|Minor league affiliations|
|Previous classes||Class A (1988-1999 )|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|1988, 1989, 1993, 1998, 1999|
The Rockford Expos (1988-1992) were a minor league baseball team located in Rockford, Illinois that was Rockford's first entity in the Midwest League. The Expos were followed by the Rockford Royals (1993-1994), Rockford Cubbies (1995-1998) and Rockford Reds (1999) in the Midwest League. Rockford was an affiliate of the Montreal Expos (1988-1992), Kansas City Royals (1993-1994), Chicago Cubs (1995-1998) and Cincinnati Reds (1999).
After minor league first began in Rockford in 1871, Rockford hosted various teams in different minor leagues. The Rockford Expos were immediately preceded in Rockford by the Rockford Rox (1947-1949) of the Central Association.
In 1947, the Rockford Rox returned minor league baseball to Rockford after a 24-year absence. The Rockford Rox joined the reformed Central Association, along with the Burlington Indians, Clinton Cubs, Hannibal Pilots, Keokuk Pirates and Moline A's. The Rox played as an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds (1947-1949). The Central Association folded after the 1949 season.
34 years after the Rockford Rox last played, Rockford became home to the Rockford Expos in 1988. The Midwest League's expansion occurred in 1988 when the Rockford Expos and South Bend White Sox joined the now 14-team league.
The 1988 Expos finished third in attendance (158,674), were second in the northern division in the first half (39-29) and won the division in the second half (45-27). The Expos but lost in the postseason to the Kenosha Twins.
The 1989 Rockford Expos finished 34-32 in the first half, winning the second half with a 40-27 record. Managed by Mike Quade, the 1989 Expos drew 139,338 fans (6th in the MWL). In the playoffs, the Expos lost to the South Bend White Sox, 2 games to none.
In 1990, the Rockford Expos finished the first half 34-34 and were last with a 22-46 second half. The team drew 140,864 fans (5th in the 14-team league).
The 1992 Expos finished 66-70 with attendance of 50,900 in 1992 (9th place).
After the 1992 season, the Rockford franchise affiliate was agreed to eventually be transferred to the Chicago Cubs. An existing agreement with the Peoria Chiefs prevented the Cubs from leaving as a Peoria affiliate until 1994. So, Rockford, became a Kansas City Royals affiliate for the next two seasons.
The newly named Rockford Royals finished 78-54 overall in 1993 under Manager Mike Jirschele. The Rockford Royals won the first-half northern division title with a 43-22 record. The Royals finished the regular season 1.0 games behind the Clinton Giants for the top Midwest League record, with attendance of 68,206. The Royals lost in the 1st round in the playoffs, two-games to zero to the South Bend White Sox.
Rockford was dominant in 1994, capturing a first-place finish in both halves (44-25 and 45-25), while drawing 70,527. The Rockford Royals won their opening playoff series, beating the West Michigan Whitecaps two-games to zero. Rockford then lost 3 games to 1 to the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the 1994 Midwest League finals.
As planned, Rockford became the Rockford Cubbies in 1995.
The Rockford Cubbies finished 75-65 overall in 1995 under manager was Steve Roadcap. Rockford lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Beloit Brewers two-games to zero. The Cubbies drew 110,052 fans, 10th in the league.
In 1996 the Cubbies finished 70-65 overall and drew fans 102,479 (11th). They defeated the Beloit Brewers two-games to one in the playoffs, but fell to the West Michigan WhiteCaps two-games to zero in the semifinals.
The last year for the Rockford Cubbies was 1998. Rockford finished last in the first half in the central division at 32-39. The Cubbies then won the second half at 39-29. In the playoffs, the Rockford Cubbies beat the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (2-1) and the Fort Wayne Wizards (2-0) to advance to the Midwest League Finals. The Cubbies lost 3 games to 1 in the finals against the West Michigan Whitecaps. They drew 75,600 (11th).
The Rockford Reds played 1999 as a Cincinnati Reds affiliate in Rockford's final Midwest League season. The Rockford Reds finished 45-24 in the first half to capture the Central Division first half crown. The Reds finished 31-39 in the second half of the season for an overall record of 76-63. The Rockford Reds played the franchises final games in losing in the first round of the postseason to two-games to zero the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
|1988||84-56||2nd||Alan Bannister||Lost in 1st Round|
|1989||74-59||4th||Mike Quade||Lost in 1st Round|
|1991||76-61||2nd||Pat Kelly (27-21)/Rich Dubee (1-1)/Rob Leary (48-39)||none|
|1993||78-64||2nd||Mike Jirschele||Lost in 1st Round|
|1994||89-50||1st||John Mizerock||Lost in League Finals|
|1995||75-65||5th||Steve Roadcap||Lost in 1st Round|
|1996||70-65||5th||Steve Roadcap||Lost in 2nd Round|
|1998||71-68||7th||Rubén Amaro||Lost League Finals|
|1999||76-63||4th||Mike Rojas||Lost in 1st Round|