Idaho Falls Chukars|
Founded in 1940
Idaho Falls, Idaho
|Current||Rookie Advanced (1964-present)|
Class A (1963)|
Class C (1940-1942, 1946-1962)
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Pioneer League (1940-1942, 1946-present)|
|Utah-Idaho League (1926-1928)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Kansas City Royals (2004-present)|
|Minor league titles|
|Nickname||Idaho Falls Chukars (2004-present)|
Burgundy, silver, black|
|Mascot||Charlie the Chukar|
|Ballpark||Melaleuca Field (2007-present)|
|McDermott Field (1978-2006)|
|Elmore Sports Group|
|General Manager||Kevin Greene|
The Idaho Falls Chukars are a professional baseball club based in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The Chukars are a Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They play their home games at Melaleuca Field, which has a seating capacity of 3,600. The dimensions of the ballpark are 350' to left field, 390' to center field, and 335' to right field. The playing surface is natural grass (Kentucky bluegrass).
The team plays in the Pioneer League, a short-season league operating from June to early September, which is designated as Rookie Advanced League. 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 and have one of the most loyal fanbases in the Pioneer League.
After fielding a team 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 2017, Logan Ratick 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.
The press box at Melaleuca Field is named after Jim Garchow, who was the team's play-by-play broadcaster for 39 season until his passing after the 2009 season.
Numerous Idaho Falls alumni advanced to Major League baseball, some alumni of note include: