Jacksonville Suns

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Jacksonville Suns
Founded in 1962
Jacksonville, Florida
JacksonvilleSuns.PNG JacksonvilleSunscap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Double-A (1970–present)
Previous Triple-A (1962–1968)
Minor league affiliations
League Southern League (1970–present)
Division Southern Division
Previous leagues
International League (1962–1968)
Major league affiliations
Current Miami Marlins (2009–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles 1968, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014
Team data
Nickname Jacksonville Suns (1991–present)
Previous names
Jacksonville Expos (1985–1990)
Jacksonville Suns (1962–1968; 1970–1984)
Ballpark Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville
Previous parks
Sam W. Wolfson Baseball Park
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Peter D. Bragan, Jr.
Manager Andy Barkett
General manager Chris Peters

The Jacksonville Suns are a minor league baseball team based in Jacksonville, Florida. The team is a member of the Southern League and is the class Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins Major League Baseball (MLB) team. Two teams named the Suns have played in Jacksonville since 1962: a class Triple-A International League team from 1962–1968, and the current Double-A team from 1970 to the present. From 1985–1990 the team was known as the Jacksonville Expos, when they were affiliated with the Montreal Expos MLB team.

The modern Suns club has played in the Southern League longer than any other.[1] The Suns won the International League title in 1968 and the Southern League championship in 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2014. They play at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, an 11,000-person capacity, $34 million park that opened in 2003. Since moving to the facility the Suns consistently have been a top selling franchise in the Southern League.[1]

History[edit]

Jacksonville has had minor league baseball nearly every year since the early 20th century. From 1904 to 1961 the city was home to minor league teams such as the Jacksonville Jays, the Jacksonville Tars, and the Jacksonville Braves, as well as the Jacksonville Red Caps of the Negro Leagues. The former three teams all played in the South Atlantic League (the "Sally League"), which became the modern Southern League in 1964.[1]

The first team known as the Jacksonville Suns began play in the Triple-A International League in 1962. The team had been founded in Havana, Cuba, where they were known as the Havana Sugar Kings. Following the Cuban Revolution in 1959 the team relocated to Jersey City, New Jersey, but soon folded; the franchise was bought by the Cleveland Indians, who moved it to Jacksonville as the Jacksonville Suns in 1962.[2] The president was local baseball fixture Sam W. Wolfson, previously the owner of the Jacksonville Braves; the Suns replaced the Jacksonville Jets Sally League club. During this period a number of later Major League stars played for the Suns, including Tommy John, Nolan Ryan, and Tom Seaver, and the team won the International League championship in 1968. Following that season the team's parent club, the New York Mets, decided to relocate the team to Virginia, where they became the team now known as the Norfolk Tides.[3]

Jacksonville was without baseball in 1969, but in 1970 a new Suns team began play in the Double-A Southern League. The team was affiliated with both the Montreal Expos and the Milwaukee Brewers in its inaugural season, with the Cleveland Indians in 1971, and then with the Kansas City Royals from 1972–1984. Affiliation switched back to the Expos from 1985–1990, during which period the team was known as the Jacksonville Expos. Since then it has been affiliated with the Seattle Mariners (1991–1994), the Detroit Tigers (1994–2000), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2001–2008), and most recently the Miami Marlins (2008–present).[4] The Suns have appeared in the Southern League playoffs 15 times, and won the championship in 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2014. The 2009 and 2010 championships were only the third time in Southern League history that a championship was successfully defended, both other times by the Montgomery Biscuits.[5] In 2014, the Suns finished the regular season on a 10-game winning streak, edging out the Mississippi Braves by one game to win the second half South Division title outright. Including the playoffs, the 2014 Suns won 16 of their final 17 games on the year en route to the franchise's sixth Southern League title. The Suns have played in the Southern League longer than any other team, and their 41-year period in Jacksonville has become the longest continuous association between any city and a class Double-A team.[1][3]

The Suns played at Wolfson Park from 1962 until it was demolished in 2002. Since 2003 they have played at Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, an 11,000 seat, $34 million field created as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan. Since moving to the Baseball Grounds the Suns have consistently led the Southern League in attendance, drawing over one million fans in their first four years.[3] The Suns' success has led to speculation that the team may move to class Triple A in the future.[1]

Notable former players and coaches[edit]

Roster[edit]

Jacksonville Suns roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

  • 18 Danny Black
  •  3 Alex Burg
  • 40 Ryan Fisher
  • 36 Austin Nola
  • 12 Ryan Rieger
  • -- Miguel Tejada

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

  • 14 Rich Arena (coach)
  • 13 John Duffy (pitching)
  • 25 Kevin Randel (hitting)


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Miami Marlins 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated April 3, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Miami Marlins minor league players

Season-by-season record[edit]

Year Regular Season Post-season
Record Win % Finish* Record Win % Result
Jacksonville Suns (International League) (1962–1968)
1962 94–60 .610 1st 7–7 .500 Lost in Governors' Cup Finals vs Atlanta Crackers, 3–4
Won First Round vs Rochester Red Wings, 4–3
Won International League Pennant
1963 56–91 .381 10th
1964 89–62 .589 1st 0–4 .000 Lost in First Round vs Rochester Red Wings, 0–4
Won International League Pennant
1965 71–76 .483 6th
1966 68–79 .463 7th
1967 66–73 .475 5th
1968 75–71 .514 4th 7–1 .875 Won Governors' Cup Finals vs Columbus Jets, 4–0
Won First Round vs Toledo Mud Hens, 3–1
Totals 518-512 .503 14-12 .538 1 League Championship & 2 League Pennants
Note: * Finish denotes their position in the overall league standings.
Team relocated to Norfolk, VA in 1969. No team in Jacksonville that year.
Year Regular Season Post-season
Record Win % Finish* Record Win % Result
Jacksonville Suns (Southern League) (1970–1984)
1970 67–70 .489 5th no playoffs held
1971 63-77 .450  ???
1972 64–75 .460 6th
1973 76–60 .559 2nd 1–3 .250 Lost Southern League Championship vs Montgomery Rebels, 1–3
Won East Division
1974 78–60 .565 1st 2–3 .200 Lost Southern League Championship vs Knoxville Sox, 2–3
Won East Division
1975 59–79 .428 8th
1976 66–72 .478  ???
1977 72–66 .522 4th 2-3 .200 Lost Southern League Championship vs Montgomery Rebels, 0-2
Won East Division Championship Series vs Savannah Braves, 2-1
Won East Division Second Half
1978 73–69 .514 3rd
1979 69–72 .489 6th
1980 63–81 .438 8th
1981 65–77 .458 8th
1982 83–61 .576 1st 4–4 .500 Lost Southern League Championship vs Nashville Sounds, 1–3
Won East Division Championship Series vs Columbus Astros, 3–1
Won East Division First Half & Second Half
1983 77–68 .531 4th 4-4 .500 Lost Southern League Championship vs Birmingham Barons, 1-3
Won East Division Championship Series vs Savannah Braves, 3-1
Won East Division Second Half
1984 76–69 .524 3rd
Jacksonville Expos (Southern League) (1985–1990)
1985 73-70 .510 5th
1986 75-68 .524 2nd 1-3 .250 Lost East Division Championship Series vs Columbus Astros, 1-3
Won East Division First Half
1987 85-59 .590 1st
1988 69-73 .486 5th 2-3 .400 Lost East Division Championship Series vs Greenville Braves, 2-3
East Division Wild-Card
1989 68-76 .472 7th
1990 84-60 .583 2nd 1-3 .250 Lost East Division Championship Series vs Orlando Sun Rays, 1-3
Won East Division Second Half
Jacksonville Suns (Southern League) (1991–present)
1991 74-69 .517 4th
1992 68-75 .476 7th
1993 59-81 .421 10th
1994 60-77 .438 9th
1995 75-69 .521 5th
1996 75-63 .543 3rd 6-2 .750 Won Southern League Championship vs Chattanooga Lookouts, 3–1
Won East Division Championship Series vs Carolina Mudcats, 3-1
Won East Division First Half & Second Half
1997 66-73 .475 8th
1998 86-54 .614 1st 4-3 .571 Lost Southern League Championship vs Mobile BayBears, 1-3
Won East Division Championship Series vs Knoxville Smokies, 3-0
Won East Division First Half
1999 75-66 .532 3rd
2000 69-71 .493 5th 5-5 .500 Lost in Championship Series vs West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, 2–3
Won East Division Championship Series vs Greenville Braves, 3-2
Won East Division Second Half
2001 83-56 .597 1st 3-2 .600 Southern League Co-Champions with Huntsville Stars (1)
Won East Division Championship Series vs Chattanooga Lookouts, 3-2
Won East Division First Half & Second Half
2002 77-62 .554 2nd 3-5 .375 Lost Southern League Championship vs Birmingham Barons, 0-3
Won East Division Championship Series vs Carolina Mudcats, 3-2
Won East Division First Half
2003 66-73 .475 6th
2004 66–71 .482 7th
2005 79–61 .564 4th 6–1 .857 Won Southern League Championship vs West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, 3–1
Won South Division Championship Series vs Birmingham Barons, 3–0
Won South Division First Half
2006 86–54 .614 1st 0–3 .000 Lost South Division Championship Series vs Montgomery Biscuits, 0–3
Won South Division First Half
2007 80–60 .571 2nd
2008 68–72 .486 7th
2009 82–58 .586 2nd 6–1 .857 Won Southern League Championship vs Tennessee Smokies, 3–1
Won South Division Championship Series vs Birmingham Barons, 3–0
Won South Division Second Half
2010 81–59 .579 2nd 6–2 .750 Won Southern League Championship vs Tennessee Smokies, 3–1
Won South Division Championship Series vs Mobile BayBears, 3–1
Won South Division First Half & Second Half
2011 70–70 .500 5th
2012 70–70 .500 5th
2013 73–63 .537 5th
2014 81–59 .579 2nd 6—1 .857 Won Southern League Championship vs Chattanooga Lookouts, 3-0
Won South Division Championship Series vs Mobile BayBears, 3-1
Won South Division Second Half
Totals 3272-3048 .518 61-48 .560 6 League Championships
14 Division Championships
19 Half Seasons Won
18 Post-Season Appearances
Note: * Finish denotes their position in the overall league standings.
? denotes missing information.
(1) - 2001 Championship series cancelled because of September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Teams declared co-champions.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Pahigian, Josh (2007). The Ultimate Minor League Baseball Road Trip: A Fan's Guide to AAA, AA, A, and Independent League Stadiums. Globe Pequot. p. 201. ISBN 1-59921-024-X. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Benson, Michael (1989). Ballparks of North America. McFarland. p. 187. ISBN 0-89950-367-5. 
  3. ^ a b c "Jacksonville Baseball History". jaxsuns.com. 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Jacksonville Suns". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  5. ^ Elliott, Jeff (2011). "In Defense of a Title". 2011 Jacksonville Suns Official Souvenir Program (1st Edition) (Brut Printing). 

External links[edit]