"First and foremost, the Giants want to express our sincere appreciation to the Fresno community, in particular to Mayor Ashley Swearengin, the Grizzlies ownership and the fans, for their longtime support of our club," said Giants President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer. "It was a difficult decision to move our affiliate, but ultimately we felt that the proximity of the River Cats to San Francisco was critical to the development of our players. We look forward to working with the River Cats organization to continue to deliver a top baseball experience to our players and the fans."
"We appreciate the 15 successful years we've had with the Oakland Athletics," said River Cats President Jeff Savage, "and we're grateful for the tremendous support that the region has shown us. Our mission here at Raley Field has always been, and always will be, giving the Sacramento community the best fan experience possible. We're extremely excited to join the Giants family, and can't wait for our 2015 home opener on April 9."
"Sacramento is a great baseball town and the area has traditionally produced top baseball talent for the Major Leagues. Our affiliation with the River Cats provides us with an outstanding player development environment, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with our young players at Raley Field," said Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean.
During their first 15 years in Sacramento, the River Cats were affiliated with the Oakland Athletics, during which time they won 11 division titles, four Pacific Coast League titles, and two Triple-A championships. Though the River Cats have missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history, the club led the Pacific Coast League in attendance in 2014, and have welcomed more fans through their gates than any other minor league organization since 2000.
The Giants have seven World Series titles, including two in the last four years (2010, 2012). Sacramento joins the Giants' minor league system that includes the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Double-A), San Jose Giants (Single-A Advanced), Augusta GreenJackets (Single-A), and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short Season).
About the San Francisco Giants
One of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball, the 132-year old franchise moved to San Francisco from New York in 1958. After playing a total of 42 years in Seals Stadium and Candlestick Park, the team moved to the privately constructed AT&T Park in 2000. The organization is widely recognized for its innovative business practices and baseball excellence. In 2010, the franchise was named the Sports Organization of the Year by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal and in 2012 was named Organization of the Year by Baseball America.
Since opening its gates, AT&T Park has become internationally-renowned as a premier venue in the world of both sports and entertainment. On the diamond, more than 43 million spectators have witnessed a number of magical moments, including two World Series Championships (2010 & 2012) and five playoff appearances.
Off the field, the Giants have one of the premier community outreach programs in professional sports, becoming the first team to implement a 100 percent participation program, involving every player, coach and uniformed staff member in at least one community project throughout the season. The Junior Giants program - the flagship program of the Giants Community Fund - provides is a free, non-competitive and innovative baseball program for boys and girls ages 5-18 years old. More than 1,500 children from Sacramento and West Sacramento play Junior Giants baseball.
About the Sacramento River Cats
The 2014 season marked the 15th in California's capitol region for the Sacramento River Cats. Over the years, the River Cats have graduated hundreds of players to the Major Leagues, including San Francisco Giants Barry Zito and Tim Hudson.
Off the field, the River Cats have been the talk of Minor League Baseball. Winners of numerous awards for its business practices and outstanding community efforts, Sacramento's franchise has led all of Minor League Baseball in attendance over the past 15 seasons.
The River Cats franchise was purchased by majority owner Art Savage in October, 1998 and was relocated to Sacramento prior to the 2000 season from Vancouver (Canada). Formerly the Vancouver Canadians (1999 Triple-A World Series Champions), the River Cats call Raley Field home. Nestled along the Sacramento River in West Sacramento, the privately financed ballpark is the crown jewel of Minor League Baseball.