OF, 1B, DH | Class of '68
Few native Stocktonians will ever forget the magical 1968 season that Don Baylor had in a Ports uniform. The standout outfielder hit a whopping .369 in 68 games while belting 7 HR and driving in 40 runs. Baylor was later called up to the Orioles in 1970 and went on to enjoy a 19-year Major League career where he was a lifetime .260 hitter.
Baylor was originally drafted in the second round of the 1967 amateur draft by the Baltimore Orioles. After his magical season with the Ports, he enjoyed several successful years with the Orioles. Baylor reached the World Series three times in his career, in consecutive years with three different teams (one of three players in history to accomplish this feat, former Port, Dave Henderson and Eric Hinske are the others)-the Red Sox in 1986, the Twins in 1987, and the A's in 1988-and was on the winning side in 1987.
Baylor held tenure as both a manager and a coach for several organizations, most notably with the Colorado Rockies from 1993-1998, where he was named the 1995 NL Manager of the Year. Baylor is currently the hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Pitcher | Class of '46-'47
Date of Birth: April 2, 1922
Birthplace: Gardena, CA
Team Notes: Won back-to-back championships with the Ports in 1946 and 1947
What was your favorite memory from your time with the Ports: Winning 26 games in a row in 1947
Biggest Accomplishment with the Ports: Winning the championship in 1946 and 1947
Favorite Memory about a Ports teammate: Our 1947 manager was the best manager I ever had (Johnny Babich)
Favorite Ballpark in the California League: Billy Hebert Field, Stockton
Toughest Opponent: Santa Barbara (no longer in existence)
How has Stockton changed since you played here: Other than the new ballpark...The new ballpark is fantastic!
Often referred to as Diminutive Don, Belton pitched for the Stockton Ports from 1946-47. Belton made it as high as Triple-A for Baltimore, but never made it to the big leagues. Ports fans may remember Belton from his visits to the ballpark for Alumni Nights in the past few years.
INF/OF | Class of 2002
Date of Birth: February 28, 1978
Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA
What was your favorite memory from your time with the Ports during the 2002 Championship year: Being on a team that had so much chemistry.
What was the best thing about winning the 2002 championship: In 11 years of minor league baseball it was the only team that won everything.
What accomplishments from your days with the Ports are you most proud of: It was a time in my career I learned how to play the game the right way.
What favorite 2002 memory do you have: That everyone was there to win.
Favorite Cal League ballpark: High Desert
Do you ever make it back to Stockton: I have been back a few times.
Have you been to Banner Island: Yes, I thought it was a beautiful ballpark, wish I had the chance to play there.
What are you up to now: I own Gap to Gap Baseball (http://www.gaptogaphitting.com/)
Where did you go to high school: Clearwater High School (FL)
What about college: St. Pete College (FL)
Andrew was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 40th round of the 1996 MLB June Amateur Draft, the Toronto Blue Jays in the 42nd round of the 1997 MLB June Amateur Draft, and the Cincinnati Reds in the 35th round of the 1998 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Pitcher | Class of 2008-11
Date of Birth: July 23, 1986
Birthplace: New London, CT
What was your time like in Stockton: I've had a great time in Stockton these last 4 years.
Talk a little about the call-up to Oakland. What was going thru your head: It was special; it was a moment that I have been thinking about for a long time. That has been my dream since I was 5 years old and to have your ultimate dream come true is an amazing feeling.
Were you expecting it: I knew there was an outside chance but I wasn't expecting it.
Who was the first person you called: My parents.
What was it like putting on the A's uniform for the first time: I've been putting on A's uniforms since 2007 in spring training, instructional league, and the fall league, but that uniform with your name on the back hanging in your locker room in the coliseum is pretty indescribable.
Were you nervous to pitch your first major league game: I didn't really have time to be nervous, it was such a whirlwind. I got told after our game in Sacramento and the next day I had to move out of my host family's house and drive to Oakland. I pitched that night. A scoreless debut in Oakland...How excited were you about that: It is always good to put up a zero so I was very excited. It was against the Mariners and one of my college teammates Kyle Seager popped out to end the game which was very cool.
You pitched in six games with Oakland this year, what were those games like for you: In the end they were just baseball games, just like I've been playing in since little league. The difference is that now the hitters are a lot better, the stadiums are a lot bigger and the post game spreads a tad bit better!
What will your routine be like in the off-season to prepare for 2012: I'm playing in the Arizona Fall League right now and this goes until November. I'll be here until then, fly home to Connecticut for the holidays and then back out to Arizona in February.
Do you come back to Stockton at all to visit: I do make my way back there I have a lot of friends in Stockton.
What do you think of the Ports claiming the Northern Division Championship Title this year and making it so far in the playoffs: It was great, I was really happy for them and I wanted a ring so I was paying extra close attention. I could see in the time I was here that there was a bundle of talent on that team and an unmatchable group of guys.
Did you keep in touch with any of the guys after you left Stockton for Midland, Sacramento and now Oakland: Yes, I keep in touch with a bunch of guys. We have a pretty tight knit organization.
Any fun memories from playing in Stockton: Tons of them, I play a game for a living. I was creating fun memories every day; Great ballpark and great people.
Funniest guy on the A's roster: Grant Balfour.
One thing your fans don't know about you: Hmm, I'm not sure. I'm feeling pretty bland for having to think so hard on this! I'll go with I'm the best laser tag player in the history of Zaps Zone!
You wore 17 with the Ports. That number was available for the A's, so how did you end up with 67: I had all different numbers this year. I just take what is still available and in Oakland 67 was available and hanging in my locker.
Best food spread in the Bigs: Seattle so far.
Josh Willingham makes the final out of your big league debut and sticks the ball in his pocket. Did he give it to you and if so, what did you do with it: Well Josh was about to toss the ball in the stands but the rest of my bullpen yelled at him and I got the ball. I sent it home with my parents so I'm guessing it is displayed somewhere.
Who was the most impressive player you played with this summer with the Ports: Michael Choice.
If you had one food you had to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be: Maryland Blue Crabs.
Finish this sentence - I can't live without my__________: Iphone.
True or False - Your beard is better than Brian Wilson's: It's close! [Laughing]
Carignan was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 5th round of the 2007 MLB June Amateur Draft.
General Manager | Class of 1992
What is your favorite memory from your time with the Ports during the 1992 Championship year: Just winning the Cal League title for the second time in three years was very special. I also remember the intensity of our manager, Tim Ireland. You never knew from one minute to the next what to expect from Tim, especially as it related to his interactions with umpires. But nobody cared as much or wanted to win as much as Tim, so to see him lead the troops to a championship was very special. I also remember what Mike Matheny ate for lunch everyday before a game...two turkey round sandwiches from Subway. It was so routine that they had them made up for him everyday before he got there.
What was the best thing about winning the 1992 Championship Title: Once again, winning the title for the second time in three years was very special. Some people work in the game for many years without ever even winning one championship, so to win it for the second time in three seasons was quite memorable. We were actually one out away from winning it in 1991 as well, so that helped that bad memory go away a little quicker.
What accomplishments from your days with the Ports are you most proud of: We actually won three championships in my 14 years with the Ports and even though I never threw a pitch or swung a bat, we in the front office worked very hard and to have the end result be a championship was quite gratifying. I'm also very proud that we grew our business and were a good partner in our community.
Have you been to the new Banner Island Ballpark? If so, what did you think: Yes I have and I must admit I would have loved the opportunity to work there. But more importantly, I was thrilled when the ballpark became a reality. It's great for the Ports and great for Stockton. I will always have cherished memories of Billy Hebert Field, as do many others from Stockton, but it was definitely time for a new ballpark and I'm so happy that it finally happened.
Do you keep in touch with any from the 1992 team: Although I wasn't a player, I have reacquainted with a few of the guys on Facebook.
What was your favorite restaurant in Stockton: Back in those days it was the Hatch Cover, which is now where Garlic Brothers is located.
What are you up to now: I'm the team president of the Stockton Thunder hockey team, located in the Stockton Arena right next door to the Ports.
Where did you go to high school: Lincoln High School in Stockton
Where did you go to college: San Francisco State University
Where do you currently reside: Stockton
INF | Class of '92
After playing with the Ports in 1992, Jeff Cirillo began to climb the minor league ladder, making his debut as a Milwaukee Brewer two years later at age 25. He played for six different organizations as a third baseman, and has a career batting average of .296. In his 14-season career, he was selected twice as an All-Star (1997 and 2000). In 2008, Cirillo joined FSN Wisconsin as an analyst for the Milwaukee Brewers broadcasts.
Manager | Class of 1992
"I was fortunate to be a part of many championship teams as a manager after '92, and managed many future big league all stars on them. But the '92 team was and always will be my favorite. They played with so much heart and desire that they simply captured mine. We were four and a half out with six games left in 4th place, but rallied to win the 1st half. And despite daily turnovers and player losses, they always strove to play with immense courage.
The memories are endless; from drop kicking a clothes hamper off Oreste Marrero during a post game meltdown (thank God he didn't kick my ass on the spot), all those late game heroics (night after night we'd be down late with maybe two hits on the board), the "Oaklies" and "Nuts" and chants, [Kurt] Archer getting slapped at our victory party, "Sunshine" (Dave Wrona) pulling the hidden ball trick opening night, then getting Damon Mashore of Modesto in a game that was instrumental. He was off the base for at least 30 seconds before tagging him. I asked him why he didn't go earlier. The reply, "I had to finish my conversation with him first." [Mark] Littell pinch running for our fastest player in the 9th after I'd been tossed, again. Twenty years, where did it go? Kids, age, the baggage and ravages of time-that year will always bring me a smile. For sure, it was a blast."
INF | Class of '88-'90
John Jaha won over Stockton Ports fans from 1988-1990, where he hit .270 with 37 home runs and 164 RBI. The first basemen eventually joined the Milwaukee Brewers in 1992, and then the Oakland A's in 1999. He hit a career total .263 with 141 home runs and 490 RBI in 826 games. He was a very popular player in the A's ball club and retired as an A in 2001.
General Manager | Class of 2002
What is your favorite memory from your time with the Ports during the 2002 Championship year: Going to Lake Elsinore and winning my first Championship as a General Manager. Everything about the road trip we took to Lake Elsinore was memorable. I also enjoyed flying to Sarasota the next spring to present the rings to our team prior to a Major League Spring Training game.
What was the best thing about winning the 2002 Championship Title: Same answer as above. I have the ring on my desk next to my ring from 1995. This was not a team of superstars. This was a team of veterans that had fun playing the game.
What accomplishments from your days with the Ports are you most proud of: Having the opportunity to help design and oversee construction of Banner Island Ballpark. Opening Night on April 28, 2005 was one of the highlights of my career.
What favorite memory do you have about your teammates from the 2002 season? Your manager, coaches: I really just liked the laid-back attitude. Off the field, it was all fun and games. On the field, these kids left it all out there.
What was your favorite ballpark in the Cal League to play in: Lake Elsinore was my favorite to watch a game in. Taking BP at Banner Island Ballpark was as close as I ever got to playing in a stadium.
Who was the toughest opponent you faced: Always San Jose.
Do you ever make it back to Stockton: I had the opportunity to come back for the Carolina / California All-Star Game in 2007. The place looks great.
Have you been to the new Banner Island Ballpark? If so, what did you think: Love it.
Do you keep in touch with any of your teammates from 2002: Just my trusty Asst. GM, Trevor Fawcett.
What was your favorite restaurant in Stockton: Valley Brew
What are you up to now: Living the dream...I am currently the President of the Savannah Sand Gnats - the Class A affiliate of the New York Mets.
Where did you go to high school: Beaver Country Day School in Brookline, MA.
Where did you go to college: Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY
Where do you currently reside: Savannah, GA
INF | Class of '89-'90
One of four former Major League Rookies of the Year to also have donned a Ports jersey since 1941, Pat Listach was the most stand-out base runner among them. In two years with the Ports, he stole 115 bases, and hit four home runs with 73 RBI. He stole a grand total of 54 bases in 1992 with the Milwaukee Brewers.
After retiring, Listach became a coach. He was the third base coach for the Washington Nationals in 2009, and was announced as the new bench coach for the Chicago Cubs in November 2010.
OF | Class of '90-'91
Troy O'Leary joined the Milwaukee Brewers after two years with the Stockton Ports (1990-1991). His 11 years in the Major Leagues was played among four organizations as a strong utility outfielder. The Compton, CA native batted .274 with 127 HR and 591 RBI in 1,198 games. A major highlight of his career came with the Boston Red Sox in the deciding game five of the 1999 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians. He drove one out of the park for a grand slam in the third inning, followed by a three-run homer in the seventh to seal their win, and advancement. O'Leary retired as a Chicago Cub in 2003.
INF | Class of '87
Gary Sheffield's 1987 season with the Ports gave baseball fans just a snapshot of what was to become of his career. With a .277 average, 17 home runs and a Cal League-best 103 RBI, Sheffield was a force to be reckoned with, becoming the Brewers' 6th overall pick in the first round of the 1986 amateur draft. In his extensive career, starting with the Brewers and ending with the New York Mets, he went from shortstop to power-hitting outfield, with a career total of 509 home runs. He is a nine-time All-Star pick and a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner, with a World Series Championship (with the Florida Marlins) to boot.
Sheffield finished the 2009 season with the Mets and did not play in 2010. He announced his retirement from his impressive playing career at the beginning of Spring Training 2011.