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Mudville Nine

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Before the dawn of the new millennium, the Stockton Ports changed names to the Mudville Nine, primarily because the owners felt that the famous Ernest Thayer baseball poem, Casey at the Bat, took place in Stockton, California. In 2000, they were affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers, and were home to Nick Neugebauer (4-4, 4.19, 117 K in 77 1/3 IP, .167 opponent average, but 87 BB), who (at the time) was the Brewers best pitching prospect and Baseball America named him the #7 prospect in the league. Jason Childers (12-10, 3.49) was 10th in the league in ERA and tied for the lead with 177 strikeouts. Jack Krawczyk (7-1, 15 Sv, 1.47, 80 K to 9 BB in 86 IP) and Ryan Poe (7-5, 9 Sv, 1.96, .190 average, 21 BB and 98 K in 82 2/3 IP) led the staff, Krawczyk making the All-Star team, their only player to do so.

The next season, they became a Cincinnati Reds affiliate, and had Ben Broussard (.245/.360/.441) at first base for the first half of the '01 campaign. Brett Gray finished second in the league in ERA (10-4, 2.42) but none of their players made the All-Star team. In September 2001, Mudville faced the Bakersfield Blaze in the postseason, but lost the opening series, 2-1. Mudville soon reverted back to the Stockton Ports before the 2002 season, and won the championship later that same year. It was the 10th title for a team from Stockton, the second most all-time in the California League (Reno, NV had 11 championships).

Today, the Mudville Nine and Casey at the Bat are kept alive by The Visalia Rawhide in the California League. The ballclub keeps alive the Mudville Nine by playing a game each year in the Mudville Nine uniforms, and selling year-round Mudville Nine merchandise at the ballpark and on-line at rawhidebaseball.com

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2000 68-72 7th Barry Moss / Lonnie Keeter / Frank Kremblas (35-35)
2001 74-66 4th Dave Oliver Lost in first round
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