The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, which has been an Angels farm team since 2001, has been sold to a group led by Bobby Brett and his former Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer brother, George Brett. Majority owner Hank Stickney of Valley Baseball Club Inc., which moved the Quakes to Rancho Cucamonga from nearby San Bernardino in 1993, made the announcement this morning at the Epicenter, the site of many big league Angels' rehabilitation assignments following injuries.
With or without the Major Leaguers, the Quakes have managed to lead the California League in attendance each year of its existence, something Stickney suspects will continue under the Bretts.
"I have been involved with many teams over the years and this experience has definitely been the most rewarding," Stickney said. "The enthusiasm and support of our fans are second to none. Even after this sale I am confident that the Quakes will continue with their brand of excellence, their great relationship with the Los Angeles Angels, and their continued partnership with the City of Rancho Cucamonga to make the Epicenter an amazing destination for years to come."
(Stephen C. Smith's FutureAngels.com has video of the press conference and a Bobby Brett interview.)
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"The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are one of the premier franchises in Minor League Baseball and we are excited about the future of this organization," said Bobby Brett, who will serve as the managing partner of the Quakes. "The stadium and community are terrific."
He and his brother lead ownership groups that own the Spokane Chiefs Hockey Club of the Western Hockey League, the High Desert Mavericks Baseball Club of the California League and the Bellingham Bells Baseball Club of the West Coast League. Bobby also leads an ownership group that owns the Spokane Indians Baseball Club of the Northwest League, while George fronts a group that owns the Tri-City Dust Devils Baseball Club of the same Northwest League, which must lead to some intense, brotherly dirt-clod fights in the owner suites (assuming Northwest League franchises have ownership suites).
The Quakes sale is subject to the approval of the California League, Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball. Closing is projected this summer. The team begins its 2009 season April 9 on the road before hosting an April 13 home opener at the Epicenter against Visailia.