Idaho Falls Yankees
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Idaho Falls Yankees
Idaho Falls Chukars
Founded in 1940
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Minor league affiliations
ClassIndependent (from 2021)
Previous classes
LeaguePioneer League (1940-1942, 1946-present)
DivisionNorth Division
Major league affiliations
TeamIndependent (from 2021)
Previous teams
Minor league titles
  • 1952
  • 1963
  • 1970
  • 1974
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2013
  • 2019
  • 1978
  • 1982
  • 1998
  • 2000
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2013
  • 2019
Team data
NameIdaho Falls Chukars (2004-present)
Previous names
  • Idaho Falls Padres (2000-2003)
  • Idaho Falls Braves (1993-1999)
  • Idaho Falls Gems (1992)
  • Idaho Falls Braves (1986-1991)
  • Idaho Falls Eagles (1985)
  • Idaho Falls A's (1982-1984)
  • Idaho Falls Angels (1966-1981)
  • Idaho Falls Yankees (1962-1965)
  • Idaho Falls Russets (1940-1942, 1946-1961)
ColorsBurgundy, silver, black[1]
MascotCharlie the Chukar
BallparkMelaleuca Field (2007-present)
Previous parks
McDermott Field (1978-2006)
Elmore Sports Group
General ManagerKevin Greene
ManagerBilly Gardner Jr.

The Idaho Falls Chukars are an independent baseball team of the Pioneer League, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball (MLB) but is an MLB Partner League. They are located in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and play their home games at Melaleuca Field.

They adopted the name the Chukars following a fan vote when the major league affiliation changed after the 2003 season. A chukar is a game bird found in the region.[2] The Chukars are the only professional sports team in Eastern Idaho.

In conjunction with a contraction of Minor League Baseball in 2021, the Pioneer League, of which the Chukars have been members since 1940, was converted from an MLB-affiliated Rookie Advanced league to an independent baseball league and granted status as an MLB Partner League, with Idaho Falls continuing as members.[3]

Franchise history

After fielding the Idaho Falls Spuds in the Utah-Idaho League from 1926 to 1928, the franchise restarted in 1940 and were called the Russets, playing in the Pioneer League.[4] The team has played each season since then, under various major league affiliations and nicknames, except for three years that the Pioneer League suspended operation due to World War II. Some famous baseball alumni of Idaho Falls teams are Billy Martin, Joe Maddon, Jose Canseco, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler. The Chukars are the only professional sports team in Eastern Idaho. More than one million fans have attended Idaho Falls home games since the team moved into Melaleuca Field in 2007.



All exhibition, regular season and postseason games can be heard on KSPZ (ESPN Radio affiliate) 980 AM - 105.1 FM and 94.5 FM throughout Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls and Pocatello. The signal also reaches part of Western Wyoming. John Balginy has been the "Voice of the Chukars" since 1985. For 2021, Tyler Petersen is the Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations, serving as the solo play-by-play voice for all road games and working in the booth with Balginy for all home games.

Notable alumni

Numerous Idaho Falls alumni advanced to Major League baseball, some alumni of note include:[5]


  1. ^ "Chukars Proudly Release New Logo". MLB Advanced Media. November 18, 2003. Archived from the original on January 4, 2004. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ Hill, Benjamin (July 14, 2017). "On the Road: Idaho Falls' 'Mother Chukar'". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "Pioneer League named MLB Partner League". Baseball America. November 30, 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ "Idaho Falls Russets". Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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