The Sacramento River Cats
This minor baseball team is part of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and a Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants.
Represented by its mascot Dinger the River Cat, the Sacramento River Cats has led the minor leagues in each of its first 8 seasons at the Raley Field from 2000 to 2008.
In 2012. Forbes cited the baseball team as the most valuable minor league franchise.
From Canada to California
The team first played in British Columbia back in 1978. But after being purchased in 2000, it found itself in West Sacramento. It’s here where the Sacramento River Cats came to be. Soon, the team found itself taking its rightful place in minor league baseball history.
The first season of the Sacramento River Cats drew in 861,808 fans. This was a first in minor league baseball and broke the all-time Pacific Coast League record of nearly 150,000 fans. The trend continued well into the team’s first five seasons at Raley Field from 2000 to 2004.
Now that they’re affiliated with the San Francisco Giants, the Sacramento River Cats has set another national record. The 672,354 fans who watched the team’s games for the season was 10% higher in number than those who came over in 2014. This attendance record is the highest in the Pacific Coast League for 3 years in a row.
Fans are in for a double treat when the River Cats hold an exhibition game right before the San Francisco Giants take over the court at Raley Field.
The River Cats not only attracts huge crowds. It has won four league titles, six conference titles, and 11 division titles since 2000.
The team won back-to-back Pacific Coast League Championships in 2003 and 2004. This is on top of winning the Pacific Coast League South Division title from 2000 to 2004.
The Sacramento River Cats repeated this feat in 2007, when it secured both the division and league championship titles.
A year after, the team secured the division, league, and class champions. In 2014, the Sacramento River Cats moved to the North division of the league and averaged at 9,338 per yard during the 2015 regular season.
Much of the Sacramento River Cats’ success stems from the skills and talent of its players.
In 2016, Mike Piazza was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is the first and only former River Cats player who earned this honor on the strength of an 83% vote.
Other notable players include Josh Donaldson, Sonny Gray, and Carlos Gonzales.
The River Cats has come a long way from a Canadian import to today’s #1 minor league baseball team.
The winning formula lies in Sacramento itself. The city supports its sports team all the way.
Sacramento’s Raley Field, home of the River Cats, is a baseball venue like no other. It’s got excellent seating, an open concourse, a foul ball deck and a sunken playing field whose hospitality extends to free refills of spilled Nachos.
No wonder huge crowds always turn up at a Sacramento River Cats game and the River Cats has remained on top of the heap all these years.