|Florida State League|
|Florida State League logo|
|No. of teams||12|
|Current champions||Clearwater Threshers|
The Florida State League is a Class A Advanced Minor League Baseball league which operates in the state of Florida. Before 2002, it was classified as a "High-A" league, indicating its status as a Class A league with the highest level of competition within that classification, and the fifth step between Rookie ball and the major leagues. Although Minor League Baseball, the umbrella organization for minor leagues that are affiliated with Major League Baseball, has eliminated the distinction between High-A and other full-season A leagues, most major-league teams still use this league as a standard promotion step. A few draftees, generally early-round draftees with college experience, will be assigned to a "High-A" team upon signing a professional contract, but most High-A players do not reach that level until their third or fourth year of professional play.
The league originated in 1919# with teams in Bartow, Bradenton, Lakeland, Orlando, Sanford and Tampa. The league closed down in 1928 and resumed play in 1936 and has continued uninterrupted, except for a four-year (1942–45) suspension during World War II.
Currently, the league is divided into two divisions: East and West. The twelve member teams play a 140 game schedule with 70 games at home and 70 games on the road. The six team divisions play a split season with the first half ending on June and the second half ending in September.
Four teams participate in the play-offs. Winners of both halves within each Division play each other in a best of three game series for the Division Championships. If there is a repeat Division winner, a wild card team will qualify for the play-offs. The Division Champions will move on to the League Championship Series and play a best-of-five game series.
#The idea that the Florida State League originated in 1919 is a common misconception. Even Ed McDonald, the former president of the league thought the league began play in 1919. (They played their first games in 'Organized Ball' in 1919). The Ocala and St Augustine local newspapers clearly show a very brief attempt at a Florida State League in 1892. The league actually began play on Jan 10, 1892 and the last game played was March 1. St Augustine took first place, Jacksonville was second, Tampa was third and Ocala fourth. The only manager named was William Harrington at St Augustine. Both the St Augustine and Ocala papers listed the final standings the same, but I found no evidence of any won-loss totals for the short season.
References are the "Sporting News", Vern Luse, Ocala "Banner" and the St Augustine newspaper (before I began citing references, I forgot to do this one.
|East||Brevard County Manatees||Milwaukee Brewers||Viera, Florida||Space Coast Stadium1||8,100|
|Daytona Cubs||Chicago Cubs||Daytona Beach, Florida||Jackie Robinson Stadium||5,100|
|Jupiter Hammerheads||Florida Marlins||Jupiter, Florida||Roger Dean Stadium||7,200|
|Palm Beach Cardinals||St. Louis Cardinals||Jupiter, Florida||Roger Dean Stadium||7,200|
|St. Lucie Mets||New York Mets||Port St. Lucie, Florida||Tradition Field||7,347|
|Vero Beach Devil Rays||Tampa Bay Rays||Vero Beach, Florida||Holman Stadium||6,500|
|West||Clearwater Threshers||Philadelphia Phillies||Clearwater, Florida||Bright House Field||8,500|
|Dunedin Blue Jays||Toronto Blue Jays||Dunedin, Florida||Knology Park||6,106|
|Fort Myers Miracle||Minnesota Twins||Fort Myers, Florida||Hammond Stadium||7,500|
|Lakeland Flying Tigers||Detroit Tigers||Lakeland, Florida||Joker Marchant Stadium||8,500|
|Sarasota Reds||Cincinnati Reds||Sarasota, Florida||Ed Smith Stadium||7,500|
|Tampa Yankees||New York Yankees||Tampa, Florida||George M. Steinbrenner Field||10,000|
- 1 Hosting 2008 Florida State League All-Star Game
Current team rosters
- Main article: Florida State League rosters
Teams of the Modern FSL (1936-)
Florida State League Champions
1892 St Augustine
- Sports league attendances