|Idaho Falls Chukars|
Founded in 1940
Idaho Falls, Idaho
|Minor league affiliations|
|Class||Independent (from 2021)|
|League||Pioneer League (1940-1942, 1946-present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Team||Independent (from 2021)|
|Minor league titles|
|Name||Idaho Falls Chukars (2004-present)|
|Colors||Burgundy, silver, black|
|Mascot||Charlie the Chukar|
|Ballpark||Melaleuca Field (2007-present)|
|McDermott Field (1978-2006)|
|Elmore Sports Group|
|General Manager||Kevin Greene|
|Manager||Billy 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. 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.
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. 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.
Numerous Idaho Falls alumni advanced to Major League baseball, some alumni of note include: