MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The two-time defending Pacific Coast League champion Memphis Redbirds have announced their 2019 season schedule.
Their quest for a three-peat set to begin on Thursday, April 4 after a “Battle of the Birds” exhibition game at AutoZone Park against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, March 25.
The Redbirds are scheduled to play 140 games from April 4-Sept. 2 and will be vying for their third-straight PCL crown, which has not been accomplished in the league since the 1980-82 Albuquerque Dukes. The 2019 season is the 20th in AutoZone Park history.
The home slate includes 11 Saturday games that feature postgame fireworks, plus home games with fireworks on Sunday, May 26 (Memorial Day Celebration) and Wednesday, July 3 (Independence Day Celebration).
Of note, the home schedule concludes with an 11-game homestand from Aug. 15-25, which is the Redbirds’ longest homestand since also playing 11-in-a-row at AutoZone Park from June 23-July 3, 2015.
The PCL will have a new look in a few ways in 2019. Four PCL teams have new affiliates, with the Washington Nationals taking over the Fresno Grizzlies, the Houston Astros changing from Fresno to the Round Rock Express, the Texas Rangers switching from Round Rock to the Nashville Sounds, and the Oakland Athletics changing from Nashville to the Las Vegas 51s.
In addition, the San Antonio Missions, previously the Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, are now in the PCL as the Milwaukee Brewers’ top farm club. Milwaukee’s previous PCL team, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, are now a Rookie-level affiliate of the Brewers.
Also, the Redbirds will now play in the PCL American Northern Division alongside the Iowa Cubs (Chicago [N]), Nashville Sounds (Texas), and Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City).
The Redbirds claimed their second-straight PCL title and fourth in franchise history in September and went on to win their first Triple-A National Championship with a 14-4 win over the Durham Bulls, the champions of the International League. The Redbirds went 83-57 in 2018 after going 91-50 in 2017.
The 174 wins between the last two regular seasons are the most in a two-year span by Memphis professional baseball clubs since 1933-34, and the back-to-back league championships are the first by Bluff City pro baseball teams since the Memphis Chickasaws in 1952 and 1953.
The Redbirds will have a new manager in 2019, as the skipper for those two PCL titles in 2017 and 2018, back-to-back PCL Manager of the Year Stubby Clapp, was recently promoted to the St. Louis Cardinals as first base coach. The new manager will be the eighth in Redbirds history.
Additional information about ticket on-sales, promotions, theme nights, and giveaways will be available in the coming weeks and months. For more information on the Redbirds’ upcoming 2019 season, visit their website.