Gulf Coast League
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
Gulf Coast League logo
|No. of teams||16|
|Most recent champion(s)||Gulf Coast League Pirates|
|Official website||Official Website|
The Gulf Coast League is a minor league baseball league which operates in Florida. It is a Rookie League, with a season running from mid-June to late August. The season is 60 games long and teams in the league are divided into four divisions, East, Northeast, Northwest and South. The division winner with the best record plays the division winner with the lowest record and the other two division winners meet in a one game semi-finals. Should the Northeast and Northwest Divisions finish 1st and 4th, the semi-final matchups would place 1st vs. 3rd and 2nd vs. 4th. The winners meet in a best-of-3 game series for the Gulf Coast League championship.
GCL teams generally play at the minor league spring training complexes of their parent major league clubs, and are uniformly owned by those parent clubs. The teams generate little if any revenue, as admission is not charged and no concessions are operated. As almost all of the games are played in the heat and humidity of Florida summer afternoons, very few show up to watch the average contest. GCL games are perhaps the least competitive of all minor league games, as most of the players were just drafted in that year's entry draft (2–3 weeks before the season's start) and are there to develop skills under their employer's tutelage rather than (necessarily) to win games or entertain fans.
GCL teams are not referred to by their home city, but simply by their parent club's name, and the prefix "GCL" or "Gulf Coast" if necessary to differentiate between them and another club sharing the nickname. Some of these teams share stadiums with their club's High-A affiliate in the Florida State League, which can lead to confusion, as FSL teams do use the city name (e.g. the Dunedin Blue Jays, three levels up from the GCL Blue Jays, who also play in Dunedin).
The league was founded in 1964 as the Sarasota Rookie League with four teams playing in Sarasota. The League expanded in 1965 and changed its name to the Florida Rookie League. It adopted its current name, Gulf Coast League, for the 1966 season.
Current teams 
Previous teams 
- Gulf Coast League Dodgers (1983–1992, 2001–2008; renamed Arizona League Dodgers in 2009 and moved to Arizona League, 2009–Present)
- Gulf Coast League Reds (1968–1973, 1984–1990, 1999–2009; renamed Arizona League Reds in 2010 and moved to Arizona League, 2010–Present)
- Gulf Coast League Royals (2001–2002)
- "Pirates claim GCL championship". MiLB. August 29, 2012. Text "last-Pentis" ignored (help)
- "Davenport, Florida Minor League History - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 13 September 2012.