As Opening Day nears, there have been 39,491 games played in the Cal League since its inception, only 509 games shy of 40,000. This means that sometime in July, depending on rainouts and suspended games, the 40,000th game will be played, and a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion will be presented to the winning team.
"On April 9, the second day of the 2010 season, the league will play its 39,500th game, and we will not each 100 games played during the season until we hit 40,000," Cal League president Charlie Blaney said. "As we build up to the big game, it will give our loyal fans the opportunity to attend and say they were at the 40,000th game in Cal League history."
Each of the league's 10 teams will play 140 games this season, 70 at home and 70 on the road. The season begins on April 8 and ends on Labor Day, Sept. 6.
The Cal League was founded in 1941. Due to World War II, play was interrupted during the 1942 season, but the league resumed again from 1946 until the present. Modesto holds the longevity record as it begins its 64th year in the league. Bakersfield is a close second, starting its 63rd year, followed by Stockton (61st), San Jose (60th) and Visalia (59th).
Here is the lineup of the 10 current Cal League teams and their Major League affiliates:
•Bakersfield Blaze (Texas Rangers)
•High Desert Mavericks (Seattle Mariners)
•Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Dodgers)
•Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres)
•Lancaster JetHawks (Houston Astros)
•Modesto Nuts (Colorado Rockies)
•Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
•San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants)
•Stockton Ports (Oakland A's)
•Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks)