Major League Excitement for Stockton Ports

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STOCKTON-

Attendance is up significantly this season for Stockton Ports games at Banner Island Ballpark, according to the club's management.

"We feel once we get (the fans) out here once, they’re going to love what we do, love the facility, love the surroundings, and want to come back," said club president, Pat Filippone. "So we are seeing that in the early parts of the season."

The Ports are also benefiting from the fact that the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats are now affiliated with the Giants instead of the A's.

Oakland outfielder Coco Crisp played for the Ports Sunday and Monday in a rehab assignment as he recovers from elbow surgery. He was scheduled to have a day off Tuesday.

"With the Triple-A team now being in Nashville, it’ll be unlikely they’ll send guys there for the quick rehabs," explained Filippone.

An exception might be when the team is playing on the East Coast, closer to Nashville.

"I'm having fun," Crisp said before Monday night's game in Stockton. "It's a good group of guys here."

Crisp said he is feeling good.  He hit a double, and scored once as the Ports beat the Lancaster Jethawks 11-2.

Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson was also on the field with the Ports on Monday night in his player-development role with the A's organization.

"Yeah this is the only game in town," Henderson said of the Ports position as the only California minor league A's affiliate. "So it’s a good thing that at least they left one ball club close to home that the people can come out and see the young ball players play."

For the young players on the field, the opportunity to play alongside more major league stars this season, is a huge bonus.

"They make themselves available for any questions that we have, and see how they play the game, and how they go about their business every day," said Ports catcher, Nick Rickles.

"You want to watch what he does because you want to be just like him," Ports outfielder B.J. Boyd said about Crisp.  "You want to make it to the big leagues."

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