Fort Lauderdale Yankees
|Fort Lauderdale Yankees
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Florida State League (1937-1968)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||7 (1962, 1964, 1965, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987)|
|Fort Lauderdale Stadium|
The Fort Lauderdale Yankees, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was an American minor league baseball franchise that existed from 1962 through 1992. The team was a member of the Florida State League as an affiliate of the New York Yankees and won seven FSL championships during its 31 years of existence.
The team was formed when the Yankees moved their spring training base from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Fort Lauderdale Stadium after the 1961 season. Its last championship team, in 1987, was managed by Buck Showalter and featured future Major Leaguers Jim Leyritz, Kevin Maas and Dave Eiland.
When the Yankees left Fort Lauderdale for their current spring training home in Tampa, Florida, in 1993, the parent club maintained its other High-A affiliate, the Prince William Yankees of the Carolina League, and left the FSL for one season — returning in 1994 with the Tampa Yankees. The Boston Red Sox transferred their Winter Haven club to Fort Lauderdale Stadium for 1993 as the Fort Lauderdale Red Sox.
When the spring training relationship with Winter Haven ended, Boston tried to move its FSL franchise to its new spring training stadium, Fort Myers' City of Palms Park, but the shift was blocked by the established Fort Myers Miracle, a Minnesota Twins FSL affiliate that plays in nearby Hammond Stadium. While the Red Sox and the Miracle ownership tried to resolve the impasse, Boston needed a 1993 venue for its displaced Winter Haven franchise. Fort Lauderdale Stadium was available.
As events turned out, the Red Sox/Miracle territorial dispute never permitted Boston to place its FSL team in Fort Myers. Instead, Boston moved the Fort Lauderdale Red Sox to Sarasota, Florida — ironically a former longtime BoSox spring training site — in 1994 and operated the Sarasota Red Sox there for eleven seasons before departing the Florida State League in 2005. The Red Sox' parent company, Fenway Sports Group, now owns and operates its own High Class A farm club, the Salem Red Sox, in the Carolina League.
The Red Sox' one year in Fort Lauderdale was an artistic and economic disappointment. The team, managed by DeMarlo Hale (later the Red Sox' bench coach), compiled the worst record in the FSL at 46–85 (.351), 32 1⁄2 games out of first place. It drew 28,000 fans, second last in the league and almost 73,000 fans fewer than the 1992 Fort Lauderdale Yankees team. (It still out-paced the 1992 Winter Haven Red Sox entry, which attracted only 16,000 fans in its lame-duck season). Of the 40-plus players who suited up for the Fort Lauderdale Red Sox, only Shayne Bennett, Alex Delgado, Peter Hoy, Ryan McGuire and Lou Merloni would see Major League service.
Fort Lauderdale has not been represented in the Florida State League since 1993. Although the Baltimore Orioles eventually replaced the Yankees as Fort Lauderdale's spring training tenants, they never placed an FSL franchise in the city.
|1962||71–50||1st||Bob Bauer||League Champs|
|1963||60–60||4th||Pinky May (22–19) / Steve Souchock (7–13) / Cloyd Boyer (31–28)|
|1964||81–59||2nd||Frank Verdi||League Champs|
|1965||87–51||1st||Jack Reed||League Champs|
|1971||71–70||6th (t)||Bobby Cox|
|1974||82–49||1st||Pete Ward||Lost League Finals|
|1975||61–75||5th (t)||Leo Posada|
|1976||77–62||3rd||Mike Ferraro||Lost in 1st round|
|1979||92–51||1st||Doug Holmquist||Lost League Finals|
|1980||83–54||2nd||Doug Holmquist||League Champs|
|1981||81–53||1st||Doug Holmquist||Lost in 1st round|
|1982||82–50||1st||Stump Merrill||League Champs|
|1984||74–68||5th||Barry Foote||League Champs|
|1985||77–63||4th||Bucky Dent||Lost League Finals|
|1987||85–53||1st||Buck Showalter||League Champs|
- Florida State League Log, May 1, 2008
- Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, eds., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3d edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007