COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The Elmore Sports Group is pleased to announce that three of their five Minor League Baseball teams won Championships for the 2013 season including the San Antonio Missions (Double-A, Texas League), the Inland Empire 66ers (Single-A, California League), and the Idaho Falls Chukars (Rookie Level, Pioneer League).
In the US, the 2013 Minor League season began with 160 teams across 14 leagues vying for a championship ring. Three of those went to Elmore Sports Group teams. In the 33-years that the Elmore Sports Group has owned Minor League teams, the organization's clubs have made the playoffs 61 times and won a total of 19 Championships in five different leagues including the Pacific Coast League, Southern League, Texas League, California League, and Pioneer League. The three new titles in 2013 highlight a successful baseball career for David Elmore, the Founder and Chairman of the Elmore Sports Group.
"Our goal every year is to provide affordable family entertainment, a launching pad to the Major Leagues for the baseball stars of tomorrow, and to make a lasting impact in the communities where our teams play," said Elmore. "We have been extremely pleased with the successes of all of our clubs this year but the excitement of the three teams that brought Championships home to their respective cities has been a truly thrilling and historical accomplishment. We hope that all of our fans enjoyed the tremendous 2013 baseball season and we look forward to making 2014 even better."
In the Texas League, the San Antonio Missions, Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, capped off their season with their 13th overall Championship. The Missions' Texas League crown was their second in the past three seasons and fifth in the past 12 seasons. This year's title didn't come easy however as San Antonio went the distance in both of their playoff series to earn the Championship with game five wins over Corpus Christi and Arkansas. Their first round playoff win against Corpus Christi was hard earned as the Missions defeated the team with the best regular season record in the Texas League. The Hooks were 26 games over .500 in the regular season but San Antonio stood tall in a tense series that saw all five games decided by two runs or less. Against Arkansas in the Championship Series, San Antonio found themselves on the brink of elimination as they trailed two games to one but persevered through game four with a one-run victory and then shutout the Travelers 5-0 in game five to take the title.
The Inland Empire 66ers, the Single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, turned in one of the most memorable postseason stretches of the 2013 season to claim their sixth California League Title. The 66ers squeaked into the playoffs as a wild card team with an under .500 record and looked to be a long shot to win the title. In the first round, the 66ers won 7-6 in the final game against Rancho Cucamonga on a walk-off single. The Divisional Finals against Lancaster would also be dramatic as the series was decided in a final fifth game. The contest lasted 15 innings and the 66ers outlasted Lancaster 4-3 to set up a Championship Series matchup against the best regular season team in the league, the San Jose Giants. After two nail-biting series, the Finals would turn out to be a cake walk for the 66ers as they swept San Jose in three straight games to claim their first title since 2006. In addition, it was the first title for an Angels' California League affiliate since 1996.
The Pioneer League Championship Series turned out to be an Elmore Sports Group family affair as Idaho Falls, Rookie Level affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, defeated the Helena Brewers, Rookie Level affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers and fellow ESG club, for their first league title since 2000. The Chukars won a low-scoring first game 2-1 but Helena battled back in game two to even the series by scoring six runs in the bottom of the first on their way to a 7-5 slugfest victory. However, in the final deciding game, Idaho Falls' pitching would prove too much for Helena as the Chukars shutout the Brewers 6-0 en route to the team's third Pioneer League Championship. With the victory, the Elmore Sports Group collected their second Pioneer League title in the last four seasons as Helena brought home the hardware in 2010.
The Elmore Sports Group is a Sports and Entertainment Company founded by David G. Elmore in 1969 and is comprised of Minor League Baseball and Hockey Teams, Facility Management Companies, Hospitality, Special Events and Concession Companies. Elmore Sports Group also owns Travel and Incentive Companies that specialize in Olympic and other Sporting Events. It is one of the largest ownership groups in Minor League Baseball with over a million fans visiting an Elmore Sports Group franchise annually to see the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Triple-A), San Antonio Missions (Double-A), Inland Empire 66ers (Single-A), Eugene Emeralds (Rookie), Idaho Falls Chukars (Rookie), or Helena Brewers (Rookie).