It it rather unique. A team that won the California League pennant in its first year and final year of existence. It is what happened to the High Desert Mavericks last night.
Recently MiLB announced that the Mavericks and the Bakersfield Blaze will be contracted and moved to the East coast where the Mavericks will play in Kinston and the Blaze in Fayetteville.
It was rather ironic that both the Mavs and the Blaze reached the play offs of the California League.
The Blaze fought its way to the second round, beating the San Jose Giants by two games to one. In the second round of the play offs, the Blaze fell to the Visalia Rawhide 2-1.
The Mavericks had a bye in the first round of the play offs as they won the first half.
In the second round of the play offs the team beat the Lancaster JetHawks 3-1. After the Mavericks lost the first game 6-4, they bounced back by winning three games in a row: 15-7; 9-4; 7-2.
Apparently the team was very motivated to give the fans of the Mavericks a farewell gift.
In the first game it was a close battle as the Mavericks took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Rawhide tied the game in the second but in the fifth, the Mavericks scored two runs to take the lead again. After the Rawhide scored a run in the seventh and in the ninth, extra innings were needed. Eventually the Mavericks scored the decisive run in the top of the eleventh inning.
The second game was a close one as well. For five innings neither team did score even though the Mavericks had runners in scoring position several times. The Rawhide were kept in check by Mavs’ starter Brett Martin, the highly touted prospect of the Texas Rangers. In seven innings he did not allow a hit, walked one and struck out fifteen (!).
But in the sixth inning the spell was broken as the Mavs’ Jose Trevino scored from third base when Jairo Beras hit into a 5-4 force out. This run would be the only one that was scored in this game.
In the third game, the Mavericks trailed 3-1 for a while, but the team stayed sharp and took the lead as they scored five runs in the sixth inning. From the Dutch point of view, Juremi Profar drove in two of the runs with a line drive single to second base, his first hit in this series. Eventually the Mavs won this game 7-4 and clinched the California League championship.
It is tough to realize that there won’t be any baseball in Stater Bros Stadium anymore.
I saw my first MiLB game there and my daughters threw out the first pitch at that game. The club had a special place in my heart.
It is also hard to explain that a championship team is contracted. Sure the decision was made before the play offs, but even then the Mavericks were a contender.
The city of Adelanto won’t mourn the move as they wanted the team to get out of the stadium. Before the season started the city dissolved the stadium lease contract when they did not agree that the Mavericks would make money but only paid a dollar per year for stadium rent. After the news of the contraction was announced, the city already made plans how to fill the void that the Mavericks would leave.
After twenty-five years an era comes to an end. In their first decade of existence, the Mavericks won three pennants (1991, 1993 and 1997). After that period their existence was rather barren.
As far as I am concerned, the team will be missed.