Last night, one of the charter members of the California League, the Stockton Ports, reached a rather unique milestone. The franchise that was founded in 1941 along with the California League, won its 5000th game.
Three swings of the bat, all homers, clinched a 3-1 victory over the San José Giants last night. With this win, the club didn’t only clinch its 5000th victory in its history but also reduced the magic number for the first half title to seven.
The Stockton Ports are the only team in the California League that has played in the very same city from its inception. Since moving is a common thing in Minor League Baseball, only the AAA Rochester RedWings will have more victories as the team was founded in 1899 and never left town.
The Stockton Ports started to play as the Stockton Flyers. This moniker lasted for two years as the California League ceased activities after the 1942 season because of travel restrictions due to WWII. But in 1946, baseball returned and the team adopted the name Ports, which it kept until 2000. In 2000 and 2001, the team used the moniker Mudville 9, after the poem “Casey at the bat.” But the Mudville 9 moniker did not last long as the club returned to the Ports moniker in 2002 again.
Through the years, the club had a lot of parent clubs:
Oakland Athletics (2005-present)
Texas Rangers (2003–2004)
Cincinnati Reds (2002)
Milwaukee Brewers (1979–1983, 1985–1999)
Seattle Mariners (1978)
California Angels (1972)
Baltimore Orioles (1959–1971)
St. Louis Cardinals (1958)
Chicago Cubs (1953–1954)
St. Louis Browns (1952)
Chicago White Sox (1949)
Since its inception, the club has won eleven California League pennants: 1946, 1947, 1963, 1965, 1969, 1980, 1986, 1990, 1992, 2002 and 2008.