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Portland (Beavers) Baseball Club, Inc.


SKU: 7450
Product Details

Intricately engraved antique stock certificate from the Minor League Baseball's Portland Baseball Club, Inc. dating back to the 1950's. This document, which contains the printed signatures of the company President and Secretary, was printed by Goes and measures approximately 10 3/4" (w) by 8 1/2" (h).


This certificate's vignette features a man at bat with a baseball behind him.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    With professional baseball player Walt McCredie and former U.S. House member from Washington Judge William Wallace McCredie at the helm, Portland was offered an expansion baseball franchise and re-entered the Pacific Coast League in 1919. The team finished in seventh place, only ahead of last-place Seattle who was also an expansion team that year. Portland finished in last place in 1920 and again in 1921. After the 1921 season, the McCredies sold the team to Walter Klepper who had been president of the Seattle team. Klepper brought in Jim Thorpe who played with the Beavers in 1922, paying him a then-unheard of minor league salary of $1,000 per month.

    It wasn't long before Klepper was in the middle of a dispute with Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Klepper had brought Seattle player-manager Bill Kenworthy down to manage the Beavers, only Seattle claimed Kenworthy was still under contract and that Klepper had tampered in the matter. Landis suspended Klepper until January 1, 1925, and declared Kenworthy ineligible to play or manage Portland until 1924. According to The Portland Beavers, a book by Kip Carlson and Paul Andresen, "The feisty Klepper went to court and had the decision overturned, supposedly the only time that Landis ever had a ruling reversed." Kenworthy did manage the Beavers in 1924, replacing popular player-manager Jim Middleton. He was fired mid-season, though, as he was not able to generate support from the players. The 1924 season was also noteworthy in that future Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane played on the team.

    After 1924, the Beavers officially became a farm team for a major league team for the first time when Philadelphia Athletics owners John and Tom Shibe purchased the Beavers as well as Vaughn Street Park. Despite having Duffy Lewis on the team in 1925 (winning the PCL batting title), Elmer Smith in 1926 and 1927 (leading the PCL in home runs in 1926 and all of minor league baseball in home runs in 1927), and Ike Boone in 1928, the Beavers continued to finish in the bottom half of the league.

    Longtime head groundskeeper Rocky Benevento started working for the Beavers in 1927. Benevento was so popular with the fans that they took up a collection for him in 1956 to send him to the World Series. Benevento retired at the end of the 1966 season and was given a new car. When Benevento died in 1969, The Oregonian stated, "He adored kids...he loved baseball...and most of all he loved people." His funeral had an overflowing crowd that included Oregon Governor Tom McCall. Benevento stayed with the team 40 years, spanning 30 managerial changes and five ownership changes. While the former location of Vaughn Street Park is now a parking lot, there is a plaque honoring Benevento for his efforts in furthering baseball in Portland.

    In 1929, the Beavers changed their name to the Portland Ducks, bearing a duck on their uniform, and were also occasionally known that year as the Portland Rosebuds. The name change didn't change the team's luck as they finished with a 90–112 record. Long–time radio broadcaster Rollie Truitt also joined the Beavers staff in 1929, and worked for the team for 35 years, spanning 28 managerial changes and five ownership changes. Truitt would later be known as the "Dean of Pacific Coast League broadcasters." In 1930, the team reverted to the Beavers name, but would occasionally be referred to as the Ducks for over a decade. The highlight of the Beavers last place 1930 season was William Rhiel's unassisted triple play, the last recorded in PCL history.

    In 1931, team President Tom Turner bought the franchise from the Shibe brothers and the team took a turn for the positive. Ed Coleman led the PCL in hits and runs batted in, and the team finished in third, winning 100 games. The team continued to improve in 1932, winning Portland its first pennant since 1914. The team finished second in 1933. Turner brought Walter McCredie back to manager the team in 1934, but he died early in the season and the team fell to the bottom half of the league.

    Following the 1934 season, E.J. Shefter bought the team from Turner. The team improved in 1935, finishing one game over .500, and then won the pennant in 1936, finishing 1½ games over runner-up Oakland, then winning the postseason series to capture the crown. In 1937, the Beavers finished in fourth place, but made it to the playoffs defeating San Francisco in the first round before losing to the San Diego team featuring a young Ted Williams. The team finished sixth in 1938 before finishing in last place in 1939–1942. The 1940 team was so bad, finishing 56–122, that they were still 25 games behind the seventh-place team (the league had eight teams at that time).

    In 1943, William Klepper, with partner George Norgan buying a minority share, purchased the Beavers. The team came back that season with their first winning record since 1937. The management of the team began referring to the team as the "Lucky Beavers" and Vaughn Street Park was known as "Lucky Beaver Stadium." With the United States firmly involved in World War II, local radio station KXL sold over $300,000 in war bonds in 1943 to fund the building of a bomber for the war that would be dubbed "The Lucky Beaver." Due to U.S. involvement in the war, the available pool of baseball players in the nation was ravaged. Somehow, the Beavers still moved up in the league, finishing second in 1944. In 1945 the Beavers brought another pennant to Portland being skippered by player-manager Marv Owen. Despite winning the pennant, the team lost to San Francisco in the first round of the playoffs. To commemorate Portland's 1945 pennant win, Portland held a banquet at the Multnomah Hotel (now the downtown Portland Embassy Suites). Oregon Governor Earl Snell presented a commemorative watch and gold and diamond ring to each player at the banquet. The watches were given to the players due to L. H. Gregory of The Oregonian requesting fans to donate money to a fund for the purpose. Gregory did this because he felt it was not right that no memento was given to the players from the 1936 championship team. Following the 1945 season, Norgan purchased Klepper's share of the team becoming the team's new owner.

    In 1946, the Beavers fell to the bottom half of the league, finishing in seventh place, 41 games out of first. In 1947 Eddie Basinski joined the Beavers, and they finished third, losing to the Los Angeles Angels in the first round of the playoffs. The team drew, up to then, a team record of 421,000 fans that season. This record would stand for the Beavers until the 2001 season when Triple-A Baseball returned to Portland.

    In 1948, the team finished fifth, followed by a sixth-place finish in 1949. The 1949 season began the integration of the Pacific Coast League as Frankie Austin and Luis Marquez became Beavers. Beginning with the 1950 season, the Beavers finished fourth for four straight years. Clay Hopper, who had been Jackie Robinson's manager when he played for the Montreal Royals in 1946, was named the team's manager in 1952. This year also marked the first year the Pacific Coast League was classified by the NAPBL as an "open league." The open league was a step above Triple-A, and was an attempt by the Pacific Coast League to be considered the third major league.

    Plans for a new ballpark were announced by the team in 1953. Originally the team planned to build a new stadium at 82nd and Holgate in Southeast Portland. Due to the Korean War, among other issues, the stadium never came to fruition. In 1954 the team dropped again to the bottom of the league. After the 1954 season the team went up for sale to the community via public stock, which resulted in 2,400 new owners for the 1955 season. With the change the Beavers rose to fifth place, only nine games back of first.

    In 1956, the Beavers left the now-demolished Vaughn Street Park to move into 25,000-seat Multnomah Stadium, today's Providence Park. Throughout most of the 1960s, the Beavers were the Triple-A affiliate of the American League Cleveland Indians, nurturing such future stars as "Sudden" Sam McDowell, Lou "Mad Dog" Piniella, and Luis "El Gigante" Tiant. Later major league affiliations included the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies.

    In 1961, the Beavers signed the 56-year-old Satchel Paige. He pitched 25 innings for the Beavers, striking out 19 and giving up 18 earned runs without recording a decision.

    Following the 1972 season, principal owner Bill Cutler moved the team northeast to Spokane, who had lost their PCL team to Albuquerque after the 1971 season. For the next five seasons, Portland was in the short-season Class A Northwest League (NWL) with the independent and non-conforming Portland Mavericks, owned by actor Bing Russell.