Iowa Cubs

From BR Bullpen


Team History[edit]

The Iowa Cubs of the International League, formerly of the Pacific Coast League, briefly in Triple-A East, and now in the International League, ended a 1960s Des Moines, IA, baseball dry spell. The Chicago Cubs farmhands play their home games at Principal Park in Des Moines.

The I-Cubs are among the teams Endeavor Group Holdings acquired in late 2021 and put under its newly created Diamond Baseball Holdings subsidiary.[1] Endeavor also owns Ultimate Fighting Championship and Miss Universe. When the team was sold, outgoing owner Michael Gartner handed each of the team's 23 permanent employees an envelope at a New Year's Eve party, on December 29th. In it was a share of the $600,000 profit form the sale of the team, proportional to each employee's length of service, averaging $70,000 per person.

After a long history as the Des Moines Demons or Des Moines Bruins in lower leagues ended in 1961, MLB's expansion of 1969 brought the game back to the Iowa capital. The only one-season, four-team expansion ever also necessitated new teams throughout the minors, and Des Moines landed one in the resurrected American Association - although ending up a farm club of the Oakland Athletics rather than one of the new MLB clubs. The franchise has never used its city's name, playing as the Iowa Oaks through both its Oakland and Chicago White Sox hitches into the first season with the Cubs. In 1981, the club took its parent team's nickname while retaining Iowa over Des Moines. This is now the second-longest current partnership among clubs that are not commonly owned. The I-Cubs won the American Association title in 1993.

Iowa is one of four states with a minor league team that uses its state name as its locale name. (This does not count the Carolina Mudcats, because "Carolina" is not a state name, or the Tennessee Smokies, who are named not for their state but for the mountain range.) Although it may seem odd, each of those four states has other full-season affiliated teams. Before MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization, Iowa hosted four other full-season affiliated ball clubs - more than any of the other such states. The reshuffle eliminated two Iowa teams, but the Hawkeye State remains the only one of the four state-named teams with more than one other affiliated club. The I-Cubs are unique within that universe in one way, though - they are the only state-named team that is in a higher level than all of its state-mates.

They play Copa de la Diversión Hispanic engagement campaign games as Demonios de Des Moines (Des Moines Demons; Des Moines has no connection to Demons other than alliteration - the French phrase translates to "of the monks", after the local river).

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching coach Coach
1982 73-62 2nd (t) Jim Napier Scott Breeden
1983 71-65 3rd Jim Napier Lost in 1st round Scott Breeden
1984 80-74 2nd Jim Napier Lost in 1st round Jim Colborn
1985 66-75 6th Larry Cox Jim Colborn
1986 74-68 3rd Larry Cox Jim Colborn
1987 64-74 6th Larry Cox Dick Pole
1988 78-64 3rd Pete Mackanin Jim Wright
1989 62-82 7th Pete Mackanin Jim Wright
1990 72-74 5th Jim Essian
1991 78-66 3rd Jim Essian (22-15) / Mick Kelleher (56-51) Grant Jackson
1992 51-92 8th Brad Mills Rick Kranitz
1993 85-59 1st Marv Foley League Champs Stan Kyles Bill Earley
1994 69-74 5th Rick Patterson Mark Johnston Bill Earley
1995 69-74 5th Ron Clark Glenn Adams Bill Earley
1996 64-78 6th Ron Clark Glenn Adams Bill Earley
1997 74-69 3rd (t) Tim Johnson Lost League Finals Glenn Adams Marty DeMerritt
1998 85-59 1st Terry Kennedy Lost in 1st round Glenn Adams Marty DeMerritt
1999 65-76 14th Terry Kennedy Glenn Adams Rick Kranitz
2000 57-87 16th Dave Trembley Glenn Adams Rick Tronerud
2001 83-60 3rd Bruce Kimm Lost in 1st round Pat Listach Jerry Reuss
2002 71-73 11th Bruce Kimm (44-45) / Pat Listach (27-28) Pat Listach Jerry Reuss
2003 70-72 9th (t) Mike Quade Pat Listach Jerry Reuss
2004 79-64 4th Mike Quade Lost League Finals Pat Listach Rick Kranitz
2005 64-75 13th Mike Quade Pat Listach Rick Kranitz
2006 76-68 5th (t) Mike Quade (48-47) / Bobby Dickerson (6-5) /
Mike Quade (22-13)
Von Joshua Alan Dunn
2007 79-65 3rd Buddy Bailey Von Joshua Mike Harkey
2008 83-59 1st Pat Listach Lost in 1st round Von Joshua Mike Mason
2009 72-72 9th Bobby Dickerson Von Joshua / Desi Wilson Mike Mason
2010 82-62 1st (t) Ryne Sandberg Von Joshua Mike Mason
2011 66-77 12th Bill Dancy Von Joshua Mike Mason
2012 53-87 16th Dave Bialas Dave Keller Mike Mason
2013 66-78 14th Marty Pevey Brian Harper Mike Mason
2014 74-70 7th (t) Marty Pevey Brian Harper Bruce Walton Manny Ramirez
2015 80-64 3rd(t) Marty Pevey Brian Harper Mike Cather Leonel Perez
2016 67-76 13th Marty Pevey Brian Harper Rod Nichols Leonel Perez
2017 67-72 10th Marty Pevey Mariano Duncan & Desi Wilson Rod Nichols
2018 50-88 16th Marty Pevey Desi Wilson Rod Nichols Chris Valaika
2019 75-65 5th Marty Pevey Lost in 1st round Desi Wilson Rod Nichols Keoni De Renne
2020 Season cancelled
2021 50-70 16th Marty Pevey 1-8 Griffin Benedict & Desi Wilson Ron Villone
2022 Marty Pevey Griffin Benedict & Desi Wilson Ron Villone

Further Reading[edit]

  • Michael Guzman: "Iowa Cubs' employees get holiday surprise",, December 31, 2021. [2]

Related Sites[edit]