Founded in 1941
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Team||Oakland Athletics (2005-present)|
|Minor league titles|
|Name||Stockton Ports (1946-1972, 1978-1999, 2002-present)|
|Colors||Red, white, blue|
Skipper the Rat (2002-2004)
Mighty Casey (2000-2001)
Casey Jr. (1996-2000)
|Ballpark||Banner Island Ballpark (2005-present)|
|Billy Hebert Field (1941-2004)|
|Tom Volpe / 7th Inning Stretch, LLC|
|General Manager||Taylor McCarthy|
|Media||KWSX 1280 AM - MiLB.TV (currently select away games only)|
The Stockton Ports are a Minor League Baseball team of the California League and the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. They are located in Stockton, California, and are named for the city's seaport. The team plays its home games at Banner Island Ballpark which opened in 2005 and seats over 5,000 people.
Baseball first came to Stockton in the 1860s. At the time, Stockton fielded a team in an earlier incarnation of the California League. In 1888, the Stockton team won the California League pennant with a record of 41-12. That same team also gained a bit of notoriety as a possible inspiration for "Casey at the Bat", a famous baseball poem by Ernest Thayer. Thayer was a journalist for the San Francisco Examiner at the time and the games were hosted in a ballpark on Banner Island, a place once known as Mudville.
The Stockton Flyers were established as a charter member of the California League in 1941. The league suspended operations in June 1942 due to World War II. The Flyers were rechristened as the Stockton Ports to recognize Stockton's status as an inland port city when the league resumed operations in 1946. That season, the Ports went on to win their first California League pennant.
In 1947, the Ports won the California League title again without a major league affiliation (they had a limited working agreement with the Pacific Coast League's Oakland Oaks). After going 24-18 through June 4, they went on a 26-game winning streak and took first place, never to relinquish again in that season. The win streak is one of the longest in professional baseball and is still a California League record. The Ports finished that season with a record of 95-45 and 16 games ahead of the two teams tied for second place. During Minor League Baseball's centennial celebration in 2001, baseball historians Bill Weiss and Marshall Wright rated the 1947 Ports as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time, ranked at number 98.
Owned by Stockton local Carl W. Thompson, Sr. (1971-1973), the Ports disbanded after the 1972 season, coming back as an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in 1978. The Ports won more games in the 1980s than any other team in Minor League Baseball. In an homage to the team in the Ernest Thayer poem, the Ports were renamed the Mudville Nine in 2000 and 2001, then returned to the Ports name in 2002.
In 2005, the Ports moved to the newly built Banner Island Ballpark and became affiliates of the Oakland Athletics. The team won its 11th California League championship in 2008 with a 9-3 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks on September 14.