This morning I met my friend Joe and his wife Marie in Stockton to attend a minor league baseball game. The Stockton Ports hosted the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in a California League game. The Stockton Ports are affiliated with the Oakland A’s. The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

Today’s early start time of 11:10 AM was a promotion for local schools to bus their honor roll students to the game. The game starts early so that it will end early, allowing the school buses to return the kids to their schools before the school day ends. This type of promotion is widely used throughout the minor leagues. Stockton will have 2 more morning games for the schools in May. I enjoy the morning start times because I can watch a game and be home before 4 PM, as Stockton is an hour’s drive from my house.

Today’s game was a pitcher’s duel, which I always enjoy because the game moves quickly and there is drama whenever someone reaches base safely. Stockton defeated Rancho Cucamonga by a score of 1-0. Stockton manufactured the only run of the game in the bottom of the 8th inning with a single, a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly. Box Score

Today’s game lasted a mere 2 hours and 23 minutes. I was in my car and on my way home well before 2:00 PM. I hope to attend one, or both, of the two morning ballgames on Stockton’s schedule next month.