Rancho Cucamonga Quakes spotlight

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javier arredondo

A game between the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and Visalia Rawhide on September 14th, 2021

Javier Arredondo, Editor

  The Inland Empire may not be home to any major league sports teams, but they are home to multiple minor league teams. One of those teams are the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They competed in the California League of the High-A level of minor league baseball until 2019, when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred demoted them to Low-A. The Quakes have been in Rancho since 1993, starting off as a San Diego Padres affiliate. They were with the Padres from 1993-2001, winning a league championship in 1994. 

  In 2001 they changed their affiliation to a more local SoCal team, the Anaheim Angels. They struggled under the Angels affiliation, only making the playoffs 3 times in 10 years. While with the Angels, they did not win a league championship. 

  In 2011, however, they changed their affiliation to the more popular Los Angeles Dodgers. These past 10 years have been the most successful for the Quakes, as they had a 5 year playoff streak, winning 2 league championships in those years. Before the 2021 season, they signed a 10-year partnership extension with the Dodgers.

  The Quakes have seen many star big-leaguers play for them, including some MLB Legends and young superstars. Clayton Kershaw, Vladimir Guerrero, Torii Hunter and Steve Finley played for the Quakes. They also had current MLB stars Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Walker Buehler and many others play for them. 

  Quakes pitcher Gavin Stone talked about his time in Rancho. “It was awesome, I got to play with a lot of really great guys and I’m very thankful for the staff in Rancho for helping me continue to improve.” He also talked about the MLB rehabbers he saw in 2021, including former all-star A.J. Pollock. “It was awesome to watch and see how they go about their work, and it really puts into perspective about how much work there is to be done to reach your goals.” 

  Quakes radio broadcaster Mike Lindskog talked about a story he had with Mike Trout when he was with the Quakes. “My wife was my girlfriend at the time, filled in for Aftershock(Quakes mascot)…..When we walked off to make it into the championship series against San Jose, she made it to the bottom of the dogpile and Mike Trout was laying on top of her.” He also said Trout had a great playoff run that year, and took on a leadership role. 

  While the Quakes playoff streak may have been snapped in 2021, they still finished 1st in the south division. This was because a temporary change was introduced to the league playoff format, where the top 2 teams in the league overall would make the playoffs, and the Quakes were not one of them.