Sacramento River Cats
Sacramento River Cats|
Founded in 1978
West Sacramento, California
Based in West Sacramento since 2000
|Minor league affiliations|
Pacific Coast League|
|Division||Northern Division (2014–present)|
|Major league affiliations|
San Francisco Giants|
Oakland Athletics (1999–2014)|
Chicago White Sox (1988–1992)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1987)
Milwaukee Brewers (1979–1986)
Oakland Athletics (1978)
|Minor league titles|
|Class titles (3)||
|League titles (7)||
|Conference titles (7)||
|Division titles (17)||
Sacramento River Cats|
Black, brick red, gold|
|Mascot||Dinger the river cat|
|Ballpark||Raley Field (2000–present)|
|Nat Bailey Stadium (1978–1999)|
|General Manager||Chip Maxson|
The Sacramento River Cats are a Minor League Baseball team based in West Sacramento, California. The team plays in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and is the Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants. Through the 2014 season, they were the top affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.
Since moving to California in 2000, the River Cats have played at Raley Field in West Sacramento. The team began play 40 years ago in British Columbia in 1978 as the Vancouver Canadians, and played their home games at Nat Bailey Stadium through the 1999 season, their first with Oakland since 1978. Following that 1999 season, in which the Canadians won the Triple-A World Series, the team was purchased by a group led by Art Savage and moved south to West Sacramento and became the River Cats for the 2000 season. Savage was the majority owner of the team until his death at age 58 in November 2009. His widow, Susan Savage, became majority owner upon her husband's death.
Sacramento led the minor leagues in attendance during each of its first eight seasons at Raley Field. The team averaged 9,338 per game during the 2015 regular season, for a season total of 672,354, under its first year with the Giants. Forbes listed the River Cats as the most valuable minor league franchise in 2012 and again in 2016.
The PCL franchise in Sacramento for many years was the Solons, a charter member of the PCL which was founded in 1903. Three different versions of the Solons represented California's capital city in 1903, 1905, from 1909 through 1914, from 1918 through 1960, and from 1974 through 1976. Sacramento is the only charter city that presently hosts a PCL team.
In 2016, Mike Piazza became the first and only former River Cats player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, after earning an 83% vote by the committee. Other notable players from the River Cats currently in the MLB include Josh Donaldson, Sonny Gray, and Carlos Gonzalez.
After arriving at Raley Field, the River Cats led minor leagues in attendance during each of its first eight seasons. In 2015, the team drew 672,354 fans in 72 home games, leading the minor league in total attendance. In 2015, they also drew the second highest attendance per game in the minors with an average of 9,338 fans per game. In 2017, the River Cats drew their lowest attendance since arriving at Raley Field, drawing 562,237 fans in 70 home games. While this was the team's lowest attendance since arriving in West Sacramento, it was also strong enough to place them third in attendance overall for the Pacific Coast League in 2017.
The River Cats won four Pacific Coast League Pacific South Division titles in five years, from 2000 through 2004, and back-to-back league championships in 2003 and 2004.
In 2007 they won the Pacific South Division and league championships again and defeated the Richmond Braves in that year's Bricktown Showdown on September 18 by a score of 7–1. The River Cats repeated as division, league, and class champions in 2008. They have won the last six Pacific South Division titles and won 11 division titles in their first 14 years in Sacramento. The River Cats moved to the North division in 2014.
Sacramento River Cats roster
- See: Category:Sacramento River Cats players
Notable former River Cats currently in the major leagues
This list does not include MLB players who were in Sacramento on a rehabilitation assignment while on the disabled list.
- "River Cats owner dies suddenly at home." Archived 2009-11-24 at the Wayback Machine. Sacramento River Cats. Retrieved on 21 November 2009.
- "River Cats Top PCL, Minor Leagues in Attendance." Sacramento River Cats. Retrieved on 13 September 2007.
- "How Billionaires Like Warren Buffett Profit From Minor League Baseball Ownership " Forbes. Retrieved on 6 June 2012.
- Klebnikov, Sergei. "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams". forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- Baseball Pilgrimages.
- The Sacramento Bee.
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