California Sharks

Owner: Colin Mills

California Sharks

Theme Song: “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses

Stadium: Blue Note Stadium

Blue Note Stadium

Blue Note Stadium is located along the Long Beach waterfront, next to Long Beach Arena and the Aquarium of the Pacific.  Opened in 1975 as Long Beach Stadium, the stadium is a classic of California cool: the concrete exterior of the ballpark is painted in brightly colored geometric shapes, while the steel exoskeleton is draped in neon tubes that provide a similarly colorful show at night.  The roof undulates in waves, designed to mimic the Pacific Ocean.  The park’s interior is no less colorful, with rainbow-colored rows of seats, fences painted bright turquoise, and a scoreboard surrounded with neon tubes.  The whole experience is distinctive, fun, and uniquely California.

Another unique feature of Blue Note Stadium is its relatively small upper deck.  The park has the highest proportion of lower-deck seats in the league.  Originally, the stadium was conceived as a single-decker, before the project architects realized that they couldn’t achieve the desired seating capacity in the space they had without a second deck.  The upper deck is quite steep; the term “nosebleed seats” is apt here.

The fans at Blue Note Stadium adhere to many of the California stereotypes.  Crowds can be late in arriving, especially for weeknight games, although they are less inclined to leave early than fans at Dodger Stadium.  And the wave and beach balls are often popular in the stands, though not when the game is close.

The stadium’s name also has a story behind it.  When stadium name sponsorships became commonplace in the early 2000s, the Long Beach City Council sought a sponsorship for the ballpark, but found no serious takers.  Still, the council felt that the “Long Beach Stadium” name was too bland and utilitarian, and sought an alternative.  The council bandied about alternatives such as “Waterfront Park,” “Pacific Field,” and “Ocean View Field,” but they could not settle on a consensus after weeks of debate.  One night, after a particularly long session, two Councilmen who were jazz fans were listening to an album by Thelonious Monk, who recorded on the Blue Note Records label.  One of them jokingly suggested the name Blue Note Stadium, which the other one liked.  They initially wrote it off as a joke, but when yet another session dragged past 1 AM and failed to produce a resolution, one of them proposed it.  The council voted to adopt the new name.  As a tribute, blue musical notes were added to the colorful exterior, and murals of Monk and other musical legends were painted in the concourse.


(click to enlarge)

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Total Payroll: $33,400,000

Available Cap Space: $1,600,000


Manager: Eduardo Aponte

# Batters Position Salary Yrs
15 Thaddeus Lockley C $1,800,000 3
32 John Lassen 1B $700,000 1
14 Palmer Strachan 2B $1,200,000 2
25 Karl Mote 3B $900,000 3
8 Rubin Smyth SS $3,000,000 4
34 Kenneth Mader LF $2,500,000 5
2 Santiago Suarez CF $4,000,000 3
26 Jessie Corona RF $1,000,000 5
43 Johnie Oller DH $150,000 2
00 Corky Carpenter C $400,000 2
5 Emmanuel Puffer 2B $150,000 2
7 Melian Gonzalez SS $100,000 1
16 Eddie Nix LF $200,000 4
20 Darren Novick CF $450,000 1


# Pitchers Thr Role Salary Yrs
52 Pierre LaRue R SP $5,000,000 5
44 Kevin Conner R SP $2,000,000 5
49 Stu Palmeiro L SP $1,500,000 3
22 Derek “Deke” Slater R SP $4,000,000 2
36 Brian Goreman R SP $500,000 3
29 Ty Shive R RP $600,000 3
30 Milan Constant R RP $350,000 3
87 Luke Bond L RP $550,000 5
51 Jan Arzola R RP $800,000 3
19 Boss Walker L RP $550,000 2
38 Eugene Grace L CL $400,000 2


# Reserves Position Salary Yrs
9 Clyde Hawkins C $100,000 1
41 Rucky Virella LF $100,000 1
33 David Watts SP (L) $200,000 1
50 Herman Moret RP (R) $100,000 1
54 “Rocket” Ron Scott RP (L) $100,000 1


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