June 12, 2012
A Brief History of the Vedder Cup
When Major League Baseball introduced interleague play in 1997, Bud Selig decreed that certain teams would be “natural rivals.” One such “rivalry” pits the San Diego Padres against the Seattle Mariners, presumably because they share a spring training facility in Peoria, Ariz.
Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder has called San Diego and Seattle home at various points in his life, ergo the series is played for a “Vedder Cup” that doesn't actually exist, which is fine because Vedder is a Cubs fan. Much like the “rivalry” itself, none of this makes any sense.
Intrigued? As we brace for another meeting between these bitter enemies, let's take a closer look.
Before the Beginning
Seattle started earlier, in 1890, with the Hustlers of the Pacific Northwest League. Stars from that franchise included Billy Earle, a catcher and hypnotist of ladies; San Francisco native Bill Lange; and Portland's Tom Parrott. Several other Seattle teams (with charming names such as the Yannigans, Clamdiggers, Siwashes, Chinooks, and Turks) flitted into and out of existence in different leagues until 1919, when the Rainiers joined the Pacific Coast League.
The Rainiers would exist until 1969 (called the Indians from 1922 to 1937, and the Angels from 1965 to 1968), when the expansion Pilots joined the American League. San Diego, meanwhile, welcomed the Padres to the PCL in 1936. Featuring future Hall of Famers Bobby Doerr and Ted Williams (a product of San Diego's Hoover High School), the Padres established themselves as an immediate force.