California League

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California League
CaliforniaLeagueLogo.PNG
California League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 1941
No. of teams 10
Country USA
Most recent champion(s) Inland Empire 66ers
Official website Official Website

The California League is a Class A Advanced minor league baseball league which operates throughout the state of California. Before 2002, it was classified as a "High-A" league, indicating its status as a Class A league with the highest level of competition within that classification, and the fifth step between Rookie ball and the Major Leagues. Although Minor League Baseball, the umbrella organization for Minor Leagues that are affiliated with Major League Baseball, has eliminated the distinction between High-A and other full-season A leagues, most Major League teams still use such leagues as a standard promotion step. A few draftees, generally early-round draftees with college experience, will be assigned to a High-A team upon signing a professional contract, but generally players will not arrive at this level until their third or fourth year of professional play.

There were various attempts in the 1800s and early 1900s to form a California League. The first lasted from 1887-1889, then 1891, 1893, and 1899-1902. After the National Association of minor leagues was formed in 1902, the California League operated outside the NA as an independent league in 1902 and again from 1907-1909. Unfortunately this led to huge differences in the quality of teams competing with each other. In 1907 San Francisco was 3-34, while in 1908 San Francisco was 9-67 and Oakland was 4-71. Oakland and San Francisco competed in every year of these various leagues, with San Francisco having two teams 1887-1888.

The current league was founded in 1941, and contained teams in Anaheim, Bakersfield, Fresno, Merced, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Stockton. The following year, as a result of World War II, the league dropped to four teams, then ceased operations altogether. It came back in 1946, adding teams in Visalia, San Jose and Ventura by 1947. Reno, Nevada joined the league in 1955 and continued as a member for 37 years.

All of the current teams are playing in stadiums that have been built or extensively renovated since 1990. League attendance continues to increase each season, with over one million fans attending games per year. The league is divided into a Northern Division and a Southern Division.

Current teams[edit]

Locations of teams in the California League
Division Team MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
North Bakersfield Blaze Cincinnati Reds Bakersfield, California Sam Lynn Ballpark 3,500
Modesto Nuts Colorado Rockies Modesto, California John Thurman Field 4,000
San Jose Giants San Francisco Giants San Jose, California San Jose Municipal Stadium 4,200
Stockton Ports Oakland Athletics Stockton, California Banner Island Ballpark 5,300
Visalia Rawhide Arizona Diamondbacks Visalia, California Recreation Park 2,468
South High Desert Mavericks Seattle Mariners Adelanto, California Heritage Field at Stater Bros. Stadium 3,808
Inland Empire 66ers Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim San Bernardino, California San Manuel Stadium 5,000
Lake Elsinore Storm San Diego Padres Lake Elsinore, California Lake Elsinore Diamond 7,866
Lancaster JetHawks Houston Astros Lancaster, California The Hangar 6,860
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Los Angeles Dodgers Rancho Cucamonga, California LoanMart Field 6,200

Current team rosters[edit]

Champions (since 1960)[edit]

Complete team list (1941-42, 1946-present)[edit]

, and the Blaze under affiliations with the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers.

The Los Angeles area, Riverside, San Bernardino, Palm Springs, Yuma (AZ) and Las Vegas (NV) were also major league spring training site cities, as well possessed California League teams on different occasions.

Cities that have had California League Teams (current in bold)[edit]

  • Adelanto (1991-)
  • Anaheim (1941) AL
  • Bakersfield (1941–42, 1946–75, 1978–79, 1982-)
  • Fresno (1941–42, 1946-1988) PCL
  • Lake Elsinore (1994-)
  • Lancaster (1996-)
  • Las Vegas, NV (1958) PCL
  • Lodi (1966–84)
  • Merced (1941)
  • Modesto (1946–64, 1966-)
  • Palm Springs (1986–93)
  • Rancho Cucamonga (1993-)
  • Reno, NV (1955–64, 1966–92) PCL
  • Riverside (1941, 1988–90, 1993–95)
  • Salinas (1954–58, 1963–65, 1973–80, 1982–87, 1989–92)
  • San Bernardino (1941, 1987-)
  • San Jose (1942, 1947–58, 1962–76, 1979-)
  • Santa Barbara (1941–42, 1946–53, 1962–67)
  • Santa Clara (1979)
  • Santa Rosa (1980–85)
  • Stockton (1941, 1946–72, 1978-)
  • Ventura (1947–55, 1986)
  • Visalia (1946–62, 1968–75, 1977-)

[1]

Modesto has hosted a California League team longer than any other city, hosting a team in all but two of the CL's 65 seasons.

Team list (prior incarnations)[edit]

1906-09[edit]

1896, 1898-1902[edit]

1879-1893[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]