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For lease: Billy Hebert Field

Stockton PortsThough the Stockton Ports (High Class A; California League) are long gone, the team’s long-time home, Billy Hebert Field, is still around, and the financially strapped city of Stockton will be seeking bids for the management and upkeep of the historic facility.

Baseball has been played at Billy Hebert Field for more than 80 years, but it’s been sporadically occupied since the Ports moved in 2005 to Banner Island Ballpark. Maintenance, not interest, has been the issue: several groups have held tournaments and workouts there, but the field ha been poorly maintained because of Stockton’s ongoing budget crises.

So the decision has been made to lease out the facility. Not a bad one, despite some questioning from the local newspaper: there are plenty of old ballparks with a new lease on life because of new management (Cocoa Expo, the former Dodgertown, the former Reds spring facility in Plant City, etc.).

One encouraging fact: the city isn’t talking about tearing down the historic ballpark, named for William JohnBilly” Hebert, the Stockton resident and Oakland Oaks (Pacific Coast League) second baseman who was the first pro baseball player killed in World War II.

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