The New Orleans Pelicans were a Minor league professional baseball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Founded in 1887, the Pelicans became part of the Southern Association in 1901. From 1915 through 1957, they played home games at Heinemann Park (later known as Pelican Stadium), formerly located at the riverside downriver (Southeastern) corner of Carrollton Avenue's intersection with Tulane Avenue in Mid-City New Orleans. After this, they played for two years at City Park Stadium, now called Tad Gormley Stadium, in City Park. The franchise was sold to Little Rock at the end of the 1959 season. The Southern Association folded after the 1961 season.
Notable Pelicans included Shoeless Joe Jackson, Jimmy Dygert, Henry "Cotton" Knaupp, Bill Lindsay, Zeke Bonura, Gene Freese, and Hall of Famers Dazzy Vance, Joe Sewell, Bob Lemon, and Earl Weaver. In Jackson's only season with New Orleans (1910), he hit .354 to win the league batting title and led the team to the pennant with an 87-53 record. The following year, he would hit .408 with the American League's Cleveland Naps.
In the 1950s, the team was associated with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was managed by Danny Murtaugh. Other notable Pelican managers included Larry Gilbert and Abner Powell, with the latter credited with introducing the "rain check" in 1889.
The Pelicans' name briefly resurfaced during the 1977 season when oilman A. Ray Smith moved his Triple-A Tulsa Oilers to New Orleans to play in the Superdome. After a single season, the team then moved to Springfield, Illinois, and were re-named the Redbirds. Rights to the New Orleans Pelicans name are currently owned by Tom Benson, owner of the NFL's New Orleans Saints.
The Pelicans were affiliated with the following major league teams:
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