Puneet Varma (Editor)

Sarasota Reds

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Previous  Class A-Advanced
Founded  1989
League  Florida State League
Division titles  2 (1989, 1992)
Sarasota Reds
Previous  Cincinnati Reds (2005-2009) Boston Red Sox (1994-2004) Chicago White Sox (1989-1993)
Previous names  Sarasota Reds (2005-2009) Sarasota Red Sox (1994-2004) Sarasota White Sox (1989-1993)
Previous parks  Ed Smith Stadium (1990-2009) Payne Park (1989)

Baseball bat spin race sarasota reds april 2007

The Sarasota Reds were a professional minor league baseball team, located in Sarasota, Florida, as a member of the Florida State League. However team originally started play in Sarasota as the Sarasota White Sox in 1989. They remained in the city for the next 21 seasons, going through a series of name changes due to their affiliation changes. They were known as the White Sox from 1989–1993, as the Sarasota Red Sox from 1994–2004, and the Reds from 2004–2009. In Sarasota, the team played in Payne Park (1989) and then Ed Smith Stadium (1990–2009). They won two division championships, in 1989 and 1992, and made playoff appearances in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, and 2007.


However the roots of the Reds can be traced back, even further, to the Tampa Tarpons. In the 1980s rumors arose that a major league team would come to Tampa, which would threaten the viability of the Tarpons and other minor league teams in the Tampa Bay Area. In 1988 the Chicago White Sox replaced Cincinnati as the Tarpons' affiliate, launching murmurs that the White Sox would themselves relocate to the area. Fearing his team would soon be displaced, in 1989 Tarpons owner Mitchell Mick sold his franchise to the White Sox, who moved it to Sarasota, Florida as the Sarasota White Sox.

The team's Sarasota era produced many notable player who would go on to play in majors. Bo Jackson, Mike LaValliere, Dave Stieb, Frank Thomas and Bob Wickman all played for the Sarasota White Sox. Meanwhile, Stan Belinda, David Eckstein, Nomar Garciaparra, Byung-Hyun Kim, Jeff Suppan, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, and Kevin Youkilis were alumni of the Sarasota Red Sox. The Sarasota Reds also produced many notable major league players such as Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Joey Votto, Chris Heisey, and Drew Stubbs.

After the Reds' spring-training departure from Florida's Grapefruit League to Arizona's Cactus League in 2009, the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates did an "affiliate-swap". The Pirates took over the Sarasota Reds, while the Reds became the parent club of the Pirates' former Class A-Advanced affiliate, the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League. The Pittsburgh Pirates have had their spring training facilities based in Bradenton, Florida since in 1969, when the city met with Pirates' general manager Joe Brown and owner John W. Galbreath and both sides agreed to a lease of 40 years, with an option for another 40 years. On November 10, 2009, baseball officials voted to allow the Pirates to purchase and uproot the Sarasota Reds. The Pirates moved the team to Bradenton, where they were renamed the Bradenton Marauders. The Marauders became the first Florida State League team located in Bradenton since the Bradenton Growers folded in 1926.

Fireworks at the sarasota reds game

Logos and uniforms

The Sarasota teams' names, logos and team colors were all closely associated with each's parent club. For example, the logos for Sarasota White Sox, Red Sox and Reds were just slightly altered versions of the parent club logos. However, there were attempts to allow some of these teams to find their own unique identities. In 2000, the Sarasota Red Sox introduced their mascot Gordy the Gecko. The Red Sox front office felt that since the team was based in Florida, its mascot should be reflective to the area. Soon Gordy found his way on to the team's caps as an alternate logo.

Notable alumni

  • Former White Sox players
  • Former Red Sox players
  • Former Reds players
  • References

    Sarasota Reds Wikipedia