The 50th season of Triple-A baseball in Des Moines begins Thursday when the Iowa Cubs host the Oklahoma City Dodgers in a Pacific Coast League doubleheader. The franchise debuted in 1969 as the Iowa Oaks in the American Association and an affiliate of the Oakland A’s.
That’s Iowa Cubs President and General Manager Sam Bernabe who was hired as an intern for the club in 1983. The early years saw the Oaks become an affiliate of the White Sox and there was even one season with the Houston Astros before becoming affiliated with the Chicago Cubs in 1981. Bernabe says it was a perfect fit for a market that studies show favors the Cubs by a two-to-one margin over any major league club.
Bernabe says the other development that helped establish the longterm success of the franchise was the opening of Principal Park in 1992.
Bernabe with rapid development and more people living downtown the market continues to grow and the future looks bright. He is proud of what the franchise has become.