Winter Haven Red Sox
|Winter Haven Red Sox
Winter Haven, Florida
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Florida State League|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||1 (1979)|
|Chain of Lakes Park|
The Winter Haven Red Sox were a minor league baseball team in the Florida State League, based in Winter Haven, Florida. However the team began life in Deerfield Beach, Florida, as the Deerfield Beach Sun Sox, a Class-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. However the team moved in the middle of their inaugural season, on June 27, 1966, to Winter Haven becoming the Winter Haven Sun Sox. The team was managed by Don Bacon and Bruce Andrew and had a 55-83 record overall.
In 1967, the Sun Sox were renamed the Winter Haven Mets after their new affiliate, the New York Mets. The Mets posted a 94-46, but were defeated by the St. Petersburg Cardinals for the western division title by two and a half games. Managed by Pete Pavlick, Winter Haven outscored their opponents 545-390 and allowed the fewest runs in the league. All-Stars were 1B Mike Jorgensen (.295/~.353/.407, 19 steals in 22 tries) and pitcher Ron Paul (17-4, 1.74), who was third in the league in ERA and led in wins. Finishing fifth in ERA was Ed Figueroa (12-5, 2.05). Other hurlers included Dick Noe (13-7, 1.37), Steve Renko (8-1, 1.61), Dennis Musgraves (6-3, 1.87) and Jerry Bark (13-5, 2.01). The moundsman who went on to the one of the most storied careers, was Nolan Ryan (one run in four innings, five Ks, one hit, two walks, two wild pitches). Renko even played some first base, hitting .218/~.290/.365 with 8 homers to tie for the team lead with OF Jerry Morales (.248/~.332/.373, 27 steals in 31 tries, 14 triples). The prominent prospect was cather Steve Chilcott, the #1 draft pick from 1966. He hit .290/~.370/.467 and led FSL catchers in fielding (.991). He would have ranked 4th in the league in average had he been among the qualifiers. Finally oufielder Ken Singleton hit .277/~.454/.388 with 26 steals and led the FSL with 87 walks in only 102 games.
The Winter Haven Mets only existed one year before they were renamed the Winter Haven Red Sox in 1969 and became an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, until folding in 1992.
|1966||55-83||8th||Don Bacon & Bruce Andrew|
|1970||61-71||7th||John K. Butler|
|1971||58-79||10th||John K. Butler|
|1972||61-70||10th||John K. Butler|
|1974||59-71||6th (t)||Rac Slider|
|1975||57-70||5th (t)||Rac Slider|
|1979||79-58||2nd||Rac Slider||League Champs|
|1986||80-47||2nd||Dave Holt||Lost in 1st round|
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