Founded in 1941
|Current||Class A – Advanced|
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Oakland Athletics (2005–present)|
Texas Rangers (2003–2004)
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||11 (1946, 1947, 1963, 1965, 1969, 1980, 1986, 1990, 1992, 2002, 2008)|
Stockton Ports (1946–2000, 2002–present)
|Ballpark||Banner Island Ballpark|
|Previous parks||Billy Hebert Field|
|Tom Volpe / 7th Inning Stretch, LLC|
|General manager||Pat Filippone|
The Stockton Ports are a baseball team in Stockton, California. The Ports play in the Northern Division of the Class A – Advanced California League and are a Minor League affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Their home field is Banner Island Ballpark which seats over 5,000 people and opened in 2005.
Baseball first came to Stockton in the 1860s. By the 1880s Stockton began to field a team in an earlier incarnation of the California League. In 1888 the Stockton team won the California League pennant with a record of 41–12. That same team also gained a bit of notoriety as a possible inspiration of Casey at the Bat, a famous baseball poem by Ernest Thayer. Thayer was a journalist for the San Francisco Examiner at the time and the games were hosted in a ballpark on Banner Island, a place once known as Mudville.
The Stockton Flyers were established as a charter member of the California League in 1941. The league suspended operations in June 1942 due to World War II. The Flyers were rechristened as the Stockton Ports to recognize Stockton's status as an inland port city when the league resumed operations in 1946. That season, the Ports went on to win their first California League pennant.
In 1947, the Ports won the California League pennant again without a major league affiliation (they had a limited working agreement with the PCL Oakland Oaks). After going 24–18 playing through June 4, they went on a 26-game winning streak and took first place, never to relinquish again in that season. The win streak is one of the longest in professional baseball and is still a California League record. The Ports finished that season with a record of 95–45 and sixteen games ahead of the two teams tied for second place. Years later, baseball historians Bill Weiss and Marshall Wright rated the 1947 Ports as one of the one hundred best Minor League teams of all time, ranked at No. 98.
Owned by Stockton local Carl W. Thompson, Sr. 1971–1973, the Ports would disband after the 1972 season, coming back as an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in 1978. The Ports won more games in the 1980s than any other team in minor-league baseball. In an homage to the team in the Ernest Thayer poem the Ports were renamed as the Mudville Nine in 2000 and 2001, then returned to the Ports name in 2002.
The Ports won their 11th California League Championship in 2008. With 11 league titles, the Ports have the most among the league's active franchises, with the defunct Reno franchise having won eleven. Stockton won its 11th championship with a 9–3 win over the Lancaster JetHawks on Sept. 14, 2008.
In 2005 the Ports became an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics and began play at the Banner Island Ballpark. The 2009 season marked the team's 5th anniversary at Banner Island Ballpark.
Major League Affiliations
- 1941 Los Angeles Angels, PCL
- 1946 Independent
- 1947–1948 Oakland Oaks, PCL
- 1949 Chicago White Sox, AL
- 1950–1951 Independent
- 1952 St. Louis Browns, AL
- 1953–1954 Chicago Cubs, NL
- 1955 Oakland Oaks, PCL
- 1956–1957 Baltimore Orioles, AL
- 1958 St. Louis Cardinals, NL
- 1959–1971 Baltimore Orioles, AL
- 1972 California Angels, AL
- 1978 Seattle Mariners, AL
- 1979–2000 Milwaukee Brewers, AL (until 1997) NL (since 1998)
- 2001–2002 Cincinnati Reds, NL
- 2003–2004 Texas Rangers, AL
- 2005–present Oakland Athletics, AL
Notable Ports alumni
- Mike "SuperJew" Epstein (born 1943), MLB first baseman
- Jim Morris
- Juan Nieves
- Ben Sheets
- Gary Sheffield
- Bobby Grich
- Kurt Suzuki
- Travis Buck
- Daric Barton
- Bobby Crosby
- Geoff Jenkins
- Mike Piazza
- Eddie Guardado
- Dallas Braden
- Mudville Nine players
Stockton Ports roster
KWSX-AM 1280 (Stockton)
|Sacramento River Cats||Midland RockHounds
Vermont Lake Monsters