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Jax Baseball History Timeline

1800's

1888: Jacksonville hosted the first Major League Spring Training, as the then known Philadelphia Athletics (now in Oakland), the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, and the Boston Nationals

1900-1949

1904:  The Jacksonville Jays became the first Professional Baseball Team in Jacksonville as they played in the debut South Atlantic League (Class C). The First South Atlantic League game was played at Dixieland Park in Jacksonville as the Jays defeated Macon, 1-0.

1908: The Jacksonville Jays brought home their first ever Professional Championship, winning the South Atlantic League with a record of 77-34 and managed by Dom Mullaney.

1911: Jacksonville changed its name from the Jays to the Jacksonville Tarpons.

1912: The Jacksonville Tarpons won their second South Atlantic League title with a record of 70-41 and managed by Percy Wilder.

1917: Jacksonville changed its name from the Tarpons to the Jacksonville Roses.

1921:  Jacksonville made their debut in the Florida State League (Class C) as the Jacksonville Scouts, as well as making Barrs Field their new home park, which was later named Durkee Field (currently J.P. Small Park).

1922: The Scouts became the Jacksonville Indians

1926: Jacksonville debut as the Tars and played their first season in the Southeastern League (Class B).

1927: In their second season in the Southeaster League, the Tars captured their third professional championship, and first and only Southeastern League championship, with a record of 90-63 and managed by Thomas McMillan.

1936: Jacksonville rejoined the South Atlantic League in Class B. The Tars would remain in the SAL Class B through 1942.

1938: The Jacksonville Red Caps were introduced as a member of the Negro American League.

1941: After leaving in 1939, the Red Caps returned to Jacksonville for two more seasons.

1946: After a four year break, the Tars came back again to the SAL as a Class A team.

1950-1969

1952: A second professional baseball team came to town, the Jacksonville Beach Sea Birds made their debut as a member of the Florida State League (Class D). The Sea Birds played just three seasons, ending after the 1954 campaign.

1953: The Tars changed to the Jacksonville Braves under new owner Samuel W. Wolfson. Hall of Famer Hank Aaron broke the South Atlantic League color barrier, playing one season for the Jacksonville Braves. He batted.362 with 22 home runs to earn League MVP honors.

1955: Jacksonville Municipal Ballpark, later named Wolfson Park opened to be the new home of Jacksonville's Minor League team.

1956: The Braves won the South Atlantic League title under manager Ben Geraghty, with a record of 87-53.

1961: Jacksonville switched to the Jacksonville Jets for one season, while playing their 37th and final season as a member of the South Atlantic League.

1962: A new name came to town, as the Jacksonville Suns were born under owner Samuel W. Wolfson, making the transition from Single-A to becoming a Triple-A ball club in the International League.

1966: Future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver spent a season playing for the Suns and posted a 12-12 mark with a 3.13 ERA.

1967: Future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan made a brief appearance in Jacksonville pitching in three games.

1968:  In the Suns final season as a member of the International League, Jacksonville claimed its only International League Championship, defeating the Columbus Jets.

1970-1999

1970: After one season of no professional baseball in Jacksonville, the Suns made their debut in the Southern League as a Double-A team.

1985: In Jacksonville's second season as an affiliate of the Montreal Expos, the Suns became the Jacksonville Expos. Secondly, Peter Bragan Sr. became the new owner of the ball club.

1987: Future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson (The Big Unit) played his lone Double-A season in Jacksonville and posted an 11-8 record with a 3.73 ERA. Future National League MVP, Larry Walker also played his only season with Jacksonville that season and recorded .287 average with 26 home runs and 83 RBI.

1991: Jacksonville changed its name back to the Suns and became affiliated with the Seattle Mariners.

1996: After being a member of the Southern League for over a quarter of a century, the Suns captured their first Southern League title, defeating the Chattanooga Lookouts, 3-1

1998: Future Major League player and manager, Gabe Kapler made his mark in Jacksonville by recording a .322 average 28 home runs and a remarkable 146 RBI en route to Minor League Player of the Year by USA Today, Baseball Weekly, and The Sporting News, and USA Today.

2000-present

2001: The Suns earned their second Southern League title after being named co-champions with the Huntsville Stars as the Championship series was cancelled due to the Sept. 11 Attacks.

2002: The Suns played their final season at Wolfson Park.

2003: The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville opened as the new home park for the Suns, replacing Wolfson Park.

2005: A third Suns title was captured, when Jacksonville defeated the West Tennessee Diamond Jax three games to one. The team, which boasted future big leaguers Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton, was later named the 2005 Minor League Team of the Year by Baseball America.

2009 - 2010: The Suns claimed back-to-back Southern League titles, defeating the Tennessee Smokies in both years, 3-1.   The Suns won 2010 title at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville after Chris Hatcher hit the first pitch of the ninth inning for a walk-off home run to break the scoreless tie and claim to earn the franchise's first championship in Jacksonville.

2012: Peter Bragan Jr, also known as "Pedro", became the official owner of the Suns, taking over for his father, Peter Bragan Sr who passed away during that year. The field was named "Bragan Field at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville" in the fall.

2014: Baseball had never been hotter in 2014 as Jacksonville won its latest championship by talking 16 of the final 17 games, including sweeping the Chattanooga Lookouts in the title series, 3-1

2015: Ken Babby purchased the Jacksonville Suns from Peter Bragan Jr.