Miami Marlins (International League)

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Miami Marlins
19561960
Miami, Florida
Class-level
Previous
Minor league affiliations
League
Major league affiliations
Previous
Team data
Previous parks
Miami Stadium

The Miami Marlins were a minor league baseball team based in Miami, Florida. The original Marlins were a Triple-A franchise in the International League from 1956 through 1960. The International League team was succeeded by a Single-A team in the Florida State League (now the Fort Myers Miracle) and today's Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball.

History[edit]

The International League Marlins were a transplanted version of the original Syracuse Chiefs. They were created on December 20, 1955, when the Syracuse club (a member of the IL as early as 1886 and a continuous member since 1934) was sold to Sidney Salomon (future founding owner of the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League) and Elliot Stein.

The 1955 Chiefs, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, finished only two games out of the playoffs, but drew only 85,000 fans, last in the eight-team league. In the Marlins' debut season in Miami, the club finished third and attracted 288,000 spectators, second in the IL circuit. Attendance dwindled in the years that followed, however, and by 1960 the Marlins—by then a Baltimore Orioles affiliate—were at the bottom of the IL, with fewer than 110,000 paying fans. The franchise signed a working agreement with the St. Louis Cardinals and moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1961, but after little more than a month of play the Marlins moved again to Charleston, West Virginia, on May 19.

In 1962, the franchise moved to Atlanta, discarding the Marlins name and adopting the name of the Atlanta Crackers, a team in the recently disbanded Class AA Southern Association. In 1966, when the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta, the franchise relocated to Richmond, Virginia, where it played as the Richmond Braves for 43 seasons, through 2008. The franchise moved to Gwinnett County, Georgia in 2009, and is currently known as the Gwinnett Braves.[1] The current Syracuse Chiefs club, reformed in 1961, is actually the transplanted Montreal Royals (who, in turn, were originally based in Syracuse as the Stars prior to 1927).

Notable players[edit]

Notable Marlins during the 1956–60 period were veterans like Leroy "Satchel" Paige, the great former Negro Leagues pitcher then in his 50s, three-time league all-star infielder Forrest "Woody" Smith, ex-New York Giants starting pitcher Rubén Gómez, two-time MLB All Star Sid Gordon,[2] 1959 IL earned run average champ Artie Kay, former Brooklyn outfielder Cal Abrams, and fireballer Virgil Trucks.

Their younger players included future big-leaguers like infielder Jerry Adair, outfielders Whitey Herzog and Dave Nicholson, and pitchers Rudy Árias, Don Cardwell, Turk Farrell, Jack Fisher and Dallas Green.

Although its home park was Miami Stadium, on August 7, 1956, the largest crowd in minor league history (57‚000) came to see Miami's 50-year-old Paige beat Columbus at the Orange Bowl.

Yearly record[edit]

Year Record Finish
Full Season
Attendance Manager Postseason
1956 80–71 Third 288,582 Don Osborn Lost to Rochester in first round
1957 75–78 Fourth 181,651 Don Osborn Lost to Buffalo in finals
1958 75–78 Fifth 161,042 Kerby Farrell DNQ
1959 71–83 Seventh 140,384 Pepper Martin DNQ
1960 65–88 Seventh 109,899 Al Vincent DNQ

Legacy[edit]

In February 2008, it was announced that the big league Florida Marlins franchise would change its name to the Miami Marlins in 2012, upon moving into its new stadium at the former site of the Orange Bowl.

In June, 2013, a book titled: "The Forgotten Marlins: A Tribute to the 1956–1960 Original Miami Marlins" was published by author Sam Zygner.

On July 20, 2013, the present-day Miami Marlins wore "throwback jerseys"/replicas of the International League Marlins' jerseys in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

Affiliations[edit]

The IL Miami Marlins were affiliated with the following major league teams:

Year Affiliation(s)
1956–1958 Philadelphia Phillies
1959–1960 Baltimore Orioles

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]