A Brief Overview of California’s 5 MLB Teams


A Brief Overview of California's 5 MLB Teams

Major League Baseball (MLB) is one of America’s oldest professional sports organizations. It comprises 30 franchises, 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada, and the teams are divided equally between the National League and American League. But one thing I’ve heard commented on numerous times is just how many baseball teams California has. How many MLB teams are there in California?

California is home to five different MLB teams. Those five teams include the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and the San Fransisco Giants.

These teams are also among the richest in the league and have a rich history that makes them popular with fans worldwide. The following is an overview of California’s five franchise teams, including their formation, competition history, and current ranking in the game.

TeamCalifornia CityDivisionEstablished
Los Angeles DodgersLos AngelesNational League West1883
San Francisco GiantsSan FranciscoNational League West1883
Oakland AthleticsOaklandAmerican League West1901
Los Angeles AngelsAnaheimAmerican League West1961
San Diego PadresSan DiegoNational League West1969

A Map of the 5 MLB Stadiums in California

To give you a better idea of where all 5 teams are located in California, below is a map I created with Google Maps that outlines exactly where all 5 MLB stadiums are located in California. And here is a direct link to that map in case you want to interact with it within the Google Maps app.

1) The Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional MLB franchise that plays their home games at the Dodgers Stadium (also known as “Chavez Ravine”), located in the Elysian Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The team is a National League West Division member and plays in either entirely white or gray uniforms in the MLB.

The Dodgers team logo features a red baseball with flying red frays over a blue dodgers logo in a diagonal script. Currently, the club’s insignia is a big white LA sign layered on a blue background.

Key History Moments

  • The franchise baseball club was established in 1883 in New York City as the Brooklyn Grays and played under different names before choosing Dodgers as their official franchise name in 1932.
  • Before the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958, the team played in other ballparks in New York, including Washinton Park (twice), Ridgewood Park, Ebbets Field, and Roosevelt stadium.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers are credited as the first club in Major League Baseball to field an African American player names Jackie Robinson in 1947. He played for ten years and won Rookie of the Year in his first season and National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949. Jackie Robinson’s number 42 jersey was retired in 1997 across all MLB teams, with all players wearing the number 42 on April 15, since 2004.
  • The franchise was the first team in the MLB to broadcast a television game in 1939 and the first to have players wear batting helmets in 1941. Additionally, it is the first MLB franchise to have numbers on the front of its jerseys in 1952. 

Los Angeles Dodgers Rivalries

The Los Angeles Dodgers have an intense rivalry with the following MLB franchises:

  • San Fransisco Giants – dating back to 1957.
  • New York Yankees – since the team’s origins in New York. The rivalry is considered one of the most significant in MLB because the teams have met each other in eleven World Series games.
  • Los Angeles Angels – the team rivalry is known as the “Freeway Series” because it references the teams’ proximity along Interstate 5.
  • San Diego Padres – the teams’ rivalry is an extension of rivalry between other sports teams, the Chargers (NFL) and Clippers (NBA), which could not find stable homes in San Diego and had to relocate to Los Angeles.
  • St. Louis Cardinals – the team’s rivalry started in 1892 when the franchises met in the playoffs. However, their rivalry has grown due to the team’s frequent meetings in the postseason since the late 2000s.

Championship Wins

The Los Angeles Dodgers have won various significant titles, including:

  • Seven World Series Titles ranging from 1955 to 2020
  • Twenty West division titles between 1974 and 2022
  • Three Wild Card Berths between 1996 and 2021

Fan Support and Ownership

The Los Angeles Dodgers attract a seasonal fanbase of over 3 million fans, with Bryan Cranston (of Walter White/Heisenberg/Breaking Bad fame) being their most loyal celebrity fan.

Fun side note: here is a video of Bryan Cranston being ejected from a celebrity softball game.

Additionally, the team is owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management.

2) Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels are a professional MLB franchise that plays in the American League West Division at their home stadium, the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.

The Angels logo is a stylized “A” with a blue and white halo at the top of the crown. The franchise has existed since 1961 and was established by Gene Autry in 1961.

Currently, the team plays in a full white jersey for their home games and full gray with a red logo for their away games. Their alternate jerseys feature a red top and white pants, with the logo as a fully-embossed red Angels name across the top.

Key History Moments

  • The name Angels is the English translation of Los Angeles, a Spanish term that Phil Wrigley first used in 1892.
  • Before moving to the current Angels Stadium, the team played at the Chavez Ravine Stadium (1962 – 1965) and Wrigley Field (1961).
  • The Los Angeles Angels have undergone three name changes during their history: California Angels from 1965 to 1996, Anaheim Angels from 1997 to 2004, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2005 to 2015.
  • Despite reaching the playoffs three times, Gene Autry never witnessed the team win a World Series Championship (during his 36 years of ownership). However, new owner Arturo Moreno witnessed the team lift the Commissioner’s Trophy in 2002.
  • The franchise’s stadium has a centerfield rock formation named the “California Spectacular”, which shoots fireworks when the team hits a home run or wins a home game.
  • Mike Trout (one of the most decorated players in MLB history) has spent his whole career with the Angels.
  • Current player Shohei Ohtani is considered the best two-way baseball player in MLB history.

Los Angeles Angels Rivalries

The Los Angeles Angels have a strong rivalry with the following MLB franchises:

  • The Texas Rangers – stemming from players having played for both teams. Notable players include Nolan Ryan, Vladimir Guerrero, and Mike Napoli. Interestingly, the Rangers and Angels are the only MLB teams to throw a perfect game against each other.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – popularly known as the “Freeway Series” due to the teams’ home stadium proximity.

Championship Wins

The Los Angeles Angels do not have a rich history of championship wins due to their relative infancy in the league. Here are some of the notable titles:

  • World Series Championship win in 2002 (snuck into the playoffs as the Wild Card)
  • Nine American League West Division titles between 1979 and 2014

Fan Support and Ownership

The Los Angeles Angels’ average attendance is slightly over 2.5 million fans every season, which ranks them 13th overall in the MLB.

Despite the low number, the franchise has set six Guinness World Records for its fans’ attendance, including the largest gathering of people with selfie sticks and the largest gathering of people wearing different costumes, such as blankets, sombreros, and superhero capes.

The franchise’s current owner is Arte Moreno. Gregarious coach Joe Maddon was fired midway through the 2022 season and replaced by third-base coach Phil Nevin.

3) Oakland Athletics

You can also opt for the Oakland Athletics (A’s) when rooting for a baseball franchise in California. The franchise participates in the American League West Division and plays its home games at the Oakland Coliseum.

They play their home games in a full white jersey featuring the Oakland Athletics logo in green font pasted across the players’ jerseys. They play away games in an all-gray or alternate green jersey and white top jersey featuring the same logo.

Key History Moments

  • The franchise baseball club was established in 1901 in Philadelphia and was known as the Philadelphia Athletics before moving to Kansas in 1955, then Oakland in 1968.
  • The team’s name is an homage to the original Athletic Club of Philadelphia, which became an official member of the National League in 1876. Additionally, the blackletter A on present-day jerseys is one of the oldest sports logos and is similar to the one the Brooklyn Atlantics use on their uniforms.
  • The original team uniform featured red, white, and blue colors. Following their acquisition by Charles O. Finley in 1960, the team now plays with a green, white, and gold uniform. The A’s symbol was introduced in 1970 and remains the official team logo. You can now spot the team by the term Athletics scripted on the player’s home and away jerseys.
  • The club’s mascot, Stomper, was initially known as Harry Elephante as an homage to singer Harry Belafonte.

Oakland Athletics Rivalries

The Oakland Athletics have a strong rivalry with the following MLB franchises:

  • San Francisco Giants – the rivalry stems back to the 1989 World Series when the Oakland Athletics won the Commissioner’s Trophy after moving to the San Fransisco Bay Area. The rivalry is known as the BART series, a reference to the Bay Area Rapid Transit System that links the two cities.
  • Philadelphia Phillies – This rivalry is known as the “City Series” when the A’s were still in Philadelphia.

Championship Wins

The Oakland Athletics have won various significant titles, including:

  • Nine World Series Titles ranging from 1910 to 1989
  • Seventeen American League West division titles between 1971 and 2020
  • Four Wild Card Berths between 2001 and 2019

Fan Support and Ownership

John J. Fisher owns the Oakland Athletics.

You can also enjoy various cuisines during home games because their home stadium hosts several food trucks for the fans, such as Korean and authentic Cajun fried chicken from the local Roderick’s Barbecue Restaurant. 

4) San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres are an MLB franchise from California and play at Petco Park.

Fun Fact: The San Diego Padres are the only team from California not to have won the World Series Trophy. They have a rich history, as you shall see below.

Key History Moments

  • The team adopts its name from the Pacific Coast League team, which played during the 1936 season.
  • The name Padres refers to fathers in Spanish, which refers to the Spanish Francian friars who founded the city of San Diego in 1769.
  • The San Fransico Padres became official members of Major League Baseball in 1969 as an expansion team, similar to the Washington Nationals, Kansas City Royals, and Milwaukee Brewers.

San Diego Padres Rivalries

The Padres are a relatively new franchise and haven’t seen much success, so they don’t have “burning” rivalries as you might expect.

  • Los Angeles Dodgers – both teams are in the NL West, and their cities are the two largest in California.
  • San Francisco Giants – also in the National League West, the Giants and 

Championship Wins

The San Diego Padres have the following title wins in their history:

  • Five National League West division titles between 1984 and 2006
  • Two World Series appearances (lost both) in 1984 and 1998

Fan Support and Ownership

The team is owned by Peter Seidler, an American private equity firm founder and grandson of Walter O’Malley. The present coach is Bob Melvin, and he has a roster that includes star players, such as Fernando Tatis Jr., with 42 home runs in the 2021 season.

Unlike other home fields, Petco Park also has a 2.7-acre kid-friendly area that features a baseball diamond, an outdoor dining area, and a statue of Padres legend Tony Gwynn.

5) San Fransisco Giants

The San Fransico Giants were established in 1883 as the New York Gothams and play in the MLB’s National League West Division. The team is one of the oldest MLB franchises and boasts the most of any American professional sports team.

The Giants logo features a huge black and grey Giants name across a baseball.

Key History Moments

  • Established in 1883 as New York Gothams, then changed its name to the New York Giants before adopting its current name in 1958.
  • The franchise has the most Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 63 in total, including Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Mel Ott, and Carl Hubbel.
  • San Fransico Giants have played in 20 World Series, a record they share with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

MLB Team Rivalries

The San Franciso Giants have a strong rivalry with the following MLB franchises:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers – considered the longest rivalry in the MLB, dating back to 1957. The Los Angeles Dodgers lead the San Fransisco Giants 6 – 3 in World Series Championships.
  • Oakland Athletics – a geographical rivalry, given the teams’ close proximity. However, further animosity arose following the 1989 World Series, where the A’s swept the Giants.
  • New York Yankees – this rivalry originates from the teams’ competitions in New York. They competed for the Commissioner’s Trophy seven times, with the Yankees winning five times.

Championship Wins

The San Fransisco Giants have the following titles:

  • Eight World Series Titles ranging from 1905 to 2014
  • Twenty-Three National League Pennants from 1888 to 2014
  • Nine National League West division titles between 1971 and 2021

Ownership and Field

The team is under the management of San Fransisco Baseball Associates LLC and is coached by Gabe Kapler.

You can attend their home games at Oracle Park, considered one of the most prestigious venues in the United States, having hosted events such as Monster Jam and the Amazing Race 30 final leg.

Steve Nelson

I'm the owner of Baseball Training World. I live in Denver, Colorado and I enjoy playing baseball on two different adult baseball teams in the surrounding area.

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