much in front of him as anyone in the big leagues right now.

“So for us to re-affiliate with them and for him to be a part of our team, I mean, he was here in ’18 when the Flying Chanclas were born, and he loved wearing that uniform. The way he played for us, you see it now in the big leagues … It’ll be very easy for our fans to root and follow him in the years to come.”

Missions’ roster update

The makeup of this year’s Missions’ roster is still something of a mystery, as the Padres haven’t released any information on players yet.

Regardless, a solid team led by manager Phillip Wellman is expected to arrive later this week. The Padres’ minor league system is ranked among the top ten in baseball despite a number of moves over the past few years to acquire veterans in exchange for prospects.

“The system’s got very good players still,” Yarbrough said.

The organization’s top prospects include pitcher MacKenzie Gore, infielder CJ Abrams, catcher Luis Campusano and outfielder Robert Hassell III.

Regardless of who is on the team, Yarbrough will look forward to May 18 when he can invite fans to come out and watch the first Missions home game in 20 months.

“So excited to see people in the ball park again,” Yarbrough said.

From Kluber to Tatis, former Missions continue to chase the dream

Minor league baseball fans in San Antonio are ready to see some games again.

Last year, the season was canceled because of the pandemic. This summer, the Missions will return for their 119th season in San Antonio. The Missions begin their new era affiliated with the San Diego Padres, playing as a member of the Double-A Central League. For the season opener, they’ll take on the Houston Astros-affiliated Corpus Christi Hooks on May 4 in Corpus Christi .

The Missions’ home opener at Wolff Stadium is set for Tuesday, May 18, against the Frisco RoughRiders. We won’t see a roster for another two or three weeks.

But, history suggests that we’ll have a good time this summer sorting out and identifying the major league prospects.

As a Padres affiliate from 2007 through 2018, the Missions won three Texas League championships and made seven playoff appearances. During the affiliation, fans in San Antonio were able to see the likes of Corey Kluber, Trea Turner and Fernando Tatis Jr. In one season as the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Missions in 2019 played host to fan favorites such as Keston Hiura and Mauricio Dubon.

Keston Hiura played for the San Antonio Missions for part of the 2019 season before being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers. - photo by Joe Alexander

The Milwaukee Brewers have moved power-hitting Keston Hiura to first base this season. Hiura played second in San Antonio in 2019. – photo by Joe Alexander

The Major League Baseball season kicked off on April 1. Kluber, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with the Indians, pitched his first game for the Yankees on April 3.

So, we’ll take a minute to identify teams you can follow to keep track of your former Missions’ favorites. One note of caution. This is a working list, not likely inclusive of all active major leaguers who have played in San Antonio. But, it’s as many as we could find, and we promise to add more names as they come to our attention.

(Years with the Missions are in parentheses).

Boston Red Sox — Franchy Cordero (2016), Hunter Renfroe (2014-15), Matt Andriese (2013).

Washington Nationals — Joe Ross (2014), Trea Turner (2015), Hernan Perez (2019).

San Diego Padres — Fernando Tatis, Jr. (2017-18), Trent Grisham (2019), Dinelson Lamet (2016), Chris Paddack (2018), Taylor Williams (2019), x-Trey Wingenter (2017).

Oakland A’s — Burch Smith (2013, 2019).

New York Yankees — Corey Kluber (2009-10).

Milwaukee Brewers — Corbin Burnes, Keston Hiura, Adrian Houser, Brent Suter, Devin Williams, Travis Shaw (all 2019), Luis Urias (2017).

Trent Grisham played for the San Antonio Missions for part of the 2019 season before being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers. - photo by Joe Alexander

Trent Grisham won a Gold Glove for his play in the outfield with the San Diego Padres last year. Grisham was a Brewers organization player at Triple-A San Antonio in 2019. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Miami Marlins — Anthony Bass (2011), Adam Cimber (2015-16-17).

San Francisco Giants — Mauricio Dubon (2019), Matt Wisler (2013-14).

Seattle Mariners — Ty France (2017-18), Nick Margevicius (2018).

Chicago Cubs — Eric Sogard (2009).

Atlanta Braves — Drew Smiley (2019).

Los Angeles Dodgers — Jimmy Nelson (2019).

Cleveland Indians — Franmil Reyes (2017), Josh Naylor (2017-18), Austin Hedges (2013-14), Logan Allen (2018), Cal Quantrill (2017-18), Ben Gamel (2019).

St. Louis Cardinals — Miles Mikolas (2011).

New York Mets — Jacob Barnes (2019).

x-injured list

Missions invited to join Texas League as a Padres affiliate

The San Antonio Missions have received an invitation to join the Texas League as the Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

The announcement came Wednesday morning as part of Major League Baseball’s reorganization of the minor leagues.

“We are pleased to have received an invitation to affiliate with the San Diego
Padres,” Missions President Burl Yarbrough said in a news release. “We enjoyed a terrific 12-year partnership with the Padres through the 2018 season.

“However, we first need to have the overall agreement with Major League Baseball formalized before any affiliation can be finalized.

“Once we receive the full details, we’ll be evaluating the proposal carefully to assure that it works for the Missions, our fans and the City of San Antonio before formally accepting.”

In 2019, the Missions moved up from Double-A and joined the Triple-A Pacific Coast League as an affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. As a Brewers’ organization team, the Missions finished 80-60 and in second place in their division.

They were technically affiliated with the Brewers on a two-year deal through 2020. But the season was scrapped in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

In rejoining the Texas League, the Missions would be returning as the only charter member and 13-time champion in the league’s history.

The Missions played 113 seasons in the Texas League and were the winningest franchise in league history with more than 7,500 victories.

As a Padres affiliate from 2007 – 2018, the Missions won three league championships and made seven playoff appearances.

During the Padres affiliation, future MLB players Fernando Tatis Jr, Chris Paddack and Corey Kluber played for the Missions.

MLB is still formalizing plans and schedules for the 2021 minor league season. Once plans are formalized, the Missions will release their schedule.