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Riverside Red Wave

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37 years after the sun had set on the Sunset League's Riverside Rubes, professional baseball returned to Riverside, CA in 1988. The Riverside Red Wave of the California League left quite an impression. A farm team of the San Diego Padres, they improved from 38-33 in the first half to 47-24 in the second half to take the southern division title. On May 22, the club had participated in a 6-hour, 19-minute, 21-inning contest with San Jose, a Cal League record for longest uninterrupted game. In the playoffs Riverside beat the Palm Springs Angels and the Stockton Ports for the title in their first season. Attendance was 60,509, 6th of 10 teams. Tony Torchia managed the team, which had All-Stars at second, third and the outfield. 2B Paul Faries was named MVP, voted the #4 prospect in the league and hit .316/~.399/.408; he was fourth in average, third in runs (108), second in hits (183) and steals (65, though he was caught 30 times), drew 72 walks and hit 39 doubles. 3B Dave Hollins (.304/~.401/.422) was fifth in average and drew 82 walks. OF Warren Newson hit .297/~.435/.532 with 107 walks, 99 runs, a league-high 22 homers, 7 triples to tie for the league lead and 36 steals (caught 19 times though). Ricky Bones (15-6, 3.64) and Rich Holsman (8-7, 2.31, the league leader in ERA) led the staff.

Riverside fell to 64-78 under Steve Lubratich in '89 and again finished 6th in attendance (80,154). Rafael Valdez (10-5, 2.26) finished 4th in the league in ERA and was voted the #3 prospect; he also pitched just the second 9-inning perfect game in league history on July 20. Jeremy Hernandez (5-2, 1.75) and Steve Loubier (7-3, 1.55) pitched well in limited duty. The lone All-Star was OF Mike Humphreys (.288/~.392/.448, 23 SB).

The club's final year came in 1990. Attendance remained sixth (82,420) but the lack of a beer license at Riverside Sports Complex (a problem still not resolved by the time the Riverside Pilots came to town 3 years later) convinced the team to move to Adelanto, CA and become the High Desert Mavericks. In their final season the club again went 64-78, now under Bruce Bochy's hands. Brian Harrison (5-2, 18 Sv, 1.19, 55 K and 31 H in 45 IP) had an excellent year out of the bullpen, while the lone All-Star was again an outfielder, Darrell Sherman (.290/~.406/.327, 74 SB, 89 BB). Corner infielder Dave Staton (.290/~.383/.522, 20 HR, 20 SB) was voted the #5 prospect in the league.

Sources: 1989-1991 Baseball Almanacs, 1989 and 1991 Baseball Guides


[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1988 85-57 3rd Tony Torchia League Champs
1989 64-78 7th Steve Lubratich
1990 64-78 7th Bruce Bochy
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