Gulf Coast League Nationals
|Gulf Coast League Nationals
Founded in 1969
(1969-1970, 1974, 1977, 1986-present)
|Current||Class Rookie League|
|Minor league affiliations|
|League||Gulf Coast League|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Washington Nationals (2005-present)|
|Previous||Montreal Expos (1969-2004)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (4)||
|Division titles (6)||
|Gulf Coast League Expos (1969-2004)|
|Ballpark||Washington Nationals Training Center|
The Gulf Coast League Nationals, often called the GCL Nationals, is a rookie-level minor-league baseball team that is an affiliate of Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals. The team is a member of the Gulf Coast League and plays in Viera, Florida, at the Washington Nationals Training Center next to Space Coast Stadium. The team is composed mainly of players who are in their first year of professional baseball either as draftees or non-drafted free agents.
GCL Expos (1969–2004)
From 1969 to 2004, the team was known as the Gulf Coast League Expos (or GCL Expos), and was a minor-league affiliate of the National League's Montreal Expos. The Gulf Coast League Expos played in the Gulf Coast League from 1969 to 1970, in 1974, in 1977, and again from 1986 to 2004.
They were based in various Florida cities during these years: in Sarasota in 1969, in Bradenton in 1970, in Sarasota in 1974 and 1977, in Bradenton from 1986 to 1991, in West Palm Beach from 1992 to 1997, in Jupiter in 1998 and 1999, in Bradenton in 2000, in Jupiter in 2001, and in Melbourne from 2002 to 2004.
When the Montreal Expos left Montreal after the conclusion of the 2004 season and moved to Washington, D.C. to become the Washington Nationals, the Gulf Coast League Expos became the Gulf Coast League Nationals, beginning play as such in the 2005 season.
GCL Nationals (2005–present)
When the Montreal Expos moved from Montreal to Washington, D.C., after the conclusion of the 2004 season to become the Washington Nationals, the Gulf Coast League Expos became the Gulf Coast League Nationals, beginning play as such in the 2005 season.
In 2013, the Gulf Coast League Nationals finished their regular season with a record of 49-9. This .845 winning percentage was the highest winning percentage for a full regular season ever achieved by a minor-league baseball team based in the United States. The only minor-league baseball team to have a better winning percentage over a full regular season anywhere in the world was the Toronto Blue Jays' 1992 Dominican Summer League team based in the Dominican Republic, which finished at 68-2 with a .971 winning percentage. The Nationals then won all three of their playoff games, defeating the Gulf Coast League Pirates in a single-game semifinal playoff and sweeping the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in the best-of-three league championship series, to become the 2013 Gulf Coast League champions.
Gulf Coast League Nationals roster
- GCL Expos - BR Bullpen
- Baseball Reference
- Wagner, James, "Nationals GCL Team Sets a Minor League Record," washingtonpost.com, August 29, 2013, 7:20 pm EDT.
- DiPietro, Lou, "Baby Bombers 2013 Playoff Log: One and Done for the GCL Yankees," yesnetwork.com, August 30, 2013, 7:49 PM EDT
- Dykstra, Sam, "Nationals capture GCL championship," September 1, 2013, 7:10 PM EDT
- "GCL Expos". Baseball Reference Bullpen. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
- "GCL Nationals". Baseball Reference Bullpen. Retrieved May 10, 2016.