California League

From BR Bullpen

CaliforniaLeague.jpg

There were various attempts in the 1800's and early 1900's to form a California League. The first lasted from 1887-1889, then 1891, 1893, and 1899-1902. After the National Association was formed in 1902, the California League operated outside the NA as an independent in 1902 and again from 1907-1909. Unfortunately this led to huge differences in the quality of teams competing with each other. In 1907 San Francisco was 3-34, while in 1908 San Francisco was 9-67 and Oakland was 4-71. Oakland and San Francisco competed in every year of these various leagues, with San Francisco having two teams 1887-1888.

The current California League is a class A minor league that began play in 1941. Due to World War II, the league suspended operations from 1942 to 1945. The circuit was initially classified as a "C" league and became an "A" league when the minor league system was restructured in 1963. Over the years, the California League has produced eight Hall of Fame players and one Hall of Fame manager (Sparky Anderson). The league currently operates as an eight-team circuit, with two divisions of four teams each, following the contraction of two teams following the 2016 season.

In 2016 the league celebrated its 75th anniversary with the opening of the California League Hall of Fame.

Current Teams, Managers, and Affiliations[edit]

California League Teams
North Division South Division
Team Manager Parent Team Team Manager Parent Team
Modesto Nuts Denny Hocking Seattle Mariners Inland Empire 66ers Ryan Barba Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
San Jose Giants Bill Hayes San Francisco Giants Lake Elsinore Storm Tony Tarasco San Diego Padres
Stockton Ports Webster Garrison Oakland Athletics Lancaster JetHawks Scott Little Colorado Rockies
Visalia Rawhide Shawn Roof Arizona Diamondbacks Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Mark Kertenian Los Angeles Dodgers

League Champions and MVPs[edit]

Year Champion Most Valuable Player Manager of the Year Pitcher of the Year Rookie of the Year
1941 Santa Barbara Saints Spider Jorgensen
Santa Barbara Saints
Bud Clancy
Santa Barbara Saints
None Awarded None Awarded
1942 Santa Barbara Saints Salvador Taormina
San Jose Owls
None Awarded None Awarded None Awarded
1946 Stockton Ports Tommy Glaviano
Fresno Cardinals
Rupert Thompson
Modesto Reds
None Awarded None Awarded
1947 Stockton Ports Ed Samcoff
Stockton Ports
None Awarded None Awarded None Awarded
1948 Santa Barbara Dodgers None Awarded None Awarded None Awarded Will Boemler
Ventura Yankees
1949 San Jose Red Sox Earl Escalante
Bakersfield Indians
None Awarded None Awarded John Romonosky
Fresno Cardinals
1950 Modesto Reds Dick Wilson
Modesto Reds
None Awarded None Awarded Larry DiPippo
San Jose Red Sox
1951 Santa Barbara Dodgers None Awarded None Awarded None Awarded Lee Walls
Modesto Reds
1952 Fresno Cardinals Larry Jackson
Fresno Cardinals
None Awarded None Awarded Jake Abbott
Santa Barbara Dodgers
1953 San Jose Red Sox Tex Clevenger
San Jose Red Sox
None Awarded None Awarded Tex Clevenger
San Jose Red Sox
1954 Modesto Reds Bob Thorpe
Stockton Ports
None Awarded None Awarded Ed Lindsey
Bakersfield Indians
1955 Fresno Cardinals Pumpsie Green
Stockton Ports
Roland LeBlanc
Fresno Cardinals
None Awarded Don Moitoza
Stockton Ports
1956 Fresno Cardinals Dick Whitman
San Jose JoSox
Eddie Lyons
Fresno Cardinals
None Awarded Nelson Chittum
Fresno Cardinals
1957 Salinas Packers Vada Pinson
Visalia Redlegs
Roy Partee
Stockton Ports
None Awarded Johnny Callison
Bakersfield Bears
1958 Fresno Giants Neil Wilson
Fresno Giants
Paul Owens
Bakersfield Bears
None Awarded Richard Beall
Visalia Redlegs
1959 Modesto Reds Willie Davis
Reno Silver Sox
Hal Charnofsky
Modesto Reds
None Awarded Willie Davis
Reno Silver Sox
1960 Reno Silver Sox Robert Arrighi
Reno Silver Sox
Billy DeMars
Stockton Ports
None Awarded Thad Tillotson
Reno Silver Sox
1961 Reno Silver Sox Don Williams
Reno Silver Sox
Lou Khan
Bakersfield Bears
None Awarded Dick Nen
Reno Silver Sox
1962 San Jose Bees Bill Haas
Reno Silver Sox
Roy Smalley
Reno Silver Sox
None Awarded Bill Haas
Reno Silver Sox
1963 Stockton Ports Jose Vidal
Reno Silver Sox
Harry Dunlop
Stockton Ports
None Awarded Dick Selma
Salinas Mets
1964 Fresno Giants Ollie Brown
Fresno Giants
Bill Werle
Fresno Giants
None Awarded Masanori Murakami
Fresno Giants
1965 Stockton Ports Mike Epstein
Stockton Ports
Harry Malmberg
Stockton Ports
None Awarded Mike Epstein
Stockton Ports
1966 Modesto Reds Dave Duncan
Modesto Reds
Gus Niarhos
Modesto Reds
None Awarded Jarvis Tatum
San Jose Bees
1967 San Jose Bees Leron Lee
Modesto Reds
Harry Dunlop
San Jose Bees
None Awarded Leron Lee
Modesto Reds
1968 Fresno Giants Ted Simmons
Modesto Reds
Dave Garcia
Fresno; Del Rice
San Jose
None Awarded Ted Simmons
Modesto Reds
1969 Stockton Ports Junior Kennedy
Stockton Ports
Bill Werle
Stockton Ports
None Awarded Bill Kirkpatrick
Stockton Ports
1970 Bakersfield Dodgers Paul Johnson
Bakersfield Dodgers
Don LeJohn
Bakersfield Dodgers
None Awarded Doug Rau
Bakersfield Dodgers
1971 Visalia Mets George Theodore
Visalia Mets
Roy Majtyka
Modesto Reds
None Awarded John Grubb
Lodi Padres
1972 Modesto Reds Skip James
Fresno Giants
Tom Burgess
Modesto Reds
None Awarded Glenn Monroe
Reno Silver Sox
1973 Lodi Lions John Balaz
Salinas Packers
Jim Schaffer
Lodi Lions
None Awarded Kenzie Davis
San Jose Bees
1974 Fresno Giants Gary Alexander
Fresno Giants
John Van Ornum
Fresno Giants
None Awarded Jack Clark
Fresno Giants
1975 Reno Silver Sox Gene Richards
Reno Silver Sox
Harry Warner
Reno Silver Sox
None Awarded Gene Richards
Reno Silver Sox
1976 Reno Silver Sox Thad Bosley
Salinas Angels
Del Crandall
Salinas Angels
None Awarded Dan Graham
Reno Silver Sox
1977 Lodi Dodgers Kelly Snider
Lodi Dodgers
Stan Wasiak
Lodi Dodgers
None Awarded Kelly Snider
Lodi Dodgers
1978 Visalia Oaks Steve Douglas
Visalia Oaks
Stan Wasiak
Lodi Dodgers
None Awarded Gene Robinson
Visalia Oaks
1979 San Jose Missions Mike Marshall
Lodi; Les Pearsey
Visalia
Tom Kelly
Visalia Oaks
None Awarded Mike Marshall
Lodi Dodgers
1980 Stockton Ports Jaime Cocanower
Stockton; Candy Maldonado
Lodi
Tom Kelly
Visalia; Jack Mull
Fresno
None Awarded Robert Skube
Stockton Ports
1981 Lodi Dodgers Kent Hrbek
Visalia Oaks
Terry Collins
Lodi Dodgers
None Awarded George Hinshaw
Reno Silver Sox
1982 Modesto A's Kevin McReynolds
Reno Padres
Pete Whisenant
Modesto A's
None Awarded Kevin McReynolds
Reno Padres
1983 Redwood Pioneers Stan Holmes
Visalia Oaks
Harry Warner
Visalia Oaks
None Awarded Kirby Puckett
Visalia Oaks
1984 Modesto A's Glenn Braggs
Stockton Mudville Nine
Tom Kotchman
Redwood Pioneers
Bob Kipper
Redwood Pioneers
Glenn Braggs
Stockton Ports
1985 Fresno Giants Eric Hardgrave
Reno Padres
Wendell Kim
Fresno Giants
Charlie Corbell
Fresno Giants
Mark McGwire
Modesto A's
1986 Stockton Ports Ty Dabney
Fresno Giants
Tom Kotchman
Palm Springs Angels
Jeff Peterek
Stockton Ports
Ty Dabney
Fresno Giants
1987 Fresno Giants Luis Lopez
Bakersfield Dodgers
Dave Machemer
Stockton Ports
Kat Kamei
San Jose Bees
Gary Sheffield
Stockton Ports
1988 Riverside Red Wave Paul Faries
Riverside Red Wave
Dave Huppert
Stockton Ports
Colin Charland
Palm Springs; Doug Robertson
San Jose
Paul Faries
Riverside Red Wave
1989 Bakersfield Dodgers John Jaha
Stockton Ports
Duane Espy
San Jose Giants
Steve Lienhard
San Jose Giants
Eric Karros
Bakersfield Dodgers
1990 Stockton Ports Frank Bolick
Stockton/San Bernardino
Scott Ullger
Visalia Oaks
Dan Rambo
San Jose Giants
Dave Staton
Riverside Red Wave
1991 High Desert Mavericks Matt Mieske
High Desert Mavericks
Ron Wotus
San Jose Giants
Rick Huisman
San Jose Giants
Matt Mieske
High Desert Mavericks
1992 Stockton Ports Marty Cordova
Visalia Oaks
Tim Ireland
Stockton Ports
Joe Rosselli
San Jose Giants
Mike Neill
reno Silver Sox
1993 High Desert Mavericks Tim Clark
High Desert Mavericks
Fredi Gonzalez
High Desert Mavericks
Sid Roberson
Stockton Ports
Arquimedez Pozo
Riverside Pilots
1994 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Todd Greene
Lake Elsinore Storm
Dick Scott
Modesto A's
Matt Apana
Riverside Pilots
Todd Greene
Lake Elsinore Storm
1995 San Bernardino Spirit Adam Riggs
San Bernardino Spirit
Ron Roenicke
San Bernardino Spirit
Matt Beaumont
Lake Elsinore Storm
Adam Riggs
San Bernardino Spirit
1996 Lake Elsinore Storm D.T. Cromer
Modesto A's
Carlos Lezcano
San Jose Giants
Darin Blood
San Jose Giants
Darin Blood
San Jose Giants
1997 High Desert Mavericks Mike Stoner
High Desert Mavericks
Chris Speier
High Desert Mavericks
Ted Lilly
San Bernardino Stampede
Mike Stoner
High Desert Mavericks
1998 San Jose Giants Brad Penny
High Desert Mavericks
Don Wakamatsu
High Desert Mavericks
Brad Penny
High Desert Mavericks
Giuseppe Chiaramonte
San Jose Giants
1999 San Bernardino Stampede Chin-Feng Chen
San Bernardino Stampede
Bob Geren
Modesto A's
Randy Dorame
San Bernardino Stampede
Chin-Feng Chen
San Bernardino Stampede
2000 San Bernardino Stampede Juan Silvestre
Lancaster JetHawks
Mark Parent
Lancaster JetHawks
Carlos Garcia
San Bernardino Stampede
Willie Bloomquist
Lancaster Jethawks
2001 San Jose Giants/Lake Elsinore Storm see note Xavier Nady
Lake Elsinore Storm
Craig Colbert
Lake Elsinore Storm
Matt Thornton
San Bernardino Stampede
Xavier Nady
Lake Elsinore Storm
2002 Stockton Ports Rocco Baldelli
Bakersfield Blaze
Bill Plummer
Lancaster JetHawks
Jeff Clark
San Jose Giants
Jose Lopez
San Bernardino Stampede
2003 Inland Empire 66ers Josh Barfield
Lake Elsinore Storm
Stu Cole
Visalia Oaks
Ervin Santana
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Joey Gathright
Bakersfield Blaze
2004 Modesto A's Brian Stavisky
Modesto A's
Von Hayes
Modesto A's
Felix Hernandez
Inland Empire 66ers
Erick Aybar
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
2005 San Jose Giants Brandon Wood
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Lenn Sakata
San Jose Giants
Jared Wells
Lake Elsinore Storm
Billy Butler
High Desert Mavericks
2006 Inland Empire 66ers Reid Brignac
Visalia Oaks
Joe Szekely
Visalia; Gary Thurman
Inland Empire
Brian Anderson
San Jose Giants
Reid Brignac
Visalia Oaks
2007 San Jose Giants Bubba Bell
Lancaster JetHawks
Chad Epperson
Lancaster JetHawks
Brandon Hynick
Modesto Nuts
Bubba Bell
Lancaster JetHawks
2008 Stockton Ports Carlos Santana
Inland Empire 66ers
Chad Epperson
Lancaster JetHawks
Kevin Pucetas
San Jose Giants
Chris Carter
Stockton Ports
2009 San Jose Giants Alex Liddi
High Desert Mavericks
Jim Horner
High Desert Mavericks
Craig Clark
San Jose Giants
Roger Kieschnick
San Jose Giants
2010 San Jose Giants Paul Goldschmidt
Visalia Rawhide
Carlos Lezcano
Lake Elsinore Storm
Brad Brach
Lake Elsinore Storm
Paul Goldschmidt
Visalia Rawhide
2011 Lake Elsinore Storm Kent Matthes
Modesto Nuts
Juan Bustabad
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Chad Bettis
Modesto Nuts
Gary Brown
San Jose Giants
2012 Lancaster JetHawks Billy Hamilton
Bakersfield Blaze
Pedro Grifol
High Desert Mavericks
Christian Bergman
Modesto Nuts
C.J. Cron
Inland Empire 66ers
2013 Inland Empire 66ers Zach Borenstein
Inland Empire 66ers
Rodney Linares
Lancaster JetHawks
Dan Winkler
Modesto Nuts
Addison Russell
Stockton Ports
2014 Lancaster JetHawks Corey Seager
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Ryan Christenson
Stockton Ports
Josh Hader
Lancaster Jethawks
Jose Rondon
Lake Elsinore Storm
2015 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes A.J. Reed
Lancaster Jethawks
J.R. House
Visalia Rawhide
Antonio Senzatela
Modesto Nuts
A.J. Reed
Lancaster Jethawks
2016 High Desert Mavericks Luis Urias
Lake Elsinore Storm
Howard Johnson
High Desert Mavericks
Josh Sborz
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Luis Urias
Lake Elsinore Storm
2017 Modesto Nuts DJ Peters
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Mitch Canham
Modesto Nuts
Nick Neidert
Modesto Nuts
DJ Peters
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
2018 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Rylan Bannon
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Rick Magnante
Stockton Ports
Emilio Vargas
Visalia Rawhide
Rylan Bannon
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Hall of Fame Alumni[edit]

Alumni: Most Valuable Player Award Winners[edit]

13 California League alumni have been recipients of 14 Most Valuable Player Awards:

Alumni: Cy Young Award Winners[edit]

16 California League Alumni have been recipients of 17 Cy Young Awards:

Alumni: Rookie of the Year[edit]

24 California League Alumni have been named Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award:

Alumni: League Leaders[edit]

Cities Represented[edit]

1886-1889, 1891-1893, 1898-1902, 1907-1909[edit]

1941-present[edit]

External Link[edit]

Minor Leagues

AAA AA A-Advanced A A Short-Season Rookie Rookie Academy
International League
Pacific Coast League
Mexican League
Eastern League
Southern League
Texas League
California League
Carolina League
Florida State League
Midwest League
South Atlantic League
New York-Penn League
Northwest League
Appalachian League
Pioneer League
Arizona League
Gulf Coast League
Dominican League

Related Articles: Independent Leagues | NAPBL | Organized Baseball
Related Categories: Ballparks | Coaches | Executives | Leagues | Managers | Owners | Players | Teams | Umpires