California League

California League

Infobox sports league

pixels = 150px
caption = California League logo
sport = Baseball
founded = 1941
motto =
teams = 10
country = USA
champion = Stockton Ports
folded =
website = [http://www.californialeague.com/ 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.

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.

The California League's Bakersfield Blaze have announced that the franchise will be moved to the Carolina League for 2010 [http://www.bakersfield.com/news/sports/blaze/story/536291.html] . 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.

Current teams

Current team rosters

*

Champions (since 1960):

*2008 Stockton Ports
*2007 San Jose Giants
*2006 Inland Empire 66ers
*2005 San Jose Giants
*2004 Modesto A's
*2003 Inland Empire 66ers
*2002 Stockton Ports
*2001 San Jose Giants and Lake Elsinore Storm*
*2000 San Bernardino Stampede
*1999 San Bernardino Stampede
*1998 San Jose Giants
*1997 High Desert Mavericks
*1996 Lake Elsinore Storm
*1995 San Bernardino Spirit
*1994 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
*1993 High Desert Mavericks
*1992 Stockton Ports
*1991 High Desert Mavericks
*1990 Stockton Ports
*1989 Bakersfield Dodgers
*1988 Riverside Red Wave
*1987 Fresno Giants
*1986 Stockton Ports
*1985 Fresno Giants
*1984 Modesto A's
*1983 Redwood Pioneers
*1982 Modesto A's
*1981 Lodi Dodgers
*1980 Stockton Ports
*1979 San Jose Missions
*1978 Visalia Oaks
*1977 Lodi Dodgers
*1976 Reno Silver Sox
*1975 Reno Silver Sox
*1974 Fresno Giants
*1973 Lodi Lions
*1972 Modesto A's
*1971 Visalia Mets
*1970 Bakersfield Dodgers
*1969 Stockton Ports
*1968 Fresno Giants
*1967 San Jose Bees
*1966 Modesto Reds
*1965 Stockton Ports
*1964 Fresno Giants
*1963 Stockton Ports
*1962 San Jose Bees
*1961 Reno Silver Sox
*1960 Reno Silver Sox

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

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

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.

ee also

*Sports league attendances

External links

* [http://www.californialeague.com/ California League web site]


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