Jacksonville Suns

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Jacksonville Suns
Founded in 1962
Jacksonville, Florida
JacksonvilleSuns.PNG JacksonvilleSunscap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
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)

Los Angeles Dodgers (2001–2008)

Minor league titles
League titles 1968, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010
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
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, and its 41-year association with its city is the longest in Double-A baseball.[1][2] The Suns won the International League title in 1968 and the Southern League championship in 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2010. 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]


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.[3] 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.[2]

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 14 times, and won the championship in 1996, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2010. 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] 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][2]

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.[2] 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]


Jacksonville Suns roster
Players Coaches/Other




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




  • 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
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
1969 Team relocated to Norfolk, VA. No team in Jacksonville.
Jacksonville Suns (Southern League) (1970–1984)
1970 67–70 .489 5th none
1972 64–75 .460 6th
1973 76–60–1 .559 2nd 1–3 .250 Lost Southern League Championship Series vs Montgomery Rebels, 1–3
Won East Division
1974 78–60 .565 1st 2–3 .200 Lost Southern League Championship Series vs Knoxville Sox, 2–3
Won East Division
1975 59–79 .428 8th
1976 66–72 .478
1977 72–66 .522
1978 73–69 .514
1979 69–72 .489
1980 63–81 .438
1981 65–77 .458
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
1984 76–69 .524
Jacksonville Expos (Southern League) (1985–1990)
Jacksonville Suns (Southern League) (1991–present)
1996 Southern League Champions vs Chattanooga Lookouts, 3–1
2000 Lost in Championship Series vs West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, 2–3
2001 Southern League Co-Champions
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
Totals 6 League Championships
Note: * Finish denotes their position in the overall league standings.
? denotes missing information.

See also[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. ^ a b c d "Jacksonville Baseball History". jaxsuns.com. 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ Benson, Michael (1989). Ballparks of North America. McFarland. p. 187. ISBN 0-89950-367-5. 
  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]