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History

The Florida State League was originally established as a Class "D" League in 1919 with teams in Bartow, Bradenton, Lakeland, Orlando, Sanford and Tampa. The League fluctuated between four and eight teams the next eight years and suddenly folded in the middle of the 1928 season. The sagging economy, devastating hurricanes in 1926 and 1928 and a real estate land bust were too much for the franchises to overcome.

The League resumed play in 1936 and has continued uninterrupted except for four years (1942-45) during World War II. It was a Class D League until 1963, when it was changed to Class A status.

Throughout the history of the League, 32 Florida cities have hosted teams. Daytona Beach leads all cities with 67 seasons followed by Lakeland, St. Petersburg and Tampa with more than 50 seasons. Cities with 30 or more seasons are Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and West Palm Beach. Other cities with teams that have played a vital part in the success of the League are Cocoa, DeLand, Ft. Myers, Gainesville, Leesburg, Palatka, Vero Beach and Winter Haven.

Managers and players from the League who have gone on to the Hall of Fame include Sparky Anderson (manager), Johnny Bench, Rod Carew, Gary Carter, Rollie Fingers, Catfish Hunter, Fergie Jenkins, Al Lopez, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, Jim Palmer, Nolan Ryan and Earl Wynn, Jr.

Over 1200 players from the Florida State League have spent time in the American and National Leagues.

Umpires from the League currently in the Major Leagues number over 30.

In 1994 the League celebrated its 75th anniversary and during the season recognized former players, managers and coaches who went on to the Major Leagues. This year marks the 91st anniversary of the League.

The League currently has 12 teams with six teams in the North Division and six teams in the South Division. All teams play a 140-game schedule with 70 games at home and 70 games on the road. The season is split with the All-Star Game being played during the first half of the season.

The Florida State League, with its tropical climate and Major League-quality facilities, is well established as one of the finest leagues in Minor League Baseball.

The Florida State League: "Where the Major League Stars of Tomorrow Play Today."