Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Florida State League’ Category

1977 Daytona Beach Islanders

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1977 Daytona Beach Islanders ProgramFlorida State League (1977)

Born: September 1976
Affiliation Change: 1978 (Daytona Beach Astros)

Stadium: City Island Park

Team Colors:

Owner: Fred Nichols

Florida State League Championships: None

 

The Daytona Beach Islanders formed in October 1976. At the time, Daytona Beach had hosted more Florida State League seasons (33), games (4,461) and victories (2,328) than any other city in Florida. This despite the fact that City Island Park sat empty the previous three summers since the departure of the Daytona Beach Dodgers in 1974.

The Islanders were a Class-A farm club of the Kansas City Royals. A half-dozen Islanders players would go on to make the Major Leagues. The most prominent were first baseman Ken Phelps and pitcher Renie Martin. Phelps hit 123 homers in the Majors as a journeyman DH between 1980 and 1980. Martin made relief appearances in three games of the 1980 World Series for Kansas City.

Islanders owner Fred Nichols was a Connecticut financial advisor who owned a small collection of minor league baseball clubs in the Eastern United States during the late 1970’s.

Following the 1977 season, Kansas City pulled out of Daytona Beach and the Houston Astros came in. The team was subsequently re-branded as the Daytona Beach Astros (1978-1984).

 

Downloads

April 1977 Daytona Beach Islanders vs.  Miami Orioles Game Notes

 

Links

Florida State League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

October 1st, 2016 at 6:23 pm

1976-1978 Pompano Beach Cubs

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1978 Pompano Beach Cubs ProgramFlorida State League (1976-1978)

Born: 1976 – The Key West Cubs relocate to Pompano Beach, FL
Died: Postseason 1978

Stadium: Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium

Team Colors:

Owner: Fred Ferreira

Florida State League Championships: None

 

The Pompano Beach Cubs were a Class-A farm club of the Chicago Cubs for three summers in the late 1970’s. The Cubs were the second minor league club to make a home at Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium, following on the heels of the Pompano Beach Mets (1969-1973).

The most prominent players to play in Pompano Beach during the Cubs’ tenure were Ron Davis and Lee Smith. Both pitchers spent parts of the 1976 and 1977 in Pompano Beach. Both went on to become All-Star pitchers in the Majors during the 1980’s.

The Cubs were owned by renowned Caribbean baseball scout Fred Ferreira, the owner of the Fort Lauderdale Baseball School.

After the Cubs left town in 1978, pro baseball was a rare site in Pompano Beach. The Florida State League’s Miami Miracle played home games at Pompano Beach Municipal Stadium in 1990 and 1991. The Gold Coast Suns of the Senior Professional Baseball Association also played one season at the stadium in the winter of 1989-90. The ballpark was demolished in 2008.

 

==Links==

Florida State League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

July 6th, 2016 at 10:52 am

1975 Key West Cubs

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1975 Key West Cubs ProgramFlorida State League (1975)

Born: 1975 – The Key West Conchs are re-branded as the Key West Cubs
Moved: 1976 (Pompano Beach Cubs)

Stadium: Wicker Stadium

Team Colors:

Owners: Dr. Julio DePoo, Joseph DePoo, et al.

Florida State League Championships: None

 

Key West, Florida had a fitful run with minor league baseball during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. The southernmost outpost of the U.S. played host to four iterations of a Class A Florida State League franchise in the years 1969 to 1975. The San Diego Padres backed a Key West club in 1969. After a summer without baseball in 1970, the FSL returned to Wicker Stadium in 1971 with the Key West Sun Caps, who became the Key West Conchs in 1972.

The Chicago Cubs became the parent club of the Conchs for the 1974 season and stocked the team with pitching prospects, many of whom would later go on to Major League stardom: Bruce Sutter, Donnie Moore, Mike Krukow and Dennis Lamp.  Nevertheless, the team was terrible and finished dead last at 37-94.

During the winter of 1974-75, the ball club was officially re-branded, dropping the traditional Conchs name in favor of “Key West Cubs“. The change was either ignored or accepted half-heartedly.  The team’s 1975 game program (pictured top right) still features several ads exhorting “Go Conchs!” and the club’s local ownership is listed as the Executive Members of the Key West Conchs.  The septuagenarian President of the Key West Cubs ownership group with Dr. Julio DePoo, founder of Key West’s private DePoo Hospital.

Unlike the 1974 Conchs squad, the roster of the 1975 Key West Cubs featured no big names who went on to make a splash in the Bigs. But the team was much more competitive, finishing the campaign at 65-69.  Meager crowds doomed to club at Wicker Stadium. The team relocated to Pompano Beach prior to the 1976 season and pro baseball has never returned to Key West.

 

==In Memoriam==

Key West Cubs manager Walt Dixon passed away on September 25, 2003 at the age of 82.

Catcher Mike Gordon died of leukemia on May 26, 2014 at age 60. Brockton Enterprise obituary.

 

==Links==

Florida State League Programs

1975 Key West Cubs statistics at Baseball-Reference.com

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Written by AC

April 18th, 2016 at 7:18 pm

2005-2009 Sarasota Reds

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Sarasota RedsFlorida State League (2005-2009)

Born: 2005 – Affiliation change from Sarasota Red Sox
Moved: November, 2009 (Bradenton Marauders)

Stadium: Ed Smith Stadium (7,500)

Team Colors:

Owner: Cincinnati Reds LLP

Florida State League Championships: None

 

The Sarasota Reds were a Class A farm club of the Cincinnati Reds in the Florida State League for five season from 2005 to 2009.  Cincinnati’s connection with Sarasota dated back to 1998, when Gulf Coast city became the Reds spring training home.

Notable players that came up through Sarasota during the Reds era included future Major League All-Stars Jay Bruceand Joey Votto and pitcher Johnny Cueto.

Following the 2009 season, the Reds shifted their spring training operations to Goodyear, Arizona and lost interest in maintaining a farm club in Sarasota.  In November 2009, the Reds sold their Florida State League affiliate to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Pirates immediately moved the ball club to Bradenton, ending 20 continuous years of FSL baseball in Sarasota.  The former Sarasota franchise is known today as the Bradenton Marauders.

 

==Links==

Florida State League Programs

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Written by AC

November 16th, 2013 at 2:45 am

1985-1994 Osceola Astros

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Osceola Astros ProgramFlorida State League (1985-1994)

Born: 1985 – The Daytona Beach Astros relocate to Kissimmee, FL.
Re-Branded: October 4, 1994 (Kissimmee Cobras)

Stadium: Osceola County Stadium (5,130)

Team Colors:

Owner: Houston Astros

Florida State League Championships: None

 

The Osceola Astros were part of the Houston Astros long-time connection to Kissimmee and Osceola County, Florida.  In 1985, Houston left their long-time spring training home in Cocoa Beach and relocated to Kissimmee.  That same spring, the Astros moved their Class A Florida State League affiliate from Daytona Beach to Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee. Kissimmee had never had professional baseball before the Astros arrived in the spring of 1985.

A handful of notable future big leaguers came through Kissimmee during this era.  Ken Caminiti, who would win National League MVP honors in 1996, played on the first Osceola Astros club in the summer of 1985.  Other future All-Stars included Luis Gonzalez (1989), Kenny Lofton (1990), and Bobby Abreu, who came through in 1993 as a 19-year old and hit 17 triples that summer.

Attendance was lean in Kissimmee during the 1980’s, even by the low standards of the Florida State League.  During their first season, the 1985 Osceola Astros averaged only 578 fans per game.

Shortly after the 1994 season, the team underwent a re-branding and were dubbed the Kissimmee Cobras.  The Cobras operated for another six seasons as an Astros farm club at Osceola County Stadium from 1995-2000.

Former Osceola Astros GM Pat O’Conner (1986-1993) was elected President & CEO of Minor League Baseball in 2007.

 

==Slideshow==

 

==In Memoriam==

Ken Caminiti (Osceola ’85) died on October 10, 2004 at age 41.

 

==Links==

Florida State League Programs

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Written by AC

May 9th, 2013 at 3:41 am