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)||
|Nickname||Stockton Ports (1946–2000, 2002–present)|
Mudville Nine (2000–2001)
|Colors||red, white, and blue
|Ballpark||Banner Island Ballpark (2005–present)|
|Billy Hebert Field (1941–2004)|
|Tom Volpe / 7th Inning Stretch, LLC|
|General Manager||Bryan Meadows|
The Stockton Ports are a minor league baseball team in Stockton, California. The Ports play in the North 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. The Ports' games are broadcast on KWSX (1280 AM).
Baseball first came to Stockton in the 1860s. At the time Stockton fielded 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 Pacific Coast League's 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 16 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 100 best minor league teams of all time, ranked at number 98.
Owned by Stockton local Carl W. Thompson, Sr. (1971–73), 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 eleventh California League Championship in 2008 with a 9–3 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks on September 14, 2008. With 11 league titles, the Ports have the most among the league's active franchises, with the defunct Reno franchise also having won 11.
Major league affiliations
- 1941: Los Angeles Angels, PCL
- 1946: Independent
- 1947–48: Oakland Oaks, PCL
- 1949: Chicago White Sox, AL
- 1950–51: Independent
- 1952: St. Louis Browns, AL
- 1953–54: Chicago Cubs, NL
- 1955: Oakland Oaks, PCL
- 1956–57: Baltimore Orioles, AL
- 1958: St. Louis Cardinals, NL
- 1959–71: Baltimore Orioles, AL
- 1972: California Angels, AL
- 1978: Seattle Mariners, AL
- 1979–2000: Milwaukee Brewers, AL (1979–97)/NL (1998–2000)
- 2001–02: Cincinnati Reds, NL
- 2003–04: Texas Rangers, AL
- 2005–present Oakland Athletics, AL
Notable Ports alumni
Stockton Ports roster
- Weiss, Bill; Wright, Marshall (2001). "Historians Weiss, Wright Rank 100 Best Minor League Baseball Teams". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- National Geographic. 179, No. 4. April 1991. Missing or empty
- Kroichick, Ron (May 4, 2000). "Funky Mudville Has Murky Future". SFGate.com. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- "California League (Adv A) Encyclopedia and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 26, 2014.