Sacramento Rivercats: Baseball by the Bridge

As we look forward to summer and the end of the rain, the baseball season draws near.

While most teams in the area fail to attain success, the Sacramento River Cats have been successful from the start. They first came to Sacramento in 2000.

The Sacramento River Cats are the minor league affiliate for the Oakland Athletics. In the past decade, they have won four Triple-A Championships and eight Pacific Division Championships. They have also sent a long list of players to the major league including Barry Zito, Erik Byrnes, Nick Swisher and others.

As the franchise continues to produce, the list of players that make it to the pros through the Sacramento River Cats will continue to grow.

Sacramento led the Pacific Coast League with 86 wins in 2009 and hope to top that in 2010. A large part of their success is due to manager Tony DeFrancesco, who has compiled a 499-364 record in his six years in Sacramento, the first win of 2010 making 500 for DeFrancesco.

This season, be on the lookout for guys like first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter and outfielder Matt Carson to continue what they did last year.

The 6-foot-5 Carter, who was recently named the top prospect in the Oakland A’s organization by Baseball America, knocked a ball out of the park in each of the four first-round playoff games. Carter also matched a franchise record by recording three homers in a late August game against Reno.

Carson had 116 hits, 77 RBIs and 25 homers in 2009 and hopes to continue his success this season.

Even with the River Cats’ success as a team, Raley Field continues to be a ballpark for the fans, offering a number of ticket packages and improving an already satisfying environment. To make the experience even better, Raley Field has added a new sound system, a new scoreboard and wider high-definition jumbotron.

Opening day for the River Cats is Friday, April 16. The opening day weekend will be celebrated with dollar hot dogs and desserts, followed by fireworks and team posters that will be given out on Saturday. On Sunday the kids will be able to run the bases with Dinger and get autographs from their favorite River Cats.

There are 17 days until Opening Day at Raley Field and this year hopes to be another successful year for the River Cats and our community.

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