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Modesto Nuts are playing final season at John Thurman Field

 The Seattle Mariners’ Single-A affiliate is playing its final season in Modesto, the team announced on Wednesday.

The City of Modesto and the Major League Baseball club were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term lease extension. That means reigning California League champion Modesto Nuts will likely play their final home game, at least for the regular season, at John Thurman Field against the Stockton Ports on Sept. 8.

The current lease agreement expires on Sept. 30.

Modesto Nuts
Shelley the Pistachio, a Modesto Nuts mascot, leads line dancing on top of the dugout between innings.

“We’re disappointed we were unable to agree upon an extension,” Nuts general manager Veronica Hernandez said in a statement. “I know we and the city worked very hard to find common ground and unfortunately were unable to accomplish our goal.”

The disagreement stems from MLB’s new facility standards for minor league teams, which must fully compliant with upgraded stadiums starting in 2025.

With a capacity of 4,000 for baseball games, John Thurman Field was built in 1955 and named after Modesto state assemblyman John E. Thurman.

The Modesto Nuts started as an independent team called the Modesto Reds in 1946. The team has since undergone several name changes, from the Modesto Colts (1962), back to the Reds (1966), to the A’s (1975) and finally the Modesto Nuts in 2005.

Modesto Nuts
Joseph Hernandez throws a pitch for the Modesto Nuts in a California League game against the visiting San Jose Giants in 2022.

The team has also had 10 different major league parent clubs over the decades. The Seattle Mariners purchased a majority share of the Nuts in 2016 and gained full ownership in November 2020.

The Nuts own 10 minor league titles, the last two (2017, 23) as a Mariners affiliate. Seattle has not yet announced where it plans to move its Single-A team.

“We are thankful for the legacy the Modesto Nuts leaves behind, and we wish them the very best success in their future endeavors,” Modesto mayor Sue Zwahlen said. “Negotiations can be very challenging, and we worked diligently over the last year with the Modesto Nuts to explore various solutions.”

The Modesto Nuts have 27 games remaining at John Thurman Field. Tickets are available online at modestonuts.com/tickets or by calling 209.572.4487.

“Modesto has welcomed our players and staff with open arms, and we’ve very much enjoyed our experience playing in John Thurman Field in front of the terrific fans of the greater Modesto area,” Hernandez said. “Our hope and plan is to conclude the 2024 season the same way we finished 2023: By hoisting a Cal League Championship Banner.”

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