Thursday’s announcement made it official: for the next 2 years, the Quakes will be affiliated with the Dodgers and the 66ers will be affiliated with the Angels.
Since they’ve been an affiliate for longer, my belief is the Quakes-Angels breakup after 10 years will be tougher on fans than the Sixers-Dodgers breakup after 4. I think there are quite a few Quakes fans who are also Angels fans, although I’m not sure if they were Quakes or Angels fans first.
Although there are plenty of Dodger fans in San Bernardino, there are also plenty of Sixer fans who remember fondly the teams of the past. From 1995-2000, they were with the Dodgers and won 3 Cal League titles, then from 2001-06 were with the Seattle Mariners and won 2 titles. When the Dodgers returned for 2007-10, it wasn’t the same success, although there were frequent appearances by Manny Ramirez the last couple of years.
I think both teams will lose some fans, others won’t care about the affiliation. Yet while the players change, many of the giveaways and promotions will stay the same. Perhaps the Quakes will gain some Dodger fans from the Fontana-Rialto area, who previously went to San Bernardino. Perhaps the 66ers will gain some Angel fans from the Riverside area, who felt they were too far from Rancho Cucamonga.
Eventually, fans will get used to it. Slowly, but surely.
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