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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.

The 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.

In 2008 the Bakersfield Blaze announced that the franchise will be moved to the Carolina League for 2010 [1]. Another California League franchise would have to move to the Carolina League, although the second team's identity has not been determined, in order to keep both leagues at an even number of teams for scheduling purposes. Some news reports indicate that the second team may be the High Desert Mavericks. However, Minor League Baseball president Pat O'Conner announced in February 2009 that they would remain in the California League at the very least.[1] In September 2009, a further announcement was made that the Blaze would remain in Bakersfield for at least through the 2010 season.[2] As of the end of the 2012 season, the Blaze have remained in Bakersfield, with no further announcements.

  • The California League actually began operations in 1887 as the California State League. It used that same title for the year 1896. The title "California League" was used during the following years: 1888-93, 1897-1900, Class B 1910 and Class D 1913-15 and 1929.

Current teams

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

Champions (since 1960)

  • Teams declared co-champions in wake of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Complete team list (1941-42, 1946-present)

  • Anaheim Aces (1941), folded by onset of World War II, one of six minor league baseball teams in Orange County, California from 1901 to 1955.
  • Bakersfield (1941-42, 1946-75, 1978-79, 1982-present) as Baskersfield Badgers in 1941-42; as Bakersfield Indians in 1946-55; as Bakersfield Boosters in 1956; as Bakersfield Bears in 1957-67) under affiliations with the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves.
  • Bakersfield Outlaws (1978-79).
  • Bakersfield Blaze (1995-present), as Bakersfield Mariners in 1982-83; as Bakersfield Dodgers in 1968-75, 1984-94), and the Blaze under affiliations with the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers. The Blaze will play their final season in 2009.
  • Fresno Cardinals (1941-42), folded by onset of World War II.
  • High Desert Mavericks (1982-present, as Salinas Spurs 1982-87; as Riverside Red Wave in 1988-90) Note: The Mavericks are expected to play their final season in 2009. The independent Golden Baseball League has displayed an interest to field a team in Stater Bros. Stadium or a proposed ball park in Apple Valley once the California League has departed.
  • Inland Empire 66ers (1941-42, 1946-present, as Fresno Cardinals in 1941-42, 1946-56; as Fresno Sun Sox in 1957; as Fresno Giants in 1958-87; as Fresno Suns in 1988; as Salinas Spurs in 1989-92; as San Bernardino Spirit in 1993-95; as San Bernardino Stampede in 1996-02 under affiliations with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners).
  • Lake Elsinore Storm (1979-present, as Santa Clara Padres in 1979; as Redwood Pioneers in 1980-85; as Palm Springs Angels in 1986-93).
  • Lancaster Jethawks (1966-present, as Reno Silver Sox in 1966-81; as Reno Padres in 1982-87; as Reno Silver Sox under affiliation with the Chicago White Sox in 1988-92; as Riverside Pilots under affiliation with the Seattle Mariners in 1993-95; and played some games in Palm Springs).
  • Las Vegas Wranglers (1947-58, as San Jose Red Sox in 1947-55; as San Jose JoSox in 1956-57; as San Jose Pirates in 1958; moved to Salinas in mid-season 1958 and Las Vegas during 1959 season).
  • Long Beach Angels (1962-66), as Santa Barbara Angels (1968-71), as Santa Clara Angels (1972-75) and as Salinas Angels (1976-80).
  • Los Angeles Cubbies in Wrigley Field, Long Beach and Hollywood Field (1946-49).
  • Merced Bears (1941), folded by onset of World War II, no California League team there ever since.
  • Modesto Colts (1946-64, as Modesto Reds in 1946-61), folded by 1962.
  • Modesto Nuts (1946-present, as Modesto Reds in 1946-61; as Modesto Yankees 1962-69, Modesto Cardinals 1970-74 and Modesto A's 1975-2004)
  • Oakland Oaks (1941, moved to Visalia as a result of World War II 1942-45); Oakland became a Pacific Coast League city, while Visalia Oaks folded by 1944.
  • Palm Springs Angels (1985-93) before relocation to Lake Elsinore in 1994. Palm Springs was the former spring training camp for the then-California Angels from 1961 to 1993. Palm Springs held other minor league and collegiate teams in the 1990s and 2000s.



'California':


(1888-93, 1897-1900)(C 1941-42, 1946-62)(A 1963+)


Calif.' 'State' (1887, 1896)(B 1910)(D 1913-15, 1929)


Alameda, CA: 1915 Bakersfield, CA: 1929 Berkeley/San Francisco, CA: 1915 Fresno, CA: 1898, 1910, 1913-14 Los Angeles, CA: 1892-93 Modesto, CA: 1914-15 Oakland, CA: 1887-93, 1896-1900, 1915 Oakland/Merced, CA: 1910 Orange City/Pomona/Coranado, CA: 1929 Sacramento, CA: 1887, 1889-90, 1897-1900, 1910 San Bernardino, CA: 1929 San Diego, CA: 1929 San Francisco, CA: 1887-93, 1896-1900, 1910 San Jose, CA: 1891-92, 1896, 1898-99, 1910,1913-15

Santa Cruz, CA: 1899 Stockton, CA: 1888-90, 1896-98, 1900, 1910, 1913-15

Stockton/Sacramento, CA: 1893 Vallejo/Watsonville, CA: 1913 Watsonville, CA: 1899

  • Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (1966-present, as Lodi Crushers under affiliation with the San Francisco Giants in 1966-69; as Lodi Padres in 1970-71; as Lodi Orioles in 1972; as Lodi Lions in 1973; as Lodi Orions 1974-75 all under affiliation with the Baltimore Orioles; as Lodi Dodgers in 1976-83; as Lodi Crushers under affiliation with the Seattle Mariners in 1984; merged with a previous team the Ventura County Gulls under affiliation with the San Diego Padres in 1981-82, Toronto Blue Jays in 1983-84 and Seattle Mariners in 1985-86; as San Bernardino Spirit in 1987-92) but another team with the name appeared.
  • Redding Reds (1940s) later the Chico Cubs, both teams folded by onset of World War II.
  • Reno Silver Sox (1947-64, as Ventura Yankees in 1947-49; as Ventura Braves in 1950-52; as Ventura Oilers in 1953; as Channel Cities Oilers under affiliation with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954-55; moved to Reno during 1955 season; as Reno Oilers in 1955; became Reno Silver Sox during 1955 season) to become Kansas City/Oakland A's and Minnesota Twins affiliate in 1961 to 1969.
  • Riverside Reds (1941), when the city was the spring traning camp for the Cincinnati Reds until the outbreak of World War II.
  • Sacramento Senators (mid 1940s) but was also a member of the Pacific Coast League.
  • Salinas Packers (1941-42, 1946-1958, as Santa Barbara Saints in 1941-42; as Santa Barbara Dodgers in 1946-53).
  • Salinas Indians (1946-65, as Visalia Cubs in 1946-56; as Visalia Redlegs in 1957-59; as Visalia A's in 1960-61; as Visalia White Sox in 1962, as Salinas Mets in 1963-64).
  • Salinas Angels (1946-80, as Stockton Ports in 1946-72; as Salinas Packers under affiliation with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1973-75), team merged with Salinas Angels 1976.
  • San Bernardino Stars (1941) folded by onset of World War II.
  • San Diego Browns (1942-43), folded by presence of World War II.
  • San Jose Giants (1988-present)
  • San Jose Expos (1982) was the Las Vegas Expos in 1980-81.
  • San Jose Missions (1979-1981) (Pacific Coast League 1977-1978).
  • San Jose Bees (1962-1976) under affiliation of the Oakland A's, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners.
  • San Jose Bees (1983-1987), two team: one under affiliation of the Baltimore Orioles, and the former Fresno team affiliated by the San Francisco Giants.
  • San Jose Pirates (1958) relocated to Salinas in mid-season and to Las Vegas in 1959.
  • San Jose Red Sox (1947-1955), *San Jose JoSox (1956-1957) under affiliation with the Boston Red Sox.
  • San Jose Owls (1942), folded in mid-season.
  • Stockton Flyers (1941), merged with the Anaheim Aces as both teams folded by onset of World War II.
  • Stockton Ports (1978-present, as Stockton Mariners in 1978; as Stockton Ports in 1979-99; as Mudville Nine in 2000-01)
  • Visalia Mets (1962-75, as Santa Barbara Rancheros in 1962-63; as Santa Barbara Dodgers in 1964-67) before relocation to Bakersfield.
  • Visalia Rawhide (1946-1962, 1968-1975, 1977-Present), (1946-1952 & 1954-56 as Visalia Cubs, 1953 as Visalia Stars, 1957-59 as Visalia Redlegs, 1960-61 as Visalia A's, 1962 as Visalia White Sox, 1968-75 as Visalia Mets, 1978-1992 & 1995-2008 as Visalia Oaks, Central Valley Rockies in 1993-94) while playing half of their games in Fresno.

Note: Riverside, San Bernardino, Palm Springs and Las Vegas (NV) were also major league spring training site cities, as well to possessed California League teams on different occasions.

See also

  • Sports league attendances

External links

[[Category:California League| }}

  1. 2 Cal League teams no longer moving to Carolina League. Bakersfield.com (March 27, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
  2. Sam Lynn will be a-Blaze again in 2010, team says. Bakersfield.com (September 8, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-09-14.
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