LoanMart Field

From BR Bullpen

BUILT: 1993


LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, is the home of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Los Angeles Dodgers' California League farm team. The Quakes franchise is approaching three decades in place after more than its share of instability over its previous five.

During its construction, workers learned the ballpark's team would be called the Quakes and so started calling the project the Epicenter. When it opened in 1993, that stuck - with a whole lot of other words around it: "The City of Rancho Cucamonga Epicenter Entertainment and Sports Complex" was the official name of what locals still just called the Epicenter. That mouthful changed in 2013 with a 10-year naming-rights deal.

The ballpark is only 35 miles from Los Angeles, but that doesn't translate into the legendary balmy weather. Rancho's elevation is more than 1,400 feet above LA's, often making it chillier than a transient fan might expect. The San Gabriel Mountains, however, provide a beautiful backdrop.

The location does lend itself to serving as a set for movies and TV shows, including Ten Men on the Field (2012).

The California League had played only two seasons when World War II stopped most of Organized Baseball. The circuit had begun with four teams in 1942 but resumed play in 1946 with eight. One of the newbies, the Visalia Cubs, played in the Gateway to the Sequoias for 17 years, then moved west to Salinas, CA. After the 1964 season, the Modesto Colts folded; to balance the league, the Reno Silver Sox sat out 1965. The Salinas franchise complicated things by folding after that season - just its third there. The league moved to avoid falling back to four teams by reactivating Reno, reviving Modesto and selling the Salinas franchise to a group from Lodi, CA, for just $2,500.

The franchise's resulting move north led to another period of stability - 19 seasons starting and ending as the Lodi Crushers but with several other nicknames along the way. In 1984, they joined the Chicago Cubs - but lost them the very next year when Chicago consolidated its farm clubs east of the Mississippi River. "Inactive" in 1985, the franchise was then sold and moved to Ventura County, CA.

The move to Southern California was initially unsuccessful. Unable to get a suitable stadium, the club played 1986 at a college ballpark. Sold and moved again, it became the San Bernardino Spirit in 1987. When the Spirit franchise moved to Rancho to become the Quakes, none other than the Salinas Spurs stepped into the Berdoo and took over the Spirit brand.

The Ventura County franchise's move to the Berdoo re-stabilized it, but its ballpark was already more than 50 years old. When a brand-new stadium went up less than 15 miles away in the same county, Spirit ownership jumped on it - leading to the move to the Epicenter.

The Berdoo and Rancho are both in the Los Angeles big-league protected territory.

Current ballparks in the California League
North Division South Division
Chukchansi Park | Excite Ballpark | John Thurman Field | Stockton Ballpark Lake Elsinore Diamond | LoanMart Field | San Manuel Stadium | Valley Strong Ballpark