Cal League Hall of Fame
In 1941, the California League was founded to provide Major League Organizations a venue in which to develop their baseball players. Over the years, the League has been not only a place to watch the next generation of baseball superstars but also as a place that provides family friendly entertainment at affordable prices. The purpose of the California League Hall of Fame is to honor those individuals who have helped to make the League a main stay of Minor League Baseball whether it be on the field of play, as a member of the media, as a team or league executive or owner, or simply anyone who has contributed to the success of the League.
|George Brett||San Jose|
George Brett ended his Major League career with 3,154 hits and is the only player in history to lead the league in hitting in three different decades. He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1999. He hit .274 with 10 home runs for the San Jose Bees in 1972.
|Jose Cruz Jr.||Lancaster|
Cruz Jr. played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues before retiring. The former first-round pick played for the 1996 Lancaster team where he hit .325 in 53 games.
This former Cy Young Award winner was the first Cal Leaguer to be inducted into the Major League Hall of Fame. He went 8-5 with a 3.45 ERA with the 1954 Bakersfield Indians.
|Darin Erstad||Lake Elsinore|
Darin Erstad played 14 Major League seasons and won the 2002 World Series as a member of the Angels. With the 1995 Lake Elsinore Storm, Erstad hit .363 with 41 hits and 24 RBIs in only 25 games before getting promoted. He was a 2-time All-Star and won 3 Gold Gloves during his long career.
|Ken Griffey Jr.||San Bernardino|
Before Griffey Jr. won the AL MVP in 1997, he was a Cal League All Star. In 1988 with the San Bernardino Spirit, Griffey Jr. hit .338 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs in only 58 games. He ended his career 5th on the all-time home run list with 630. Griffey Jr. will be inducted into the Major League Hall of Fame in 2016 with the highest voting percentage of all time. He appeared on 437 out of 440 ballots.
For the 1977 Modesto A's, Henderson led the league in stolen bases with 95 while hitting .345. He then went on to play 25 Major League seasons and holds various Major League records including runs scored (2,295) and stolen bases (1,406). He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2009.
Known as "Mr. October," Jackson was inducted into the Major League Hall of Fame in 1993. He won five World Series rings during his MLB career. For the Modesto Reds in 1966, Jackson hit .299 with 21 home runs in only 56 games.
Lynn was a local Bakersfield resident who owned a Coca-Cola plant but donated much of his money to youth baseball leagues in the area. The current Bakersfield team now plays in the stadium named after him (Sam Lynn Ballpark).
Martinez was perfect for Bakersfield in 1991, going 8-0 in 10 appearances. He then went on to win three Cy Young Awards in the Major Leagues and was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2015.
|Xavier Nady||Lake Elsinore|
Nady was part of a 2001 Lake Elsinore team named by Baseball America as Minor League Team of the Year. He hit .302 in 137 games while driving in 100 runs and hitting 26 home runs. Nady was named MVP and Rookie of the Year for the Cal League that year. Nady then played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues.
Pinson had arguably the best Cal League season of all time in 1957. For the Visalia Redlegs, he hit .367 (with a Cal League record 209 hits) while stealing 53 bases, had 165 runs scored, 40 doubles, 20 triples, and 20 home runs. He then went on to play 18 years in the Major Leagues ending with 2,757 hits.
The 22-year Major League outfielder was a shortstop in 1987 for the Stockton Ports. That year he hit .277 with 17 home runs and stole 25 bases. In the Major Leagues, Sheffield hit .292 with 509 home runs and almost 2,700 hits.
Bob Talbot was a Visalia native who served in World War II despite being younger than draft age. He then returned to Visalia and played for the franchise's inaugural teams in 1946 & 1947 before reaching the Major Leagues with the Chicago Cubs. Talbot has lived in Visalia since his retirement from baseball, where he has been a humble, beloved, and highly respected member of the community.
Valenzuela pitched for the first time on US soil in the Cal League. In 1979, Fernando went 1-2 with a 1.13 ERA for the Lodi Dodgers. A year later he would debut in the Major Leagues and the next year win both the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards.
Vizquel played over 2,700 games at shortstop during his 24 year Major League Career. He had 2,877 hits and stole 404 bases while capturing 11 Gold Gloves (2nd all time for a shortstop). In 1987 for the Salinas Spurs, he hit .263 with 8 triples and 25 stolen bases.
Dave played for the Modesto Reds in 1966 and hit .271 with an amazing 46 HRs and 112 RBIs. He played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues before moving on to a stellar coaching career. As a pitching coach, he developed four Cy Young Award winners (LaMarr Hoyt, Bob Welch, Dennis Eckersley and Chris Carpenter). He also won World Series titles in 1972 (player), 1989, 2006 and 2011.
Doug was a Major League umpire for 30 years and umpired in five World Series, six All-Star Games and nine National League Championship Series. He was nicknamed "God" by the players because of his strict focus on the rules of the game. Harvey was ranked as the second greatest umpire in history, according to the Society for American Baseball Research, behind only Bill Klem. In 2007, Referee magazine selected him as one of the 52 most influential figures in the history of sports officiating. He began his professional umpiring career in the Cal League in 1958 and umpired in the League for the 1959 and 1960 seasons before moving up to Triple-A. The Cal League is the only League in MiLB to honor its umpires. The Doug Harvey Award is an annual award going to the League's best umpire.
|Tony La Russa||Modesto|
The World Series-winning manager played for the 1966 Modesto Reds. He is one of the most successful managers in Major League history and won World Series titles in Oakland and twice in St. Louis. He has the third-most wins in MLB history as a manager (2,728) and was inducted into MLB's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2014. While in Modesto, Mr. La Russa hit .291 with 20 doubles and 18 stolen bases.
The former NL Rookie of the Year came up through the Los Angeles Dodgers system as a player for the 1991 Bakersfield Dodgers. After his rookie year in 1992, Piazza went on to be named an All-Star 12 different times. He also holds the record for highest batting average by a catcher (.362). During his time in Bakersfield, Piazza hit .277 with 29 home runs and 80 RBIs. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2016.
Kirby was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001. The 12-year veteran outfielder for the Minnesota Twins played for Visalia in 1983. A lifetime .318 hitter, Mr. Puckett made the All-Star team 10 times and was a six-time Gold Glove recipient. While in Visalia, Puckett hit .314 with 97 RBIs. He also won two World Series titles with the Twins.
The 2011 Major League Baseball Hall of Famer played for the 1986 Reno Padres where he won the batting title with a .346 average. During his 17-year MLB career, Alomar was a 12 time All-Star, 4 time Silver Slugger, a 10 time Gold Glove winner, and won 2 World Series Titles while with the Toronto Blue Jays. His 10 Gold Gloves are a record for a Second Baseman. Alomar is a lifetime .300 hitter with 210 HRs, 474 Stolen Bases, and 1,134 RBIs.
Joe Morgan was the first player in the history of MLB to steal 60 bases and hit 25 HRs in a season. As a member of the Modesto Colts in 1963, Morgan hit .263 with 21 steals in only 45 games. He was inducted into MLB's Hall of Fame in 1990. During his 22-year career, Morgan was an All-Star 10 times, won 5 Gold Gloves, and 2 World Series Rings as part of the Cincinnati Reds in 1975 & 76. He was also named the NL MVP in those years.
Lenn Sakata holds many Cal League managerial records including: Most wins (757), most years managed in the League (11), most consecutive winning seasons (8), most Cal League Championships (3), most Playoff Appearances (8), and most Playoff games won (33). Sakata broke into the Big Leagues with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1977 and was a member of the Baltimore Orioles 1983 World Championship team. Sakata was selected as one of the 50 greatest sports figures in Hawaiian history by CNN Sports Illustrated and is a member of the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame.
Larry Jackson had possibly the greatest single season for a pitcher in Cal League history for the 1952 Cal League Champs Fresno Cardinals. He went 28-4 (tied for most wins in a single Cal League season) with a 2.85 ERA. He also had 30 complete games that year with 351 strikeouts (which is the current Cal League record). In 1955 Jackson began a 14-year MLB career where he was named an All-Star 5 times. He led MLB in wins with 24 during the 1964 season. After baseball, Jackson served four terms in the Idaho House of Representatives.