Three local Minor League Baseball teams opened the 2023 season Thursday, April 6, with the pomp and circumstance Inland fans have come to expect when their favorite Class-A squads return to the diamond.
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes played host to the Inland Empire 66ers Thursday, as the two Inland squads began their three-game opening weekend series, while the Lake Elsinore Storm began their defense of the California League championship by hosting the Visalia Rawhide in a packed house.
The Quakes, the Los Angeles’ Dodgers Single-A affiliate, christened the 2023 season with a fireworks show following the game at LoanMart Field. The 66ers’ home opener as the Single-A affiliate for the Los Angeles Angels, meanwhile, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino.
Fans of the Storm, the San Diego Padres’ Single-A affiliate, had the opportunity Thursday to take pictures with the championship trophy. Those in attendance also received a magnet schedule and air freshener commemorating the Storm’s 2022 Cal League title.
In addition to seeing their favorite players return to the field Thursday, fans returning to The Diamond, the Storm’s home stadium, for the first time since last season got to see a new structure above Thunder’s Mountain that includes an updated trainer’s room, strength and conditioning space, kitchen, coaching staff space, a larger player’s clubhouse and new indoor batting cages that fans can see as they enter the stadium.
Storm brass also have placed new furniture in select suites and made Lot C across Pete Lehr Drive free to use all season.
Stadium enhancements aside, fans can expect the traditional and often quirky promotions at The Diamond — including Rodeo Night, Xmas in July and Halfway to Halloween.
66ers promotions in San Bernardino include a cowbell giveaway, Pachuco Night and Mermaid Night as well a celebration of Latino culture with Cucuys Night.
In Rancho Cucamonga, the Quakes host Bark in the Ballpark (dogs welcome) and Superhero Night.
For ticket, promotion and team information, visit milb.com.