A total of 125 former Boise Hawks will suit up in professional baseball as of Sunday night. Of the group, 74 of the players are still in the Chicago Cubs organization – including five players with the Cubs themselves. The oldest active player is Garret Anderson of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who played for the Hawks in 1990, while Jay Jackson, Andrew Cashner, and Casey Coleman, who played for the Hawks in 2008, have advanced to AAA.
This updated list also includes players from the seven recognized indepedent leagues (Atlantic, Frontier, Canadian-American, Northern, American Association, Continental, and United), of which 17 former Hawks are currently playing.
Here is the full list of former Hawks in professional baseball (
After hearing some discussion about how Boise professional teams have fared in placing talent in their respective “Big Leagues,” I decided to thoroughly research this history of the Boise Hawks and professional baseball in the City of Trees – and found some interesting things.
Between myself and local sports guru, Tom Scott, we had a list of 70 former Hawks in the Big Leagues since 1987 – however, we were off. It was really 76 – two from the Mal Fitchman independent days, 47 from the Angels affiliate days, and 27 from the Cubs.
But I dug further – all the way back to 1939, the days of the Boise Pilots, Boise Yankees, Boise Braves, Boise A’s, and Boise Buckskins – adding another 48 players who went on to the big leagues. Rickey Henderson and Bob Uecker – enshrined in the Hall of Fame, both played in Boise, as did Dontrelle Willis and Geovany Soto – NL Rookies of the Year. As did all-stars Henderson, Willis, Soto, Gerry Staley, Sandy Alomar Sr., Garret Anderson, Troy Percival, John Lackey, and Francisco Rodriguez.
Since 1952 – only the 1987 and 1988 teams did not produce a big league talent (2008 and 2009 are still too recent), while the 1998 did not provide a new name, Greg Jones (who played for the Hawks first in 1997) did reach the majors.
Enjoy the Official List of former Boise players who have headed to the Major Leagues. (
A total of 45 players remain at Fitch Park, the Spring Training Complex for the Chicago Cubs, continuing the Cactus League season as part of Extended Spring Training.
Many players have been promoted from Arizona, including former Hawks James Leverton (who was in Arizona coverting to a side-arm delivery), Larry Suarez, D.J. Fitzgerald, Jonathan Mota (who was in Arizona converting to a catcher), and Francisco Guzman.
Impressing the most has been lefty Marcos Perez, who has not allowed an earned run in 17-plus innings of work, holding opponents to a .105 batting average, with 16 strikeouts and just one walk in his first season away from the Dominican Republic (went 8-3 in two years in the Dominican Summer League).
At the plate, young middle-infielder Ping-Chieh Chen reminds many of former Hawk, Hak-Ju Lee, with outfielder Jesus Morelli recording six extra-base hits since joining the team from Class-A Peoria.
A complete look at the Boise/Mesa Extended Squad can be found here
After coming up with a final list of 20 position players from the decade of 2000-09, members of the Boise Hawks front office, along with members of the Boise Media selected the Top-10 Boise Hawks Position Players of the Decade.
Of the group, only three have played in the major leagues, while nine of the ten are currently active in professional baseball.
Let us know what you think:
Former 2007 Boise Hawks catcher Josh Donaldson was called up by the Oakland Athletics on Friday, made a pinch-hitting appearance in last night’s 10-2 loss to the Blue Jays and is in the starting line-up at the Rogers Centre for today’s matinee against Toronto.
Donaldson, who was hitting .269 with four home runs and 19 RBI at AAA Sacramento, was added to the 40-man roster after starting catcher, Kurt Suzuki, was played on the 15-Day DL. He becomes the 70th former Boise Hawk to play in the Major Leagues.
In 2007, the former Auburn Tiger had a big season for the Hawks, hitting .346, with nine home runs and 35 RBI. A year later, he was involved in Cubs-A’s six-player trade that sent Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin to Chicago, for Donaldson, Eric Patterson, Sean Gallagher, and Matt Murton.
Donaldson joins another former Hawk, Jerry Blevins, on the Athletics roster.
With Donaldson, there are now 19 former Boise Hawks on MLB rosters.