Florida State League

The Florida State League (FSL) was a Minor League Baseball league based in the state of Florida. It was one of three leagues classified as Class A-Advanced,[a] the third-highest classification of minor leagues at the time. Each team that was in the league was affiliated with a Major League Baseball (MLB) team, and most played in their affiliate's spring training facility.

Florida State League
FloridaStateLeague.png
SportBaseball
Founded1919
Ceased2021
Replaced byLow-A Southeast
PresidentTerry Reynolds[1]
No. of teams10
CountryUnited States
Last
champion(s)
Fort Myers Miracle (2018)
Most titlesSt. Petersburg Saints (8)
ClassificationClass A-Advanced
Official websitewww.milb.com/florida-state

The league was founded in 1919 and continued almost uninterrupted until 2020. Initially, the FSL was classified as a Class D circuit. It was elevated to Class C from 1921 to 1924 before reverting to Class D from 1925 to 1928. The league went dormant from 1929 to 1935, but was revived as a Class D circuit from 1936 to 1941. After another period of inactivity from 1942 to 1945, it continued at Class D from 1946 to 1962. When the minor leagues were reconfigured in 1963, the FSL was reclassified as a Class A league. There it continued until the next reorganization in 1990 when it was elevated to Class A-Advanced.[2] The league disbanded in 2021 and was replaced by the new Low-A Southeast league.

HistoryEdit

The league originated in 1919 with teams in Bartow, Bradenton, Lakeland, Orlando, Sanford, and Tampa, Florida. The league closed down in 1928 and resumed play in 1936. It has continued uninterrupted, except for a four-year (1942–1945) suspension during World War II.

The championship series' first cancellation was in 2001, when playoffs were canceled after the September 11 attacks. Afterwards, the 2004 playoffs were canceled due to the threat of Hurricane Ivan. Years later, the 2017 FSL Championship finals were canceled on September 5, due to the threat of Hurricane Irma. The winners of the division series playoff games were named co-champions.[3] This marked the third time since 2000 that the championship series game was canceled.[4][5] In 2019, the end of the season and playoffs were cancelled due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian.[6]

The start of the 2020 season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic before ultimately being cancelled on June 30.[7][8]

The Florida State League disbanded in 2021 in conjunction with MLB's restructuring of Minor League Baseball and was replaced by the new Low-A Southeast league.[9]

All-time teamsEdit

Teams of the early FSL (1919–1928)Edit

Teams of the modern FSL (1936–2021)Edit

League timelineEdit

Palm Beach CardinalsJupiter HammerheadsFlorida Fire FrogsKissimmee CobrasBrevard County ManateesDaytona TortugasBaseball City RoyalsSt. Lucie MetsCharlotte Stone CrabsCharlotte RangersKissimmee CobrasVero Beach Devil RaysDunedin Blue JaysDunedin Blue JaysPompano Beach CubsPompano Beach MetsKey West CubsWinter Haven Red SoxWinter Haven Red SoxJacksonville Beach Sea BirdsCocoa AstrosCocoa AstrosCocoa AstrosOcala YearlingsLeesburg AthleticsSt. Augustine SaintsPalatka RedlegsPalatka AzaleasGainesville G-MenDeLand Sun CapsDeLand Red HatsWest Palm Beach ExposWest Palm Beach IndiansWest Palm Beach SheriffsFort Lauderdale YankeesFort Lauderdale TarponsFort Myers MiracleFort Myers MiracleSarasota RedsSarasota Sun SoxSarasota GullsFort Myers Mighty MusselsFort Myers RoyalsFort Myers MiracleClearwater ThreshersDaytona Beach IslandersJacksonville IndiansSt. Petersburg SaintsSt. Petersburg SaintsDaytona Beach IslandersDaytona Beach IslandersDaytona Beach IslandersDaytona Beach IslandersTampa TarponsTampa Tarpons (1957–1988)Tampa SmokersSanford GreyhoundsSanford GreyhoundsSanford GreyhoundsOrlando RaysOrlando RaysOrlando RaysOrlando RaysLakeland TigersLakeland IndiansLakeland PilotsLakeland HighlandersBradenton MaraudersBradenton GrowersBartow Polkers

Past championsEdit

AwardsEdit

Florida State League Hall of FameEdit

The Florida State League Hall of Fame began in 2009.[10]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The other two Class A-Advanced leagues were the California League and the Carolina League.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "About the Florida State League". Florida State League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Florida State League (Adv A) Encyclopedia and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  3. ^ "Championship Series Cancelled". MiLB.com. September 5, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  4. ^ Norris, Josh (September 5, 2017). "Florida State League cancels its Championship Series". Baseball America. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  5. ^ Kirkland, Gary (March 19, 2005). "Are the minor leagues returning to Gainesville?". gainesville.com. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  6. ^ Kolakowski, Ryan (August 29, 2019). "Hurricane Dorian prompts Florida State League to cancel rest of season". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  7. ^ "A Message From Pat O'Conner". Minor League Baseball. March 13, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  8. ^ "2020 Minor League Baseball Season Shelved". Minor League Baseball. June 30, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  9. ^ Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB announces new Minors teams, leagues". MLB.com.
  10. ^ "FSL Hall of Fame – Florida State League About". Florida State League.

External linksEdit