Fort Lauderdale Yankees

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Fort Lauderdale Yankees
19621993
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Class-level
Previous
  • Class A-Advanced (1990-1993)
  • Class A (1963-1989)
  • Class D (1962)
Minor league affiliations
League Florida State League (1937-1968)
Major league affiliations
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles 7 (1962, 1964, 1965, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987)
Team data
Previous names
  • Fort Lauderdale Red Sox (1993)
  • Fort Lauderdale Yankees (1962-1992)
Previous parks
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.[1] 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 12 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).[2] 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.

Year-by-year record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
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
1966 63–75 7th Lamar North
1967 69–69 4th Billy Shantz
1968 62–75 7th Billy Shantz
1969 68–55 4th Billy Shantz
1970 59–76 10th Lamar North
1971 71–70 6th (t) Bobby Cox
1972 64–65 7th Pete Ward
1973 67–72 7th Pete Ward
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
1977 53–80 9th Ed Napoleon
1978 74–68 5th Doug Holmquist
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
1983 77–54 2nd Stump Merrill
1984 74–68 5th Barry Foote League Champs
1985 77–63 4th Bucky Dent Lost League Finals
1986 80–59 5th Bucky Dent
1987 85–53 1st Buck Showalter League Champs
1988 69–65 9th Buck Showalter
1989 61–77 11th Clete Boyer
1990 62–75 9th Mike Hart
1991 59–69 11th Glenn Sherlock
1992 59–76 10th Brian Butterfield
1993 46-85 4th DeMarlo Hale

References[edit]

  1. ^ Florida State League Log, May 1, 2008
  2. ^ Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, eds., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3d edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007

External links[edit]