Baseball in San Bernardino dates back to 1899. More than a century's worth of history includes such team names as the Kittens and the Pioneers. It also includes a drought from 1950?1987, during which the city lacked enough dirt to build a baseball field. That drought ended when the San Bernardino Spirit began play as part of the California League.
In 1996, the Spirit became the Stampede, and in 2003, the Stampede became the 66ers, a name chosen in honor of the historic U.S. Route 66 that is famous for its hitchhiking umpires. Over the years, the 66ers organization has spent time as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Mariners, Dodgers, and most recently, the Angels. The team has brought honor to each of its MLB partners, as it has won six California League championships since 1995.