16th of May | Story

Notes from Bakersfield


The Bakersfield Blaze bullpen couldn’t stop the late-hitting Stockton Ports, who scored one run in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to win 5-4 and snapped a 16-game losing streak. The game was tied at 4-4 in the top of the ninth until Blaze righty Daniel Wolford gave up three straight. The Blaze’s fourth pitcher of the game, Wolford picked up his second loss of the season. The Blaze went down in order in the bottom of the ninth.

Centerfielder Bryson Smith and rightfielder Theo Bowe both hit solo home runs. The Blaze also struck out eight times.

Time for minor league trivia. The Blaze have gone through eight name changes since becoming a charter member of the California League in 1941. Three of their previous names also began with a B. What were they? (Keep reading for the answer.)

Somewhat surprisingly, Bakersfield is the 51st-largest city in the United States, according to the 2010 U.S. census. With 347,438 residents, it is sandwiched between New Orleans and Arlington, Texas. Between 2000 and 2010 it grew 40.6 percent. However, Bakersfield is not the largest city in the California League to have a High-A team. San Jose, the 10th-largest city in America, is home to the Giants and is the only city larger than Bakersfield to have a High-A team.

Want the answer? The Bakersfield Badgers were one of the eight original California League teams back in 1941. (The others were the Anaheim Aces, Fresno Cardinals, Merced Bears, Riverside Reds, San Bernardino Stars, Santa Barbara Saints and Stockton Fliers.) The team played under that name for two seasons. In 1956, they switched to the Bakersfield Boosters, which apparently wasn’t a popular name because it only lasted for one year. Then from 1957 to 1967, they played as the Bears. Bakersfield has also been home to the Indians, Dodgers, Outlaws, Mariners and the Dodgers again.

And in random statistical news, the game started one minute late, the first ball was a strike and the first batter singled, and a recording of the “Star-Spangled Banner” played in a brisk 1 minute and 16 seconds. Hearing the ballpark food received an upgrade this season, we went with a grilled chicken sandwich and a slice of pizza

Carolyn@AMinorLeagueSeason.com  @CarolynLaWell  @AMinorLgSeason 

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