Sarasota Rookie League
The Sarasota Rookie League was an American Rookie-classification minor baseball league that existed in 1964. Its four teams were owned and operated by Major League Baseball clubs and played in minor league training complexes in Sarasota, Florida. The SRL was succeeded in 1965 by the Florida Rookie League, which had six teams in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida-based camps. Then, in 1966, the modern Gulf Coast League was established on the foundation built by the two earlier circuits.
Complex-based baseball leagues, which played before sparse crowds and often scheduled morning games to avoid the summer heat and afternoon thunderstorms, were adopted after the drastic shrinking of minor league baseball during the 1950s and 1960s. MLB teams needed an entry level to professional baseball for 18- and 19-year-old players graduating from high schools or signed from Latin America. They are typically considered the lowest rung on the minor league ladder, a notch below other Rookie-level leagues such as the Appalachian or the Pioneer circuits.
The SRL's four teams consisted of squads sponsored by the Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Braves, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. The SRL Braves, managed by Paul Snyder, future Atlanta farm system director, won the championship with a 36-23 record.
- Johnson, Lloyd and Wolff, Miles, eds., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3d edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007.